We’ve been talking a lot lately about the validity of watches that have aftermarket parts and modifications. But why would someone put aftermarket parts on their Rolex? And if they’re aware of the risks they take by modifying their watch, why would they take such a risk?
In fact, why would someone modify anything – a watch, a car, a computer, anything – with aftermarket parts?
The answer’s pretty simple, really, if a bit multi-faceted. The factory simply can’t predict every customer’s desires. Even if they could, they’d go broke trying to manufacture all that myriad of products. Economies of scale go away, inventorying costs skyrocket.
And frankly, even the best companies producing the highest quality, most desirable products sometimes fumble the ball. I’m thinking of an article I read recently, about an exclusive auto manufacturer – Bentley or Rolls Royce, somebody like that. They totally fumbled the steering wheel in a recent model. Talk about a component critical to customer experience! So customers turned to the aftermarket for a proper steering wheel.
It’s the same way with a Rolex. The boys in Geneva who sport the crown logo can’t possibly anticipate everyone’s wishes for dials, bracelets, diamonds and other gems, or even watch models. Witness Tempus Machina, the company now producing an homage to the Submariner 6538, using a current Submariner ref. 114060 for a base.
Tempus Machina has figured out that Rolex never does anything like that kind of homage. They’ve also figured out that, while a niche market, it’s big enough that they’ll sell out their limited edition of 50 pieces and triple what an 114060 goes for.
That’s the real reason people turn to aftermarket parts to modify their watches, cars, and computers – and anything else you can imagine. They just want what they want, whether anyone’s producing it or not.