By Elizabeth Zelesny
February 8, 2011
Rolex is showcasing its 100 years of watchmaking history via a pricey mobile application, which is a digital version of the book by Guido Mondani Editore.
The 100 Years of Rolex application lets users swipe through content about the company and its major milestones. It allows users to search Rolex models by model production year, reference and value. But how much is too much for an application such as this?
“If there is no differentiation it is very hard to get consumers to get an expensive luxury app,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute, New York. “The app needs to have tremendous quality and design.
“If you are going to do that in an application, you have to have a difference that is worthy of the price,” he said.
The Luxury Institute is not associated with Rolex. Mr. Pedraza agreed to comment as a third-party expert.
The application is available for purchase in the Apple App store for $11.99.
Inside the app
Within the application, users have the ability to know the up-to-date value of all models produced by Rolex.
The application includes all Rolex models with related detail sheets and estimates. It allows consumers to collect and invest on the go.
The 100 Years of Rolex app runs through all watch models manufactured by the brand during its first century of production. It provides detailed descriptions of all models and more than 500 high-quality images.
Users can add a watch or a reference to their favorites, which provides easy access to have it on hand at any time.
Affluent watch connoisseurs can discover how much a particular Rolex is worth with one click.
Why so much?
Applications for the iPhone and iPad geared to watch-collectors and enthusiasts have started to flourish in the Apple App Store.
The booming App Store has witnessed a wide range of prices.
When the App Store launched in 2008, the most popular applications were either free or cost $0.99 or $1.99.
App developers are pushing their boundaries with the pricey applications, especially if consumers believe there isn’t any “bang for your buck.”
Generally, expensive apps are, well, expensive because of their complexity and completeness, but also because of the value they provide.
The Rolex application is complex, but can watch-collectors find this information elsewhere? Yes.
Even though the price of the application is inexpensive for affluent consumers, they would not want to pay money for an essentially useless application.
The information from the app can be found via the Internet or the “100 Years of Rolex” book.
Developers have begun to fiddle around with app prices to maximize revenue from sales.
They are trying to find the spot where the price is low enough to get as many sales as possible, but not too low so that they can still make a profit.
At the end of the day, the reason why some applications are expensive is supply and demand.
“I think consumers will test the application, and if they don’t like it, they will send word of mouth about it,” Mr. Pedraza said. “Word spreads fast in this digital world.”