Luxury watch owners in Switzerland and Japan have the highest financial returns compared to other luxury collectors worldwide.
- Luxury watch collections in Switzerland and Japan have appreciated an average of 40% since purchasing, according to the trading platform Chrono24.
- Collectors in the two countries own around 6 pieces, but the median collection value (MCV) is $68,700 in Japan and $48,700 in Switzerland.
- In Hong Kong, collectors have an average of around 7 luxury watches that have appreciated by 38%, with an MCV of $83,000.
- U.S. watch collectors have an average of 6 pieces worth $38,400 and an average return of 31%.
Why it’s news
Despite the luxury watch market significantly winding down over the last few months, luxury watch collectors see a return on investment, with the highest rate being seen in Switzerland and Japan.
Financial returns earned by luxury watch collectors are the highest in Switzerland and Japan compared to other countries, possibly because both countries are home to many top watch brands, allowing residents to have better knowledge and easier access to high-performing brands.
Switzerland has many major luxury watch brands, including Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe, while Japan is home to Seiko, Grand Seiko, Citizen, and other major brands.
A study by Chrono24 on its users and 1.3 million watch collectors found that watch collectors in Switzerland and Japan have the highest return on investments, with an average of 40%.
Countries on the lower end include the Netherlands with 24%, Germany with 25%, and Austria and Belgium with 26%. The United States fell in the middle with 31%, along with the United Kingdom with 30% and Spain with 31%.
The total collections tracked on Chrono24 are worth more than $49.7 billion, marking just a small fraction of the estimated $750 billion value of all the watches in the world, according to the company.
The market winds down
Return on investments for luxury watches is high, considering the market dropped significantly at the end of 2022.
Watches of Switzerland Group Plc, the top Rolex seller in the U.K., had disappointing sales in the U.S. for the third quarter. Sales dropped to the lowest level in over two years, disappointing analysts and boosting predictions that the luxury watch market is slowing down.
The luxury watch market had a good couple of years as more people started buying luxury watches during and after the pandemic, but sales in the third quarter dropped considerably, making analysts predict an oncoming downward trend.
The low spending in the watch market has been linked to U.S. consumers cutting back on spending due to high inflation and slowing economic growth.
Watches of Switzerland Group has a long waitlist for its luxury watches, but CEO Brian Duffy says many customers on the lists for multiple watches have been declining the purchase when the watches become available.
He also says that many of the top brands have raised prices this year by an average of 4%, including Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, and Zenith, which could lead to a purchasing slowdown.