The Story Behind the strange Domino’s Pizza Rolex

The Story Behind the strange Domino’s Pizza Rolex

Rolex × Domino's Pizza

Whilst Domino’s Pizza and Rolex have both achieved household name status, one is a luxury swiss horology house and the other is a fast food pizza chain. So a collaboration between the two doesn’t seem like a marketing match made in heaven ...

In fact, it seems very bizarre.

So how did it happen?

In the 1980’s, Tom Managhan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, began gifting managers of exceptionally successful Domino’s franchise’s with Rolex watches as an incentive. He realised the incredible power the incentive of a luxury watch had on increasing a franchise's turnover. In his 1986 autobiography, Pizza Tiger, Managhan explains he was first hit with the idea when he gave his own Bulova watch to a franchise manager following a bet:

“I wore a Bulova with our Domino’s logo on its face. A franchisee asked what he had to do to get that watch from me, and I told him, ‘Turn in a twenty-thousand-dollar sales week.’ He did it.”

The condition? Franchise’s had to turn over $20,000 sales in one week. But when this became easier following the growth of the Domino's company and with the value of Rolex watches rising, he tightened the condition to “$25,000” a week for four consecutive weeks. It became known as the “Rolex Challenge”.

On early editions (1980’s-2000’s) the Domino’s Pizza logo was boldly printed on the centre dial with the distinctive Domino’s red and blue colours. This design was later changed during the 2000’s to a more subtle tribute to Domino’s; instead of printing the logo on the dial a small Stainless Steel Domino logo was integrated onto the second link of the Oyster bracelet and there was an additional Domino logo embossing on the case back.

   

Whilst Rolex have collaborated with other brands in the past, like Tiffany & Co, they have usually been brands within the luxury sphere. Though the Rolex × Domino’s collaboration does seem like a mismatch from a marketing standpoint, it has proven fruitful in the world of vintage watch collecting. Double-logo watches (eg. Rolex × Tiffany or Patek Philippe × Gübelin) are known to fetch a premium at auctions and on the general second-hand market because of the rarity factory, and the Rolex × Domino watch is no different....

Rolex produced their collaboration with Domino's on Air-King and Oyster Perpetual models over the years and today you will find only a few of these available on the pre-owned market, and they usually fetch around 20% more than the normal Rolex Air-King and Rolex Oyster Perpetual models that do not have the Domino's logo. So what appears to be a bizarre branding mismatch has in fact added value to this particular Rolex.