The luxury watch market is witnessing intriguing shifts in pricing trends, with Rolex, a perennial leader, experiencing a decline in pre-owned watch prices. Here’s a closer look at the latest developments:
In September, pre-owned Rolex watch prices dropped by 2.2%, according to the Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index. This decline comes on the heels of a period during which Rolex and other top Swiss brands saw their prices soar in 2021 and early 2022.
This dip in Rolex prices suggests that collectors and enthusiasts are becoming more cautious about investing in highly hyped models from leading Swiss brands. This change in sentiment began in April 2022, coinciding with higher interest rates and cryptocurrency market instability.
Interestingly, while Rolex prices declined, entry-level luxury watches valued at or below £7,500 ($9,120) experienced a more modest decline of 0.8% in September. These entry-level watches represent brands like Cartier and Omega.
Among luxury brands, Cartier watches, including iconic models like the Tank and Santos, saw the smallest decline in prices, down just 0.4%. Meanwhile, Omega models, including the beloved Speedmaster Moonwatch, decreased by 1.2%. Tudor, Rolex’s lower-priced sister brand, experienced a drop of 1.8%.
Over the past six months, entry-level timepieces have outperformed the overall luxury watch market and even the Rolex and Patek Philippe indexes. The Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index, which tracks 50 of the most traded watches from top brands, fell approximately 5% in six months. In contrast, the Entry-Level 100 index only decreased by 0.7% during the same period.
One noteworthy exception to the trend of cheaper watches outperforming is Tudor, whose entry-level priced watches have declined by 4.8% in six months, according to Subdial data.
Despite these fluctuations, it’s important to note that most watches in the Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex still command prices on the secondary market that exceed their retail values. On the other hand, entry-level models, such as those from Breitling, Cartier, and Omega, tend to trade below their retail prices in the secondary market.
In summary, while Rolex prices have faced a decline, the luxury watch market remains dynamic and influenced by various factors, making it an intriguing space for collectors and investors to watch closely.