The Change in Rolex Packaging Circa 2005

The Change in Rolex Packaging Circa 2005

Nov 02

The New Rolex Box & Packaging
By: John B. Holbrook, II
September 20th, 2005

If you’ve purchased a new Rolex since about January 1st 2005 or after, then you may have been mildly shocked to learn that Rolex made a big change in the packaging and box which comes with their watches. It’s hard to say when exactly Rolex instituted this change – some say it was in January, while others say it was mid-way through the F series production. Since Rolex ships their watches and boxes separately, it’s really up to the dealer as to which box they use. Some folks are still being given the old style box and packaging today.

To illustrate the differences, I’ll show you some side by side photos of the new vs. the old packaging, with the new on the left, and the old style on the right.

Both the new and the old packaging come complete with an outer cardboard box, and an inner wood box. But the first evident difference is that the new packaging now includes an additional outer cardboard sleeve. Once removed, you can then see the differences between the outer cardboard boxes:

In this photo, I’ve removed the outer sleeve on the new packaging on the left. You can now see the new cardboard box – it’s much less “busy” than the older style cardboard. I like the new outer box quite a bit more – it seems classier to me.

OK, now I’ve taken the inner wood boxes out of the outer cardboard boxes. You can see the new box on the left is a bit bigger than the old box. That wavy, plastic looking section in the center of the lid on the left box doesn’t exactly thrill me. And while the old style box on the right was wood, I can’t guarantee what the box on the left is made of. It’s sturdy and solid, but could well be hardened plastic – it’s hard to say.

Opening the boxes, you can see a big difference on the inside. Rolex used to use green tissue paper (as seen in the box on the right) as “padding” for the watch. The new box on the left has a nice soft, padded cream interior which keeps the watch it carries MUCH more safe and secure. This is a big improvement by far. Interestingly enough, the new box has what appears to be a section in the lid suitable for holding paperwork. However, the current folder which holds the Rolex watch manuals and warranty paperwork don’t fit in this section, so I’ve not idea if this little compartment has a practical use. You can also see that while both boxes include a Rolex logo polishing cloth, included in the new packaging is…drum roll please….yet another polishing cloth. Again, I haven’t the slightest idea as to why.

Here I have removed the green tissue paper from the box on the right so you can see the dramatic difference in how the interior of the box looks. This is a dramatic improvement from a functional standpoint.

Here’s a photo of my D series LV Submariner in the new box with the new additional polishing cloth. While it’s a dice roll which packaging will come with an F series watch, if you buy a D series watch and it comes in the older style packaging, you really should complain and make the dealer give you the newer version. In most respects, I find it superior to the old style packaging.

I hope you found this tour of the new Rolex boxes of interest. Like most people, my boxes sit in a dresser drawer, but I find myself getting the boxes out now and again, and for some odd reason, I feel cheated if I buy a good watch and it doesn’t come with a nice box.

You can discuss this article in the Rolex Forum of my online luxury watch discussion forum community WATCH TALK FORUMS.

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