Now might finally be the time to snag that watch you’re still kicking yourself for missing a couple of years back.
Secondary market prices for timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet will continue to decline as supply remains relatively high, according to Bloomberg. That said, a number of the most in-demand models continue to sell for more than retail.
Prices for previously owned Swiss watches have steadily fallen since surging in 2021. One reason is that the secondhand-market supply remains high compared to historic levels, though it is starting to dip, according to a new report from analysts at Morgan Stanley and WatchCharts. Two other factors responsible for falling prices include spending changes brought on by concerns about the economy (a.k.a. the “Richcession”) and the crash of the cryptocurrency market over the last year. The WatchCharts Overall Market Index, which tracks trading of the 60 most popular Swiss timepieces, has fallen by over six percent since the start of 2023 and by nearly 17 percent over the last year.
Prices for previously owned Swiss watches may be falling, but several of the most coveted timepieces are still selling for more than they did at retail. The report found that 89 Rolex models, or 79 percent of those tracked by WatchCharts, trade above retail. For Patek, the number of models selling above retail sits at 43, which is 48 percent of its total, and for AP the number is 34, which is 71 percent of its total.
Even this number is falling, though, according to the report. All three brands had a higher number of models trading above retail earlier this year. Rolex had 112 models selling above retail in February compared to 89 in July, meaning the number has fallen by over 20 percent in the proceeding five months. Patek, meanwhile, saw its number fall from 47 to 43, a decrease of 9 percent, and AP from 36 to 34, a decrease of 6 percent.