A luxury cruise ship holiday with the prospect of being able to buy a hard-to-get Rolex while you sip your Mai Tais and play shuffleboard? Sounds pretty good to us…
When I was a kid, my family went on a cruise ship holiday from Australia to New Zealand. Like many big cruise ships, the ship we were on had an onboard ‘mall’ area, including a watch boutique selling mostly affordable to mid-tier watch brands.
I remember desperately wanting some horrendously ugly Invicta dive watch they were selling; a 52mm behemoth of a thing with a chained crown and monstrously thick rubber strap. I thought it looked awesome and begged my dad to get me my first “big boy” watch. Thankfully, he convinced me that it was something I was better off without.
Maybe my childhood watch collecting experience would have gone very differently if I’d been on the Explora I, however – which is about to become home to the world’s first floating Rolex boutique.
WATCH our guide to the most expensive Rolex watches of all time below.
Explora Journeys, a brand-new luxury cruise line that’s part of the MSC Group which is launching its first cruises this year, has confirmed an exclusive partnership with the world’s biggest watch brand to bring Rolex boutiques to the high seas, starting with their flagship, the Explora I.
MSC Group has been a pioneer in bringing luxury watch boutiques to cruise ships. Just last year, MSC announced a partnership with Richemont to bring its innovative multi-brand destination, TimeVallée, to the US for the first time on board the MSC Seascape, which sets sail from Miami, Robb Report reports.
The Rolex boutique on Explora I features a strong nautical theme, with floors and fixtures made from white oak boat decking. Rolex, of course, is a brand that’s intimately associated with the sea as well as boating: just think of the Sea-Dweller, Yacht-Master and Submariner.
Explora I‘s maiden voyage, a 16-day northern European cruise, will depart on July 17th, 2023 from Southampton to Copenhagen.
Here at DMARGE, we’ve written before about what countries are (theoretically) the easiest places to buy Rolexes, as well as the idea of ‘Rolex tourism’. Because it’s so notoriously difficult to get a Rolex at retail – with the brand’s waiting lists for popular models many, many years long – many watch collectors are more than willing to travel around the globe to shop for Rolexes. Why pay a premium on the secondary market when you can put that money towards a bougie holiday instead?
In that sense, maybe Explora I’s Rolex boutique is the solution we’ve all been waiting for. Or maybe it’ll just be a roving waitlist… In any case, it’s a pretty cool development and one that’s likely to get luxury travellers very excited. Anchors aweigh!