In recent years, luxury watches have become an asset class as inventors continue to seek out alternative investments ranging from Nike Air Jordan sneakers to Beeple NFT’s. Since late 2020, the grey market for luxury watches, namely hyped steel and precious metal sports models ranging from the Rolex Submariner 126610LN to the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 have sky-rocketed between 35% to 215% respectively at their peak in March, 2022.
Charts, W., 2022. Market Index. [online] Watch Charts. Available at: <https://watchcharts.com> [Accessed 19 September 2022].
Despite market price falling on average 25% to 40% during the period from March, 2022 to August, 2022, the correction appears to have bottomed with prices stabilizing and steadily rising again. The brands most affected by the market downturn were market leaders Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Rolex.
Supply and allocation of new watches by the brands and authorized dealers remained relatively unchanged. Further, retail price increases of 3% to 7% on current production models during the period softened some of the secondary market decline for the major players.
Independent watchmakers such as F.P. Journe, De Bethune, Czapek & Cie and Kari Voutilainen bucked the trend and remained relatively unchanged with prices increasing on certain models. Other winners at the high-end of the market included Richard Mille, the vintage market, select models that were recently discontinued and references that were made as one-off’s or in very low limited production numbers.
Ben Watches believes that the market is a prime position for a reversal. The company has noticed an influx of first-time buyers, seasoned enthusiasts and collectors alike enter the market as of September, 2022. Watch buyer confidence has increased as the market has shown signs of stabilizing in the short-term.
Despite the early 2020 global events and uncertainty, the watch market remained robust and outperformed the stock market and other traditional financial investments. Some of the recent correction could be attributed to realized inflation, namely in commodities and end-consumer utiltiies, a decrease in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices, softening demand from the Chinese market due to restrictions and a general risk-on market sentiment.
The company believes the cyclical correction is healthy and provides an opportunity for new buyers to come into the market and purchase a timepiece at more affordable price points.
About the Author:
Ben Watches has over 10 years experience in the industry and specializes in new and pre-owned Audemars Piguet, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Daniel Roth, Cartier and other leading and independent brands.
More information about Ben Watches is available on the company’s Official Website.