The once-thriving market for secondhand watches, including renowned brands like Rolex, is experiencing a significant downturn as watch prices continue to fall. Following a surge in prices during the Covid-19 pandemic, the values of these luxury timepieces have plummeted, marking a stark reversal in the market’s trajectory. Factors such as increased supply, a slowing economy, rising interest rates, and the cryptocurrency crash have contributed to this slump, resulting in the lowest price levels seen in nearly two years.
The WatchCharts index, tracking the secondhand prices of 30 Rolex models, has now reached its lowest level since 2021, registering a 13.6% year-over-year decrease. Furthermore, Swiss luxury watchmakers are experiencing a similar trend, with prices for their timepieces on the resale market nearing the lowest levels seen in almost two years. Pre-owned watch dealer Subdial’s data suggests that a combination of a slowing economy, higher interest rates, and the crash in cryptocurrencies contribute to this slump. In February 2022, resale prices for watches from renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe peaked due to an unprecedented surge as the pandemic situation improved. However, models from these brands, along with other prominent players like Audemars Piguet, have now fallen significantly from those record highs.
WatchCharts Rolex Market Index
In recent months, watch dealers and investors have flooded the market with once highly sought-after models such as Rolex Daytona, Patek Nautilus, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. As a result, the luxury watch market index compiled by WatchCharts, comprising 60 watches from the top 10 luxury watch brands based on transaction value, has seen a notable 18% decline in the past 12 months.
WatchCharts Overall Market Index
The once thriving market for secondhand watches has experienced a significant decline in prices, reversing the rally that emerged during the pandemic. Increased supply, a slowing economy, higher interest rates, and the cryptocurrency crash have all played a role in driving down prices. Buyers who acquired luxury watches at the peak of the market in 2022 are now likely to face losses on their investments. With secondhand watch prices at their lowest levels in nearly two years, the market has undergone a substantial shift, marking a new phase for collectors, investors, and enthusiasts alike.
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