Despite secondhand watch prices hitting a new two-year low, now might be the time to buy your “grail watch” before the market improves.
If you are in the market for a luxury Swiss watch now might be your best time to buy — just in time for the holidays.
Subdial, a watch industry data provider, reported that its Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index fell again for the month of November, down 3% from the prior month and 10% from a year ago to £26,912, or $33,740 — a new two-year low.
The Bloomberg Subdial Index tracks a basket of the 50 most sought-after watches by value in the secondhand or used market, representing brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe (MC.PA), and Audemars Piguet.
According to the index, the Rolex Submariner with green bezel (the “Kermit”) was the biggest loser, down 4.6% for the month. The yellow gold Rolex Day Date was one of the few gainers, up an index best of 1.3%.
While Subdial noted that the index fell a whopping 40% in the same time period last year, the 10% decline here should not be ignored.
“A 10% decline in a market in the course of a year is significant. While there is relative calm compared to the previous year, to claim that we have stability feels a bit overly optimistic, not to say that it couldn’t be around the corner,” the report said.
Subdial’s insights also reflect what’s happening in the market for new Swiss watches, which had remained strong in 2023. Bloomberg reported Swiss watch exports declined in July for the first time in more than two years, and average growth since then has been trailing the first half of 2023.
That being said, the Subdial team believes there might be a silver lining. Despite falling prices in the secondhand market, there is still volume in terms of transactions, meaning watches are being bought and sold at the same clip — just with declining prices.