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We should start with the quality of Rolex, which is exceptional. There is much research development in order to keep Rolex the most effective and innovative on the market, and that alone is very costly.
Rolex watches are extraordinarily durable.They are the only watches that use 904L stainless steel rather than 316L stainless steel. 904L is incredibly hard, corrosion resistant and basically indestructible. Rolex actually needed to replace all of their production facility because of how difficult the metal is to machine. Every watch that leaves the Rolex factory is tested by an independent Swiss chronometer testing institute.
Sir Edmund Hillary was the first person to climb Mount Everest in 1953, and he did so wearing a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. Ed Viesturs followed in 1994 wearing a Rolex Explorer II. Both of the watches survived the feat in perfect working condition; Viesturs still wears his to this day. Many Rolex models are water-resistant up to 100 meters, meaning not only can you wear it swimming or diving but even snorkelling. Some can even handle water pressures up to 300 meters!
Rolex develops and manufactures their own in-house movements. Opposing other brands that buy theirs off the shelf and slightly tweak them. These movements take time and money to perfect, as the parts are quite small and have a high failure rate during the manufacturing process. The movements are all put together by hand by the skilled craftsmen in Switzerland, the base of Rolex. They have master craftsmen who make sure every individual screw, gem, and marker are perfectly in place, and even hand-place each bezel. Rolex also melts down their own precious metals such as gold and silver for use. They are backed by an army of gemologists who specialize in testing and integrating diamonds and gold into their products. Jewelers are used to hand pick and set diamonds and other various precious stones into the fabulous watches.
So much goes into these works of art; they are very much worth their price. Not only do they hold their value, but it increases yearly.