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Houston's New Rolex Store

Exclusive look: Inside the first stand-alone Rolex store in Texas, the mystique (and money) lives on

Clifford Pugh newest column mug head shot
Rolex Boutique Galleria Clifford Video still
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner sports watch. Photo by Joel Luks
Rolex Boutique Galleria Clifford Video still
The Rolex President watch in several styles. Photo by Joel Luks
Rolex Boutique Galleria Clifford Video still
General manager Phyllis Trogdon, right, explains the Rolex mystique in the video, above. Photo by Joel Luks

If Texas had an official state watch, it would likely be a Rolex. Those who have made it in the Lone Star State have one (or several). Those who aspire to make it want one (or several).

Given the exalted status of the luxury Swiss watchmaker in Texas, it sure took a long time for a stand-alone boutique to open in the state (although six premier jewelry stores already represent the brand in Houston). The first such store exclusively devoted to the watch recently opened in The Galleria, across from the Louis Vuitton boutique, with more than 450 watches of all makes, styles and sizes.

"The sky's the limit," Deutsch said, although the average cost of a Rolex sold at the boutique is $10,000 - $12,000.

The store, which is operated by the longtime Houston jeweler and Rolex representative Deutsch & Deutsch, is designed to exact specifications of Rolex officials in Geneva, with an open, inviting design and comforting shades of beige and tan. A three-dimensional green glass wall is meant to emphasize the "swimproof" nature of the brand's watches while the pattern of a stucco wall mimics bezel settings.

A wide array of watches is embedded into the walls in groups of nine and clustered in long glass cases for easy viewing. Among the beauties are the Day - Date series, commonly known as the "President," made famous by Lyndon Baines Johnson, who wore it daily in the Oval office when he was U.S. president in the 1960s.

The distinctive gold bracelet watchband "is what makes it a President," says general manager Phyllis Trogdon. "It's one of our best sellers today."

The watches are each such masterpieces that sales personnel don cloth gloves to carefully handle each one when showing to a customer. Trogdon says that Rolex is the only company that makes 100 percent of its watches in-house — even the boxes are made by Rolex.

Nowadays, with the exception of the smaller ladies watches, all of the styles are unisex. "We're selling as many big watches to women as to men," says owner Lance Deutsch.
 
Men are also just as likely to go for the new sport watches as the traditional models. Prices start as low as $5,000 for a stainless steel model and go up to nearly $100,000 for the white gold Pearlmaster watch with diamonds.
 
"The sky's the limit," Deutsch said, although the average cost of a Rolex sold at the boutique is $10,000 - $12,000.
 
Get a closer look at the new store in the video tour from ace videographer Joel Luks shown above. And dream.

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