In the world of luxury timepieces, the price landscape is evolving.
According to a recent report by Bloomberg, prices for pre-owned Rolex watches continued their downward trend on the secondary market last month. In contrast, entry-level brands like Cartier and Omega demonstrated more resilience in the market.
Bloomberg’s Subdial Watch Index revealed that the index of Rolex timepieces experienced a 2.2% decline in September, based on market prices tracked by the index.
Concurrently, an index comprising 100 entry-level watches, typically priced below £7,500 ($9,120), saw a more modest decrease of 0.8% during the same period.
These findings indicate that collectors and enthusiasts are exercising caution when it comes to investing in the hyped models from top Swiss brands. This follows a surge in prices throughout 2021 and early 2022.
The soaring prices for Rolex, Patek Philippe, and other premium pre-owned models on the secondary market during the pandemic came to an abrupt halt in April 2022. This shift was attributed to rising interest rates and the volatile performance of many cryptocurrencies.
Among the brand indices, Cartier watches, including popular models like the Tank and Santos, showed the most resilience, with only a 0.4% decline. The index of Omega models, which includes the iconic Speedmaster Moonwatch, dipped by 1.2%, while Tudor, Rolex’s lower-priced sister brand, saw a drop of 1.8%.
In the last six months, the trend has favoured lower-priced, entry-level timepieces, which have outperformed not only the overall market but also the Rolex and Patek Philippe indices.
According to the Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index, comprising the 50 most traded watches by value, Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet, declined by approximately 5% in the last six months, whereas the Entry-Level 100 index experienced only a modest 0.7% decrease during the same period.
Notably, the Cartier index, encompassing many models with prices below £7,500, showed strength, gaining 2% over the past six months.
However, there was an exception to the trend of cheaper watches outperforming, as Rolex’s sister brand Tudor experienced a 4.8% decline in the value of its entry-level priced watches over six months, according to Subdial data.
Despite these fluctuations, it’s important to note that the majority of watches in the Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex continue to command prices on the secondary market that exceed their listed retail prices.