Gen Z adds second-hand luxury watches to their shopping carts

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luxury watches

The global pre-owned watch market is valued at approximately $21.7 billion.

While the market for Swiss-made watches is expanding right now, sales of used watches are also exploding, thanks to Gen Z consumers who value luxury while also taking sustainability into account.

A study by accounting and consulting giant Deloitte released in October estimated the global second-hand watch market at nearly CHF20 billion ($21.7 billion) and could reach CHF35 billion by 2030. there is. ”

Gen Z

With the growth of online sales sites that verify the authenticity and include the watchmakers themselves, the second-hand market, historically the realm of collectors searching for rare timepieces at auction, has grown more specialised.

“Today there is a realization that we need to consume more responsibly,” said Fabienne Lupo, former president of the High Horology Foundation, which hosted a luxury second-hand watch show in Geneva in November.

Swiss companies including Zenith, eBay, a major player in online watch sales, and Watchbox were present at the event.

Never say new again

Lupo said the second-hand watch craze “has made me very worried about the future of the planet … and I don’t want to buy it anymore.”

There’s also the fashion for vintage objects that are ‘not found anywhere else’.

Additionally, it is getting harder and harder to get a brand-new Swiss luxury watch.

The Swiss Watch Industry Association announced on Tuesday that the value of Swiss watch exports in 2022 will reach CHF 24.8 billion, up 11.4% from the previous year, setting a new record. Lupo told AFP, “And then there is the pandemic-accelerated digitization.”

The growth of the used watch market is so great that the UK online platform Subdial has created an index showing the 50 most traded models. ”

Prices on average dropped from a record-high CHF 45,000 in February 2022 to CHF 35,000 in September. Thing.

Certified pre-owned watch (CPO) sales platforms continue to proliferate online, and the field is still attracting new entrants such as US site Bezel. Michael Ovitz, a former executive vice president of Disney, Kevin Hart, and John Legend are among the investors in Bezel.

Luxury giant Richemont, which owns the Cartier, IWC, and Piaget brands, entered the space in 2018 with the acquisition of the British platform Watchfinder.

Rolex also took a plunge in December, taking the rug off counterfeiters’ feet by initiating his CPO program with Swiss retailer Bucherer to authenticate watches.

The program has been implemented in six countries, including the UK and France, with plans to expand to the US in the future. ”