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The Second Hand Watch Market Continues its Downward Trend

Prices on the second-hand watch market have continued to drop though Rolex still remains fairly strong. ...

As the pre-owned watch market settles down after the crazy highs experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, prices for Rolex and Patek Philippe models have continued to fall, according to a new report from Morgan Stanley and WatchCharts (via Bloomberg). 

While for investors this sounds very doom and gloom, for enthusiasts it finally means that they can grab the pieces they want without having to compete with investors looking to diversify their portfolios. 

According to the report, the global inventory of pre-owned watches remains quite illiquid causing prices to fall. 

Prices peaked in March 2022 before dipping 26% by the end of that year, while 2023 has seen a further 8% decrease from the start of the year until July 2023. 

It isn’t all bad news for investors as timepieces from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet are still trading above their recommended retail price. 

Credit: Bloomberg

It is probably no surprise that pre-owned Rolexes are still the most popular with 79% (89 references) of its models selling over RRP (down from 112 references in July). Audemars Piguet comes second with 71% (34 references) of its references still selling above RRP (down from 36). Patek Philippe comes in at a distant third with 49% (43 references) of its models selling above RRP (down from 47). 

The report suggests that prices will continue to decline.

“Total supply on the second-hand market started to decline,” the report read, “though the overall inventory level remained elevated, and so does the number of median days watches stay on the market before being sold. Given the stock level, it is likely that secondary watch prices will continue to fall in 3Q23.” 

This is good news for enthusiasts, but terrible news for investors. If you’ve been eyeing a piece recently, it might be worth waiting just that little bit longer for prices to fall further. 

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