In September 2023, the Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index reported a 2.2% decline for Rolex timepieces, while the index for 100 entry-level watches, typically priced under £7,500 ($9,120), experienced a 0.8% decline over the same period.
These findings suggest that collectors and enthusiasts are continuing to exercise caution when considering investments in highly marketed models from top Swiss brands. This cautious behavior follows a period of significant price escalation in 2021 and early 2022 when pre-owned Rolex, Patek, and other high-end models achieved unprecedented highs on the secondary market.
Nevertheless, beginning in April 2022, prices began a notable descent, coinciding with the uptick in interest rates and the unraveling of numerous cryptocurrencies.
Among the assortment of watch brands, Cartier, best known for iconic models such as the Tank and Santos, exhibited the most favorable performance, with its brand index experiencing only a 0.4% decrease. On the other hand, the index for Omega models, which encompasses the Speedmaster Moonwatch, saw a decline of 1.2%. The index for Tudor models, Rolex’s budget-friendly sister brand, also recorded a 1.8% decrease.
In the last half-year, budget-friendly entry-level timepieces have showcased stronger performance in contrast to the broader market, which includes the Rolex and Patek Philippe indexes.
The Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index, which encompasses the 50 most heavily traded watches by value from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet, has witnessed a roughly 5% decline in the past half-year. Conversely, the Entry-Level 100 index saw a 0.7% decrease over the same timeframe.
The Cartier index, which includes models priced below £7,500, has been the top performer, with a 2% gain over the past six months.
According to Subdial data, one exception to the cheaper watch trend has been Tudor, Rolex’s brand, whose entry-level priced watches have seen a decrease in value over the past six months.
Nonetheless, the majority of watches in the Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index from Patek, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex continue to command prices on the secondary market that exceed their listed retail prices.
Most entry-level priced models from brands like Breitling, Cartier, and Omega tend to trade at levels below their retail prices on the secondary market.
Over the past year, the Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index has experienced a 12% decline, while the Entry-Level 100 index has shown a 1.2% gain.