Rolex has announced plans to certify the sale of pre-owned watches, adding legitimacy to the second-hand luxury watch market.
- The Geneva watch-making company will use expert certification and provide buyers with guarantees of authentic second hand watches.
- Rolex announced plans to sell pre-owned watches through the dealer last week.
- Watches sold through the online platform must be at least three years old. Rolex will guarantee pre-owned watches for two years.
- Certified second-hand watches can only be purchased through dealers authorized by the watchmaker such as Swiss company Bucherer. Other authorized dealers will be announced in the next year.
Why it’s news
Certified sales of the luxury watches will allow first-time buyers easier entry into the market. Though online retailers like Richemont’s Watchfinder and Bob’s Watches won’t be able to receive certification from Rolex, retailers still expect a spike in interest for second-hand watches available on their sites.
The pre-owned watch market has been growing notably over the last few years. Currently, the market is worth around $20 billion and will likely grow to $35 billion by 2030, Deloitte reports.
There are nearly 30 million pre-owned Rolex watches available. The watches make up about 40% of transactions in the largest online watch marketplace, Chrono24.
The online retailer is valued at more than $1 billion and may begin selling shares in an upcoming initial public offering.
Bob’s Watches, a U.S.-based company, specializes in selling Rolex watches. Company CEO Paul Altieri expects its revenue to grow more than $120 million thanks to the popularity of second-hand Rolexes.
Backing up a bit
Interest in owning a pre-owned Rolex spiked during the pandemic as buyers had extra cash on hand for luxury purchases.
Pre-owned luxury watches are a relatively untapped market with potential for massive growth. The market largely lies with millennials who are most likely to buy a pre-owned watch.
Sales of luxury watches spiked during the pandemic when consumers had extra spending money on hand saved by not dining out or traveling. Prices on the second-hand timepieces jumped, only to fall back again in April in line with cryptocurrency and stock market declines.
Despite the drop in price, the market for pre-owned watches still exists. Younger buyers are looking for less expensive items that still have the luxury label.