Sales of pre-owned watches are rising as well, led by Generation Z consumers who seek luxury items but are also concerned with sustainability. Swiss watches are really popular right now.
According to a report released in October by the auditing and consulting juggernaut Deloitte, the global market for used watches is predicted to be worth close to 20 billion Swiss francs ($21.7 billion) and might rise to 35 billion francs by 2030.
The used watch market, which was formerly the domain of collectors searching for rare watches at auction, is becoming more professional thanks to the rise of internet sales platforms that certify authenticity, with even the watch companies themselves getting involved.
“Nowadays, there is a realisation that we need to consume more responsibly,” said Fabienne Lupo, the former head of the Foundation High Horology, who organised a second-hand luxury watch salon in Geneva in November.
Lupo said the craze for second-hand watches could be explained by the consumer choices of Millennials (born between 1980 and the late 1990s) and Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2010) who are “very concerned about the future of the planet, and no longer want to buy new”.
Swiss watch exports hit a new record in 2022, climbing 11.4 percent year-on-year to 24.8 billion Swiss francs, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry announced.
Rolex also took the risk in December by initiating a CPO programme with the Swiss store Bucherer, which authenticates the watches, to pull the rug out from under the counterfeiters.
The initiative has been established in six nations, including Britain and France, with a view to eventually expanding it to the United States.
Second-hand watches were a “store of wealth”, being “worn and shown off for years but still retaining value to be resold so another watch can be bought in its place