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Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet Watches Decline on the Secondhand Market as Cartier Slowly Moves Up

LONDON — The secondhand watch market is experiencing a slowdown just as luxury is in the current economic climate.

In a new report from Morgan Stanley and WatchCharts, prices for watches have decreased in the fourth quarter for the seventh consecutive time. Last time peak prices were reached was in May 2022.

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Fourth-quarter prices have fallen by 2.8 percent, which have affected the big three brands — Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet — as well as other luxury watch firms.

The data suspects that the pricing pressure could linger for the next six months as a result of dealers holding out on older products that they purchased at a higher price.

The prices of secondhand watches declining will have an “incremental negative data point” for the likes of Compagnie Financière Richemont, Swatch Group and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. There has been a moderation of Swiss watch exports since last summer.

LE MANS, FRANCE - January 01: Actor Steve McQueen as racing driver Michael Delaney is seen wearing a Rolex Submariner watch whilst on set for the film 'Le Mans' circa June 1970 in Le Mans, France. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet account for 66 percent of all transactional values, their prices declined by 1.6, 4.4 and 4.5 percent, respectively.

In 2023, the three brands were down by 8, 16 and 18 percent, respectively.

Even though Richemont experienced the largest fall in secondhand prices, Cartier proved to be the group’s number-one brand as it was the only one to witness a price increase of 1 percent in the secondhand market.

In 2022, Cartier accounted for 39 percent of the group’s watch sales.

Swatch Group remained flat with a decrease of 0.2 percent, but none of the group’s brands accumulated any attraction in the secondary market.

LVMH’s secondhand prices declined by 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

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