The luxury resale market has seen a tremendous uptick in the recent past, and rightly so, given the negative impact on the environment. While one has heard of many clothing brands and departmental stores having pre-owned programs, it is unheard of for watches. Timepieces are an investment that last forever and in some cases, are keepsakes. Luxury giant Rolex, has stepped up its game with a certified pre-owned program.
A Rolex is an investment that is built to last several lives. Now, Rolex is offering the opportunity to purchase previously worn timepieces that are certified as authentic and guaranteed by the brand. However, only watches purchased from ADs that are more than three years old will be eligible for the pre-owned program. In many ways, Rolex drives the watch market. And though this isn’t the first time one can pick up a pre-owned Rolex from a given retailer, this is the first time that the sale will be certified by Rolex and include a warranty of two years. While the new watches usually receive a five-year warranty, certified pre-owned ones will only receive a two-year warranty, according to a Rolex press release.
As per the press release “The new programme makes it possible to purchase pre-owned watches that the brand itself has certified and guaranteed. Its aim is to bring added value to the existing supply of pre-owned Rolex watches. Because when these watches change hands, their authenticity must be attestable at the time of resale by the Official Retailers.”
To guarantee the authenticity of the second-hand watch, the resale is by an official retailer and displays the special Rolex-certified pre-owned plaque. It guarantees that these watches benefit from the quality criteria inherent to all Rolex products. This exclusive title attests to its authenticity on the date of purchase and proper functioning and is accompanied by an international two-year guarantee. Each watch is presented in a distinctive pouch.
According to a report by WatchCharts, the new decision coincides with a time when the prices for iconic timepieces have come crashing down. The price of the Rolex Daytona has dropped from a peak of $48,500 in mid-March to around $30,151. However, a recent report by the business of Fashion also stated that the luxury watch market could have peaked. According to McKinsey, the pre-owned luxury watch market was worth $18 billion in 2018; it is poised to grow to $30 billion by 2025. Due to manufacturing closures amid the pandemic, as well as supply chain issues, watchmakers and brands produced even fewer products last year and hence there is an increase in demand and prices of secondhand luxury watches. Further, another reason for the increase in the second-hand luxury watch market could be he popularity of luxury resale sites such as Rebag in the United States.
Rolex-certified pre-owned watches will initially be available at Bucherer boutiques in six select markets including Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Denmark and the UK beginning this month. In 2023, the Crown will expand the program to other Rolex-authorized retailers, hopefully including some outposts in the States.