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Who’s buying a Rolex in Fresno?

WORD ROLEXFresno now has its only “authorized” Rolex dealership with the opening of Wickersham Company in River Park. The 112-year-old jeweler from Bakersfield recently opened its second jewelry store/Rolex dealership, this one between Sur La Table and Panera Bread.

Rolex watches start at $5,000 and run up to $275,000. They are “the finest watches in the world,” says Wickersham president John Abrams. The store also sells William Henry knives, some made with dinosaur bone and mammoth tooth and costing up to $8,900, and its own line of jewelry made in Bakersfield. The store has the security to go with such high-end items too, including a vault that holds all the merchandise at night. Customers must ring a bell and a security guard behind glass will buzz them in, and then buzz them through a second door.

Every time I write about a high-end retailer like this one someone says┬áto me, “Oh, Fresno can’t support that.” We’ve definitely got our fair share of poor: One in four residents in Fresno lives below the poverty line. But we also have had Haron Jaguar selling $90,000 cars here for years. Posh in Fig Garden village sells fur coats that cost thousands of dollars and bathrobes at La Rouge in Fig Garden run over $100. The owner of Posh once told me that Fresno’s wealth is quiet, and tends to travel out of town to do a lot of its high-end shopping. The Wickersham president agrees there’s enough wealth to support a Rolex dealership here (obviously) and says companies give the watches as awards.

So just who do you think it is in this town that would buy a Rolex? Is it doctors and lawyers? Farmers?

Responses to "Who’s buying a Rolex in Fresno?"

Elizabeth says:

I don’t get comments like this, they really make this town seem small and closed minded. A city the size of Fresno has all sorts of people from every wealth class. Why shouldn’t Fresno have a Rolex dealer, just like it should have soup kitchens and Chuck E. Cheese’s?

Moreover, whoever is BUYING a Rolex in Fresno is really a question that can’t be answered. Law firms go out of business. Doctor’s practices experience a lack of business. Someone works a part time job and saves for a long long time can get one. The possibilities are limitless.

Bob says:

Of course every city has their rich and poor people. In Fresno’s case, however, this sort of business is not sustainable. The few rich people in Fresno don’t need to shop for a watch every few days. There’s a reason Nordstrom won’t open in Fresno: because the mean household income is far far below 70K. This watch place will be out of business in less than two years.

Matt says:

I wouldn’t be so quick to announce the demise of this new business in Fresno. The story says it is a 112-year-old jewelry store that happens to be an authorized Rolex dealership. There are lots of jewelry stores that do very well in Fresno, and one that sells Rolex watches would be a good fit for the River Park area. It wouldn’t need to sell many of those watches to make a nice little profit, on top of the other merchandise it moves. Besides, if Wickersham Company can make it for 112 years in Bakersfield, surely it has a good chance to do well here in Fresno.

Fiona says:

Spending $275,000 for a watch is not only ridiculous but reprehensible. Consider the expenditure of resources that make this possible and how they could be put to much better use.

Determining the best watch in the world should factor in ALL the costs and benefits – a whole lot more than is being considered here. Consider the total cost and resources required (if you can) when someone spends $275,000 for a watch and others don’t even have the resources available to them necessary to make a living.

Wealth disparity is creating ever more entrenched oligarchies who only consider themselves and how to make more money without considering others or the real costs of their actions.

Ihearttravelling says:

Given that you posted a comment on a website, it can be surmised that you have a computer, internet access, and plentiful access to electricity. Given that most of the world does not have those things, it’s “not only ridiculous but reprehensible” that YOU do, wouldn’t you agree?

Stephen says:

Two words: Teh Geihz.

Gays can’t get their damn civil rights, but nobody turns away when they want to spend that beautiful disposable income they statistically seem to have all over your face.

We also have a lot of fine old Armenian money here, some wonderful nouveau riche folks, and new university presidents willing to part with a few G’s for a nice watch.

Susan says:

Rolex watches are so yesterday. If you even still wear a watch, and have the “need” to wear a brand, a classier one would be Patek Philippe. Just sayin.

Kim says:

Fresno actually has a lot more than people think. a woman that goes to my church carries a different color Birkin bag (they cost $12,000+), Chanel bag, whatever high end designer there is and actually knows a few celebrities, explaining her invitations to the Grammys. there’s lots of wealth here, but like the owner of posh said “it’s hidden”. there’s plenty more where that came from! of you could afford a $12,000 bag and a $220,000 car, I’m pretty sure a $5,000+ watch won’t hurt your budget

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