Welcome to the first edition of BH Market Watch, a monthly look at the preowned Australian watch market, using data from locally based marketplace aggregator Wristies. In this series, we’ll be taking a closer look at the preowned watches Australian collectors are buying and selling every month, keeping our finger on the pulse with data from Australia’s best watch dealers and community-run Facebook groups.
We’ll be tracking the trends of the best selling brands and models and the watches that enthusiasts are searching for the most. We’ll also be doing our best to highlight watches that represent good value, while also shining the spotlight on the rarest and most unusual timepieces that are hitting the market each month.
The preowned watch market is already a critical part of the watch industry, and it’s only getting more important. According to an estimate by McKinsey, the preowned watch market hit $24.33 billion in 2019, with forecasts that the market could hit $40.55 billion by 2025, vastly outstripping the growth of the retail watch market for pace.
In the month of October, Wristies reported the value of the preowned Australian market to be $23.8 million, up from just under $17.9 million in September (perhaps explained by lockdowns ending in Sydney and Melbourne). The watches listed for sale were done so by a healthy balance of commercial dealers and private sellers, split 43% to 57% respectively. As you’d expect, the locations of listings were dominated by the big cities, with Victoria responsible for 37% of listings, followed closely by New South Wales at 34% and Queensland lagging a little at 13% of the total.
The crown in the Rolex logo isn’t for nothing, with the Genevan watchmaker dominating the most sold watches last month. In total, there were 421 Rolex timepieces listed, with an eye-watering total value of $10.2 million, nearly half of the entire market.
Omega claimed the next step on the podium with 248 watches listed for $1.6 million, with Patek Philippe rounding out the top three with 18 watches listed for $1.4 million. Following Patek Philippe to make up the top ten was Audemars Piguet, Tudor, Panerai, IWC, Breitling, TAG Heuer and Jaeger-Lecoultre respectively.
Digging a little deeper into the most popular models that are being listed on the Australian preowned watch market, and Rolex, Omega, Tudor and Panerai was popular once again. A total of 106 Rolex Datejusts were listed for sale with a combined value of $1.7 million, followed by the Omega Seamaster and Speedmaster, with 104 and 82 listings respectively.
What are people looking to buy the most? Once again, the Big Crown dominates with 21% of searches for the Rolex Submariner, 6% for the GMT Master II and 5% for the Daytona. Omega was the only other brand with double-digit search volume, with 11% of searches for the Seamaster and 10% of collectors hunting the Speedmaster.
Finally, the bargains of October included a Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue that was listed for $4,250 and a time-only Jaeger Le-Coultre Reverso listed for $4,500. At the other end of the market, the stunning 250 piece limited edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 15202IP in platinum and titanium, listed for $262,000.