When you hear names like Rolex and Cartier, you instantly think, luxury. Names that these days, are driving a movement — the pre-owned luxury watch movement.
The availability of pre-owned luxury watches is drawing attention around the globe, sparking interest among those who would like the opportunity to own a quality watch. Some are vintage watch enthusiasts who have never had the pleasure of owning such a remarkable piece while others are collectors of rare luxury watches that are no longer in production.
Are you one of these luxury watch lovers? If so, the pre-owned luxury watch movement is booming, and plenty of unique pieces are available to choose from!
An Inside Look Into the Pre-Owned Luxury Watch Market
If the pre-owned luxury watch market has recently caught your eye, you're certainly not alone.
The market for pre-owned luxury watches has exploded during the pandemic. However, there was already significant momentum toward the appreciation of pre-loved luxury watches before COVID-19, particularly in Asia. Millennials were looking for unique, well-made, or vintage products, seeking watches that are no longer produced.
Today, this trend is growing around the globe, driven by younger consumers, cost-conscious shoppers, and collectors. After all, who wouldn't want to wear a Rolex, OMEGA, or Cartier? Especially those that have history — the watches themselves tell a story.
These buyers are showcasing the value of these watches. By highlighting the lifespan of a quality-made watch, more and more are being drawn to the luxury watch resale market.
What Makes a Luxury Watch, Luxury?
Brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe speak for themselves. These brands scream luxury, but how did they get to that point?
While style and design have plenty to do with it, luxury watches are of extraordinary quality and sold at a premium price. Manufacturers also limit production, creating scarcity. This is why some secondhand watches reach market prices above their original purchase price.
Watch enthusiasts appreciate the attention to detail that goes into a luxury watch. For many, distinction and rarity are what they look for. Others focus on the unmatched performance and the inclusion of precious materials. Regardless, luxury watches have a certain feel to them and are often a great investment.
Rolex Is One Brand Fueling Luxury Watch Sales
There's a reason Rolex is the most recognizable luxury brand. Worn by everyone from Winston Churchill to Martin Luther King, Jr., Rolex is known for its craftsmanship, quality, versatility, and accurate performance. Made using rare materials, these watches quickly became a true status symbol.
The history of Rolex began in 1905 when Hans Wilsdorf envisioned a watch that could be worn on the wrist — and not just any watch. Wristwatches were not very precise at the time, so he dreamed of an elegant watch that was also reliable. A Swiss watchmaking company then manufactured his innovative pieces, and Rolex was born.
Although the most basic models start around $5,000, there are Rolex watches on the market that are worth more than $90,000, and historical pieces have sold for millions. Today, some of the most popular models include the Submariner, Daytona, and classic Oyster.
Rolex handcrafts around one million pieces each year, and while there is always interest in the latest models, the resale market is on fire. Like any product, the supply and demand of a Rolex watch will determine its value. The same goes for any pre-owned luxury watch. For example, once a brand confirms they are stopping production of a watch, the demand for that watch on the second-hand market increases.
Other Key Brands Within the Current Pre-Owned Luxury Watch Market
Besides Rolex, two other common brands in the resale market are OMEGA and Cartier.
The history of OMEGA watches dates back before Rolex. First founded in 1848, OMEGA watches were made in a small Swiss workshop by Louis Brandt. Before he passed away in 1879, he built a modest business, selling his pieces to customers around the world. His sons carried on his legacy, and by 1905, OMEGA was honored with the role of official timekeeper at sporting events throughout Switzerland. The Constellation Baguette is the most pricey OMEGA watch, selling for more than $700,000. With 30 carats, 459 Wesselton diamonds, 146 trapeze and Baguette diamonds, and a case made from 18-carat white gold, it screams luxury.
Cartier has an equally impressive history. In 1847, Jeweler Louis-François Cartier founded this timeless brand, which is known for pushing the boundaries. Drawing inspiration from lands near and far, each piece is crafted with excellence and diversity in mind.
Who You Buy From Matters
With any movement, there will be reputable sellers and those who are not exactly trustworthy. Sadly, many online sellers deal in fake luxury watches — and they can be hard to identify by the untrained eye.
That is why you should rely on a trusted local jeweler. Not only will we ensure authenticity, but we also have the best selection in Kansas City. And if you’re looking for something specific, please let us know -- we can keep an eye out for the pieces you’ve been specifically searching for.
If you’re in the market for a pre-owned luxury watch, stop by our Leawood, KS showroom to view our current and ever-changing collection!