By Brecken Branstrator
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is among the most sought-after watches on The RealReal, the luxury resale site said. Pictured here is the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master with the “Pepsi” bezel, introduced at Baselworld 2018.
New York—Consumers are increasingly turning to luxury resale items to reduce their “fashion” footprint, and high-end watches are one category benefitting from that, The RealReal said in its Luxury Resale Report 2019.

The report, based on sales and demand data from millions of shoppers and items sold, shows that 82 percent of customers said sustainability is an important reason for shopping on The RealReal, while 56 percent of consignors cite it as a key motivation to consign.

“We’re seeing resale shift people’s shopping habits in the primary market,” said Allison Sommer, The RealReal’s director of strategic initiatives.

“As shoppers get savvier about how they invest and the impact what they’re buying has on the planet, they’re turning to luxury resale as both a replacement for fast fashion and a barometer of value.”

The RealReal said watches saw 132 percent growth in overall demand year-over-year, noting that the Apple watch fell to the bottom while high-value mechanical watches climbed to the top.

What’s more, while all high-value watches saw year-over-year sales growth, the greatest growth came from the category of timepieces priced above $30,000.

Laif Anderson, The RealReal’s head watchmaker, said: “Savvy buyers are latching onto high-end watches as ultimate statement pieces that are also one of the smartest luxury investments.”

So, what were the most in-demand watches on the site?

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Cartier’s Tank Francaise and Ballon Bleu de Cartier, and Rolex’s Day-Date and Oyster Perpetual were at the top.

Meanwhile, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut and Rolex GMT Master saw the highest year-over-year resale value growth among watches priced above $5,000, increasing 42 percent and 34 percent, respectively.

In fashion, the resale site said Gucci and Louis Vuitton remain the most in-demand brands, leading the list of top 10 searched-for brands on The RealReal.

They both grew at the expense of No. 3 Chanel, widening the gap over the brand by 334 percent and 227 percent year-over-year, respectively, The RealReal said.

It added that “Gucci’s dominance shows no signs of slowing,” as demand for the brand is up 78 percent and it ranks No. 1 with both women and men.

Gucci’s “most obsessed”-over items were a suede mini bag, a leather belt with a “Double G” buckle, and a walnut teddy bear. Louis Vuitton’s were two different backpack styles.

Balenciaga made it into the top 10 for the first time—The RealReal attributed the brand’s growth, along with that of Dior and Fendi, to millennial shoppers—while Celine dropped off the list.

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