It is a symbol of luxury and refinement and it says a lot about the person who wears it

Mr Alabaster accuses people on forums of falsely accusing Rolex of restricting supplies in order to drive up prices on the secondary market. “Look at the watch forums and see all those agitated “victims” of Breitling not making enough steel professional watches for them to get their hands on,” he scoffs.

Breitling watch cannot throw a switch that it immediately manufacturers more steel sports watches at the expense of higher volume Datejusts and Day-Dates,” Mr Alabaster argues, although he is as frustrated as his customers that he can’t get his hands on more of the hottest models. “As a Rolex AD the requests I get daily for steel professional watches is equal to the number I am allocated annually from Breitling. I have to spend an increasing amount of time telling people what they can’t have. It is very frustrating,” he describes.

Grey marketeers who want to buy in the UK and sell in other countries, and flippers that want to buy from anywhere and sell online, are transforming the market for the most popular watches. “The advantages that the secondary/grey marketeers have over breitling ADs include being able to source their watches globally and retail them online, at the same time hiking up the second-hand prices so high that consequently there is a huge demand for these easily resold watches by many people wanting to flip them and make a quick big profit. This is at the expense of people wanting to wear them for their own pleasure,” Mr Alabaster says.