Watches

4 Takeaways from Chrono24’s Analysis of the Luxury Watch Market

WatchesAug 04, 2022

4 Takeaways from Chrono24’s Analysis of the Luxury Watch Market

The watch seller comments on future demand, how the crypto crash impacted Rolex and Patek Philippe pricing, the supply recovery, and more.

Direct-to-consumer watch retailer Chrono24 crunched its numbers to share a few key insights into the luxury watch market.
Karlsruhe, Germany—Growth in the worldwide luxury watch market will hold steady in the second half of the year despite reports of a downturn, direct-to-consumer watch seller Chrono24 said in a recent analysis.

The e-tailer analyzed its market data, based on more than 507,000 watches from 129 countries that are currently for sale on Chrono24.com.

After digging through the data, Chrono24 shared its insight on trends and price development in the luxury watch market.

Here are the key takeaways.

The “Crypto Crash” has hurt luxury watch pricing.

Cryptocurrency investors have had a rough year, with analysts warning of a “crypto winter” ahead, lingo for a prolonged bear market.

The crypto market rallied in 2021 but has lost $2 trillion in value this year, according to CNBC.

Bitcoin, the most popular of the digital coins, is down 70 percent from its all-time high of close to $69,000 in November.

The downturn has directly impacted luxury watch pricing, said Chrono24, especially for brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe.

A rise in crypto led to an influx of luxury watch buyers but as the market fell, so did demand, sending prices lower.

An increase in supply means lower prices, but sales remain strong.

“We are currently experiencing a consolidation of the market—there is more supply, and thus prices are falling,” Chrono24 co-CEO Tim Stracke said.

The supply of “unicorn” or “trophy” watches, like the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711A or the Rolex Daytona, were in limited supply for a long time, he noted, but as more become available, the price naturally falls.

However, Chrono24 has seen a significant increase in overall trading volume, up more than 50 percent year-over-year in the first half of the year, due to both rising prices for some models and increasing sales.

“The current price development therefore possibly provides a good opportunity to enter the watch market,” said Stracke.

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For some models, prices are still well above the list price.

A Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711A is currently selling for around $190,000 on Chrono24, down from its first quarter high of $240,000 but still more than five times its list price.

However, there is some evening-out of prices occurring within brands, noted Stracke, meaning that while some models are seeing price spikes, others aren’t seeing as much growth.

“In recent months, prices for individual models from certain collections have risen extremely, while very similar watches—for example, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A with moon phase display—have seen much less growth in value by comparison,” he said.

“In this respect, an adjustment and homogenization of prices within the model series is also currently taking place.”

The shortage of select watches has led to strong sales for other brands.

The supply of trophy watches, like the Rolex Daytona or Submariner, the Patek Philippe Nautilus or the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, is slowly recovering but availability was limited for a while.

In that time, consumers sought out other brands to fill the gap.

“Based on our data, we see significant price jumps for watches like the Girard-Perregaux Laureato. Demand for virtually all models from the Omega Speedmaster collection has risen significantly, as have sales prices, due in part to the enormous publicity success of the Moonswatch, a collaboration between Swatch and Omega,” said Stracke.

He also noted a significant rise in price and demand for Cartier and Breitling watches.

Independent watch brands like H. Moser & Cie. and Czapek & Cie are also gaining traction.

“The general growth in the luxury watch segment is thus unbroken, and Chrono24 expects a further increase in sales in the second half of the year,” said Stracke. 

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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