The pre-owned luxury watch segment will surge to $35 billion by 2030 from $20 billion now, accounting for nearly half of the overall market, with younger buyers who see the purchases as investments fueling the trend, according to a report from consulting firm Deloitte.
The report also predicts a jump in the number of watches sold online compared with traditional retail outlets, a further shift by brands to more expensive products and a market driven by younger consumers who view luxury timepieces as investments.
Younger buyers born in the millennial and Gen Z eras are more likely to purchase secondhand watches, as they are more comfortable with buying pre-owned items online and are looking for cheaper prices, according to the report. Almost half of millennials said they would likely buy a secondhand watch in the next year, compared with just 12% of baby boomers.
“Our audience is so different than who you assume a traditional watch buyer to be,” Ben Clymer, the founder of online watch news and retail website Hodinkee, said in the report. “They’re much younger, they’re buying and selling watches much more often, and they care about pre-owned.”
Interest in luxury watches surged during the pandemic as housebound consumers, flush with cash from lack of travel and dining out, began lusting over fancy timepieces online. Prices for pre-owned Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet timepieces soared to record levels.