The leading online marketplace for luxury timepieces has just released its first Collectors Report based on the data of more than 1.3 million Chrono24 users and the 3.7 million-plus watches they’ve collectively registered via the site’s Watch Collection tool. The findings show the size, value, and financial returns of collections in various international markets.
“In addition to being able to track and provide users the monetary value of any given watch over time, we can see ownership patterns on a global scale, across millions of watches,” CEO Tim Stracke said in a statement. “In this way, we’re able to offer unparalleled insight on brand reach and market trends comprehensively.”
The collections tracked on Chrono24, which together are worth more than $49.7 billion, have increased in value by an average of 31 percent since the date of purchase. (The site acknowledges that it tracks just a small slice, roughly 7 percent, of the estimated $748 billion worth of watches on the planet.) Collectors in Japan and Switzerland enjoy slightly greater financial returns, though, with collections appreciating at an average of 40 percent. The collectors in these two countries own on average 6.4 timepieces, but the median collection value (MCV) sits at $68,700 in Japan and $48,700 in Switzerland.
Watch enthusiasts in Hong Kong, meanwhile, have an average of 7.2 models in their portfolios that increased in value by 38 percent for a rather juicy MCV of $83,000. Closer to home, collectors in the U.S. (Chrono24’s largest user group) own 6.2 pieces worth $38,400. Stateside collectors have seen an average ROI of 31 percent.
In addition to collector behavior, the report shows which watchmakers are performing best. Unsurprisingly, Rolex was the most popular brand in all countries. Almost half (47.6 percent) of the watches in Italy tracked on Chrono24 were Rolexes, followed by Japan (39.2 percent), Hong Kong (38.5 percent), and Switzerland (34.6 percent). Omega was the second most collected brand across most countries, with European collectors being the biggest fans of the Swiss brand. Patek Philippe accounted for a substantial share of collections, specifically in China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
But no matter where you are in the world, one thing is for certain: Luxury watches—and their status as a good investment—is something that translates into a lot of different languages.