This year has seen some incredibly rapid changes in the prices of watches on the secondary (grey market). In particular the full steel sports models such as Rolex Submariner’s, GMT’s & Daytona’s, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak’s and the one with the biggest changes in market prices this year, Patek Philippe Nautilus.
Whilst all of these watches have always been highly sought after and in demand for a long time, the stability of pricing this year has seen some people make quite an incredible return on their investment, and others who purchased at the top of the market lose money just as quickly. Whilst many people turn to the grey market as a way to skip lengthy waiting lists (some 5-10 years) and acquire their dream watch, supply & demand will inevitably dictate prices changing sometimes on a daily basis.
The other factor heavily at play this year has been social media hype. Some watches have seen prices on the grey market increase overnight by up to 30% due to someone famous wearing or talking about a particular piece. Without question this year one of the biggest examples of this was in regard to the Rolex Daytona yellow gold model with the much-coveted green dial. Overnight this particular model and dial became one of the most sought-after watches in the market due to an interview with American singer-songwriter, John Mayer (an avid watch collector). In an interview with Hodinkee “Talking watches,” he expressed he felt it was a watch that had been somewhat overlooked and was a watch of the future. This instantly fueled hype for the watch and a watch that was previously available on display in official dealers you’re now lucky if you can get on the waiting list to buy.
What does the future hold and in particular for 2020? Quite honestly nobody knows… the one thing that’s for sure is that desirability and buyers for these watches have only increased recently and also now represent a solid investment for buyers/collectors. With rumours of particular models getting discontinued the smart money is to buy something you love and something that you don’t mind holding onto for a while. Ultimately watches are made to be worn and enjoyed… if you’re lucky enough to make money at the same time then the pleasure of owning them is even greater.