The secondhand luxury watch market is growing so fast that soon the market for new watches could begin to shrink.
Fantasy? Perhaps. But a growing number of industry insiders say that during the next five years buyers drawn to lower prices, easy access to products in high demand and proof of resale values may well turn to the pre-owned market — and turn their backs on traditional retail.
This secondhand boom is being fueled by a new breed of upscale pre-owned retailers like WatchBox and Chronext, and by Watchfinder, which the Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont bought in 2018.
Typically, these businesses have high-functioning websites, supported by brick-and-mortar outposts in strategic locations like London and Hong Kong. In addition to reselling watches, they buy or trade them, giving customers access to the equity in their collections.
(And they definitely prefer the label “pre-owned” to the more commonplace “secondhand.”)
“Pre-owned watches are a platform for both newcomers in the watch industry and existing watch collectors,” said Mohammed Seddiqi, chief commercial officer of the prominent Middle Eastern watch retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. “For people who are starting a collection, it is good way to find what they are looking for.”
The growth in sales of pre-owned watches is part of a global surge in sales of all kinds of secondhand goods, spurred largely by young shoppers focused on ecological concerns. Read more about how secondhand is moving up in the watch world on the New York Times website HERE (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/fashion/watches-secondhand-watchbox-watchfinder.html)