Swiss watches are in excessive demand lately, however gross sales of second-hand timepieces are additionally booming, pushed by Technology Z consumers who need luxurious items however are additionally sustainability-minded.
The worldwide second-hand watch market is estimated at practically 20 billion Swiss francs ($21.7 billion) and will attain 35 billion francs by 2030, in keeping with a research out in October by the auditing and consulting big Deloitte.
Traditionally the province of collectors scouting for uncommon watches at public sale, the second-hand market is popping more and more skilled with the proliferation of on-line gross sales websites that confirm authenticity — with even the watch producers themselves getting concerned.
“These days, there’s a realisation that we have to devour extra responsibly,” mentioned Fabienne Lupo, the previous head of the Basis Excessive Horology, who organised a second-hand luxurious watch salon in Geneva in November.
The occasion was attended by the net public sale big eBay, the watch gross sales platform Watchbox, and Swiss manufacturers reminiscent of Zenith.
– By no means say new once more –
Lupo mentioned the craze for second-hand watches could possibly be defined by the patron selections of Millennials (born between 1980 and the late Nineties) and Technology Z (born between 1997 and 2010) who’re “very involved about the way forward for the planet, and now not wish to purchase new”.
There may be additionally the style for classic objects “which you can’t discover in every single place”, she mentioned.
And moreover, shopping for sure Swiss luxurious watches new is getting more durable, because the booming market means longer ready lists.
Swiss watch exports hit a brand new file in 2022, climbing 11.4 % year-on-year to 24.8 billion Swiss francs, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Business introduced Tuesday.
“After which there may be the digitalisation which has accelerated with the pandemic,” Lupo advised AFP.
The expansion within the pre-owned watch market is such that the British on-line platform Subdial has developed an index monitoring the 50 most-traded fashions.
The common value fell from a file 45,000 Swiss francs in February 2022 to 35,000 francs in September, which Deloitte known as a “correction” moderately than an indication that the market was shrinking.
Gross sales platforms for licensed pre-owned (CPO) watches are multiplying on-line, with the sector nonetheless attracting new entrants, together with the US website Bezel, which counts former Disney president Michael Ovitz, comic Kevin Hart and singer John Legend amongst its buyers.
The luxurious big Richemont — which owns the Cartier, IWC and Piaget manufacturers — entered the sector as early as 2018, shopping for the British platform Watchfinder.
Rolex additionally took the plunge in December, pulling the rug from beneath the counterfeiters by launching a CPO programme with the Swiss retailer Bucherer, which authenticates the watches.
The programme is ready up in six international locations, together with Britain and France, with the purpose of extending it to america sooner or later.
– Watch your picture –
“Watch producers usually have been nervous concerning the secondary market because it was intently related to the gray market, the place discounted watches could possibly be discovered,” mentioned Jon Cox, an trade analyst with the Kepler Cheuvreux monetary companies firm.
“Nevertheless, they realise there’s a halo impact of getting robust secondary costs, enhancing the model worth of the first watches,” he advised AFP.
For top-end luxurious manufacturers like Richard Mille, the place common watch costs exceed 260,000 Swiss francs, second-hand timepieces are even a approach of enhancing their picture.
“We would have a consumer who tells us, ‘there was a restricted version of 100 watches; it was at all times my dream to purchase one and now I’ve the cash — however you now not make them and they’re virtually unimaginable to seek out’,” mentioned Alexandre Mille, who took over from his father who based the model.
Mille mentioned his groups can hunt down the sought-after timepiece.
Deloitte’s research discovered that purchasing a less expensive watch was the principle motivation for 44 % of respondents.
However Cox additionally famous that second-hand watches had been a “retailer of wealth”, being “worn and proven off for years however nonetheless retaining worth to be resold so one other watch will be purchased as a replacement”.