Tuesday, May 28

Rolex, Patek prices hit fresh two-year lows: Subdial Index

Prices for used Rolex and Patek Philippe watches fell to fresh two-year lows on the secondary market last month as demand for pricey timepieces continued to decline amid rising supply.

The Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index dropped 1.8% in October, sinking to its lowest level since 2021. The index, which tracks prices for the 50 most traded watches by value on the secondary market, is now down 42% since a high in April 2022.

The declines follow a massive surge in prices to record levels for the most in-demand Rolex, Patek and Audemars Piguet models during the pandemic. Now that interest rates have jumped amid strong inflation coupled with rising geopolitical tensions and shaky economic growth, watch collectors are curbing timepiece purchases.

Christy Davis, the co-founder of Subdial, a UK-based watch trading platform, said there are signs of further weakening as supply rises and it takes longer for used watch dealers to sell their stock.

“We are seeing growing downward pressure in the market, which could lead to a further downward drift in prices as dealers cut valuations to chase sales,” Davis said in Subdial’s October Market Update.

The number of used watches available on the secondary market has risen by 5% since August, according to Subdial. Price uncertainty, which measures the spread in prices offered for a watch from different sellers, has increased 12% over the same period.

“With more watches available at a wider spread of prices, what we’re seeing is people dropping prices to chase sales going into the holiday season,” Davis said.

As buyers have become more cautious and discerning, the average number of days that a pre-owned watch takes to sell has increased by 8% since August, according to data compiled by Subdial.

A Rolex brand index fell 1.5% last month and is now down 27% since the April 2022 market peak, data compiled by Bloomberg and Subdial shows. An index of Patek Philippe model prices dropped 2.3% in October and is now down 47% since April, 2022.

While secondary market prices for Rolex and Patek watches have corrected sharply since their peak, the most in-demand models for both brands continue to trade well above the prices they are sold for at retail. – Bloomberg

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