Rolex is revving up its engines on the West Coast. The company, which operates its retail endeavors through third parties, is opening two important showrooms in California.
Hing Wa Lee Jewelers, run by David Lee (a notable Ferrari collector and longtime jewelry retailer), is said to be investing $15 million in a new showroom, anchored by Rolex, which is slated to open next year, according to WatchPro. The space will be in Larchmont, an up-and-coming neighborhood located between downtown Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. Hing Wa Lee is known for catering to Chinese customers, both visitors and expatriates and, according to Lee, it was one of the first Asian-owned dealers in the U.S. for Rolex starting in 1995. The company already has two extensive Rolex showrooms in its Walnut and San Gabriel locations in the greater Los Angeles area. The brand is the anchor in each location: The showroom in Walnut is 22,000 square feet, and the San Gabriel space has 15,000 square feet. There is no word on how large the new Larchmont space will be, but it is said to come with all the trappings of modern watch retail boutiques, including interior spaces for lounging, an outdoor rooftop with views of the Hollywood sign, and a full-service bar.
Meanwhile, over on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Gearys, one of the area’s oldest jewelers, is opening its own 15,000-square-foot showroom with 7,000 square feet of space reserved for Rolex and 4,000 square feet reserved for Patek Philippe, according to WatchPro. These are also slated to open in fall 2024. Five watchmakers will be on site for Rolex and one for Patek Philippe. It will be the only Patek Philippe workshop west of New York City. And, of course, on top of it all will be a requisite rooftop for entertaining clients.
Whether or not these expanding locations will mean you can finally get that Rollie you’ve been eyeing, remains to be seen. But, given current market trends, it’s probably worth a drop by when they open, particularly for existing clients of Hing Wa Lee and Gearys with extensive Rolex purchasing history.