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Rolex and Patek Philippe Prices Hit a Two-Year Low on the Secondary Watch Market

Two leading watchmakers are experiencing a slight dip on the resale market. 

Prices for Rolex and Patek Philippe timepieces fell to new two-year lows on the secondary market last month, according to Bloomberg. This latest report is a departure from a few years prior, when the duo saw numbers surge to record levels for high-demand wrist candy during the pandemic. But now experts believe collectors are avoiding high-end watch purchases due to spiked interest rates amid inflation and a rising supply of watches.

Data compiled by Bloomberg and Subdial, a U.K.-based watch trading platform, shows a Rolex brand index fell 1.5 percent last month, and it’s now down 27 percent since the April 2022 market peak. An index of Patek Philippe model prices, meanwhile, dropped 2.3 percent in October and is now down 47 percent since last April. 

The Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index, which tracks the 50 most traded watches by value on the resale market, dropped 1.8 percent in October, its lowest level since 2021. The index is down by 42 percent since April 2022. “We are seeing downward pressure in the market, which could lead to a further downward drift in prices as dealers cut valuations to chase sales,” says Subdial cofounder Christy Davis in the company’s October Market Update. 

Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P Tokyo Limited Edition

Patek Philippe Ref. 5308P Tokyo Limited Edition

Yet, the number of used watches on the secondary market has risen by 5 percent since August, the online platform says. Price uncertainty, which measures the range of costs offered for a watch from different sellers, also increased by 12 percent 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 says. 

The average number of days it takes for a pre-owned timepiece to sell has increased by 8 percent since August, Subdial data shows. Given collectors’s new-found discernment, pre-owned watch stock may take longer for dealers to sell. In-demand models by both Rolex and Patek, meanwhile, continue to trade well above retail prices.

And if you’re on the hunt for a rare piece of your own, Andy Warhol’s Vintage Patek Philippe is headed to auction—and it’s expected to fetch up to $600,000.

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