Rolex, Patek, & AP Prices Are Finally Cooling Off
— Updated on 19 September 2023

Rolex, Patek, & AP Prices Are Finally Cooling Off

— Updated on 19 September 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

In an update that’s unlikely to deviate too much from what has already been reported in 2023 (most recently back in August), Rolex prices in the secondary market — along with those of other high-end luxury watch brands, including Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin — are continuing their steady, yet perceptible, downward shuffle.

As numerous industry watchers have observed in the aftermath of the pandemic’s very peak, the financial modelling used to aggregate the performance of these on-again-off-again assets is predicated upon flawed, oftentimes incomplete data sets.

Even so, it’s notable that multiple luxury watch indexes continue to report a decline in secondary market pricing: especially insofar as high-end brands are concerned.

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Rolex prices
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According to Watch Charts, a secondary market analytics platform with sizable credibility inside the global resale space, Rolex prices have seen “an increased rate of decline” in their already downward trending performance; falling a further 2.3%, in addition to what was reported for the first half of 2023.

These findings draw on data from the platform’s own Rolex Market Index, which averages the performance of the brand’s 30 best-selling models into a single value (measured over the course of a year).

Pictured: Audemars Piguet has been particularly negatively impacted by the “near two-year low” in secondary market prices for luxury watches. This is, in part, due to a reliance on the Royal Oak, which accounts for over 80% of the brand’s total pre-owned listings. (Image Credit: @styleternity // Instagram)

While secondary market prices for the world’s most desirable luxury watch brands continue to fall across the board, it’s also worth examining how this broader slowdown has affected Audemars Piguet — the brand that appears most negatively impacted, according to market updates.

Subdial, the London-based CPO platform that helped to pioneer the Bloomberg Watch Index, echoes Watch Charts’ analysis: citing simultaneous price decreases in four Royal Oak references (between March 2022 and February 2023) as evidence that “the hype and culture of flipping that pervaded the [watch] community at the height of the boom has somewhat abated.”

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Inclusion of the phrase “somewhat” seems an apt qualifier.

Despite some element of broad truth to the statement that the market for grail-status sports watches is softer than at any time in the last three years; resale prices are still pitched at a discernible premium over retail.

One need only consult the aforementioned Bloomberg index for a handful of seconds, before stumbling upon the ~$40,322 (US$25,988) street value of your average Ref. 116500LN Daytona — almost twice what authorised retailers may charge for this run-of-the-mill steel number.

That being the case, collectors might well still be better off paying for the (dis)pleasure of their yearly allocation. Business as usual, then.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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