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Prices for hottest Rolex models are falling fast says secondary market specialist

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The boom in prices for the hottest steel sports watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe is starting to unwind, according to Philipp Man, co-founder of secondary market specialist Chronext.

The company has been trading in new and pre-owned luxury watches since 2013 and now employs a team of 180 people at its Cologne, Germany, headquarters where every watch it sells is authenticated, polished and refurbished if necessary before being dispatched to customers. It is opening a service center in Toronto, Canada, this year to serve the North American market.

The business began life more as a data-driven trading platform tracking luxury watch prices on the secondary market, and is a treasure trove of data on how every reference launched by the major watchmakers has been performing over the past six years.

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On a visit to the company yesterday, WatchPro asked whether the 2018 spike in prices for the hottest steel sports models was an anomaly, whether it would continue into 2019, or whether recent cooling of prices would continue.

2018 was unique, Mr Man suggested, because normally only a tiny number of watches sell on the secondary market at above retail prices. Last year Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars all had several references selling at over retail.

“Selling at prices above retail is happening more now,” he suggests. “When we started in 2012, the retail price of a 11650 Daytona at the time in steel was £7950 at retail but was sold on the secondary market for £9000 ; it has always been above retail, just not as extreme as today. The Nautilus started being sold at or slightly above retail in 2014. Now we are seeing Black and Blue, Skydweller, Pepsi, Hulk, all selling above retail. That is pretty recent, I would say about the last 16 months,” he adds.

It could be the pre-Basel first quarter effect, but Chronext is currently seeing prices fall.

“If I look at the Pepsi, which I sell every day on Chronext, it does not make sense that it sells above retail as extremely, and I can tell you that the premium above retail, the delta, is decreasing pretty fast. It is still quite significantly above retail, but you can see that gap is going to change pretty quickly. Even though it will remain trading at a premium. You can see a number of watches that were going for crazy prices but are now dropping back towards normal retail. One of those is the 5524G, the blue [Calatrava] Travel Time Pilot from Patek Philippe. When that watch first came out, it was selling for €65,000 on the secondary market. Now it is selling for €40,000; that is a 30% drop in market value and back at around retail value. There has been craziness in the market, and you can see the peaks in prices, but they are decreasing more and more.,” Mr Man describes.

  • Read the full Big Interview with Philipp Man online in February and in the February edition of WatchPro magazine.

Tags : chronextpatek philippeRolexSecondary Market
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

43 Comments

  1. Prices on pre owned may be falling, but there is never any kind if Significant drop in price when buying new from an Authorized dealer. AD shops are currently empty on inventory and sales are down because of the transition from 18 to 19. You cannot sell what is not there. Just like any other product, new models are eagerly anticipated by dealers and consumers.
    Grey Market will decrease price to change from 18 to 19 as well for all the same reasons as an AD? So what is this news report really stating besides Chronext having a markdown?

    *****This is and Advertisement for Chronext and not real news.

    1. Correct the secondary market is increasing. ALL prices are raising. I do consignment luxury watches at my Jewelry store and I am my self a private collector of fine time pieces. All of the popular models are almost impossible to get and always very high priced IE: a Submariner Stainless Black rated good (worn) condition 10k. 2 tone black dial daytona good (worn) condition 15k. Both of these used watches with very minor defects sold for more then unworn retail prices

      *so I agree this is fake news and 100% an ad no truth*

  2. Its always going to happen. Only the stupid think that this crazy prices will continue to go on forever. These are all items that are luxury non life essential items and Rolex are all MASS produced items in the millions. Please get serious no person in their right mind should be paying above MSRP for a modern day Rolex.

    1. They are luxury because not everyone can get them. It called pride dignity and hard work and all you losers wishing the watches where easier too get. Maybe you should work harder if you want luxury and stop trying to bring us that have worked hard down to your low level. Just keep wearing your timex that your can afford because you are too lazy and closed minded to ever make something of your self and stay the fuck out of our, real people, lane and keep driving your Toyota pruis

      1. You are such an arrogant a*******. If you think you are part of the real people, the kind who think because you spend your money on a bit of processed metal out of the ground and made into a watch and it’s expensive….while our world of people is decaying through poverty..partly to do with those said companies who make those watches, because a lot of there precious metals are raped from certain countries which are poor.. your lot are amazing and shallow…. I like Badet and co, got a big g house own loads of money, don’t work but spend most of my time helping others.

      2. Hey ignorant, first how to properly write in the language of your preference, on this case english, if it is you are an american. Toyota Prius, not pruis. When you say timex that your can afford, probably you meant, Timex that you can afford…

      3. I for one is not lazy I love my Timex it takes a licking and keep on ticking as the saying goes I am not caught up in buying luxury items they don’t identify me as a person. I think you need to look within and ask youself why you put people down because they can’t afford materialistic things. I like Toyota the best cars made if you ask me.

      4. Sir,
        Usually I don’t post or reply to comments but excuse me I must say that your a very accomplished idiot I own. A Rolex among other okay watches and I drieve a fucking 2012 Toyota Yaris in which fucking lane that puts me, does it even mean or tell something about me… ? NO
        If you think that your watch or you car makes what you are then you should stop buying watches and start buying books
        And maybe go back to school if you could find one that will still accept you after the interview

        As they say you need a little bit of of everything to make a world…whatever

  3. Hoping for this for the last 5 or so years. Can’t wait for the pre owned market to correct hard to get all these flippers and “investors” out of the market. Insane 5 digits are 100% overpriced

  4. People want what they can’t have. A company like Rolex knows this and controls supply… making it more desirable. This has been throughout history, kids toys, diamonds, heck even media bombarding people on how to live. As an avid watch collector my person opinion is that there are many brands that offer better craftsmanship than a Rolex at a fraction of the cost. My closing remarks would be…buy a timepiece to impress yourself and not to impress others, you’ll save some money in the end.
    Perhaps commen sense wolud have a chance prevail in the world.

  5. This is going to sound crazy. But I think replica
    watches could have an influence on the high-end
    watch movement Only. In so much as,the replica
    watch stimulates desire in owning the real thing.
    I also hate too say, some of the replica’s keep decent
    time possibly influencing high-end prices.

  6. Its a form of corruption. The AD’s are selling to people they know who are the reselling the watches for profit. Its all a corrupt circle and the consumer loses in the end. I urge everyone to just avoid buying on the grey market. Dont fall into these corrupt scum bags

  7. I love my Rolex which I have had for many years. But, the cost in used Rolex watches as well as Omega and others has gone way over the top. Look gentlemen, you are paying top dollar for used watches. Wake up and smell the coffee. There is no way the prices should be as high as they are. Lets bring the prices way down and then buy another luxury watch. It is certainly everyones right to own two or three Rolex’s. I think it is silly, but everyone has a right. I bought my Rolex because I knew it would last forever and I knew I would never need another watch. As it turned out, my stainless steel 1980’s Rolex has lasted forever and I did not need another watch.
    So lets stop the madness and let others who cannot afford the current high prices the opportunity to buy a Rolex. Lets all make an effort to help sink the prices on these used watches drop by 65% percent.

  8. Rolex could produce millions of steel daytonas, but they sent only a few to the shops ( I was working in a flagship store few years ago) Their business behaviour is not going to change, it is like a sale / discount – Forget it!

  9. It is so sad the misinformed people are dominishing the pride of luxury watches if you have the ugly view you have of the finner thing and you are so unsuccessful and as unhappy in your life as you portray in your comments. Maybe you should go get a new battery in your timex and drive off in your Toyota lmfao LOSER……….. and go complain the the racists are holding you back…. And suck at life some more….

  10. Brilliant! Here in uk, suppliers decided to withhold the warranty card for a period of time to stop second hand sale, a little cheeky I think. Now the bubble is bursting I’m sure sales of new and old will fall, not the wisest move from Rolex suppliers.

  11. The whole fantasy world around prestige watches is created to make us part with our money. I am probably as stupid as the next watch lover for allowing the watch illnesss to continue within. I have to tell you guys, I recently bought a Grand Seiko, didn’t need it at all but fell in love with the craftmanship & quality. It is amazing, easily surpasses many top swiss brands. I could easily sell my other watches & this would last a lifetime. The accuracy is just stunning, far better than Rolex, Onega, IWC. If you are looking g for a fine watch, give the GS’s a look. It is all the watch you could ever need.

    1. I’ve have a Grand Seiko SS Divers Watch, a bit overbuilt, however very well made, high quality and very accurate, courtesy of Spring Drive. I have other nice watches, Cartier, Omega and Rolex; my Grand Seiko is the most accurate. I also have 2 UTS divers watches, an indulgence

    2. Couldn’t agree more Simon. I’ve purchase a GS divers myself and it is a truly beautiful hand crafted timepiece. Side by side with my Rolex GMT you really notice a night a day difference. I’ll probably end up selling my Rolex to someone like “truth” so that he could impress everyone around him…

  12. This article doesn’t represent the current GM prices. IMO, main line of this article was taken out of contest. Yes, BLRO(Pepsi MSRP $9250) came down in the price form $18-20K to $16-17K. But it’s the only watch that came down in the price. All other Rolex SS sport models are increasing in the GM prices. So, you can’t just based a whole picture based on one watch.

  13. Also driving the prices are the Hollywood elite trying to impress their friends and the viewers of their TV shows. Ever notice the the different Rolex models that Ellen wears? You can spot many other actors and TV personalities wearing them.

  14. I’m not being a snob by saying… “it’s still only a seiko” but I can’t get over this fact, a lot of brands control their own markets, and almost brainwash you into thinking you need the latest, or most expensive model, some of us are more flash than others, and have no taste, I think if you have the money, you are happy with the price, and you haven’t robbed to get it, wear what you want, “watch and shoes maketh the man”

  15. Would you suspect something other? Offcourse the hot premium of the BLRO would slim down significant.. It is a model in production. But the LV and BLNR aren’t slimming, the newest releases are yes.. I also see a few growers last month that you wouldn’t expect like the 216570 especially in white.. It looks like the market grows towards that reference or Rolex is stopping production? Who knows.. The CHNR is allready dropping as aspecting for a two tone model but i think would be stabel around msrp.

  16. This article is a scam trying to get people to to list on Chronext. Have you looked at the prices on his site??? Higest i have seen for every model! I guess they figured everyone would be scrambling to sell… FAIL!

  17. FIRST off – let me ask some of you fine people – Is it REALLY a matter of necessity to own a Rolex, or a matter of Ego. When I first served in The U.S. Army my Special Forces buddy, a Sergeant who shall go nameless, had a Rolex. I really liked and was attracted to his S.S. Sub w/Date! It looked really solid and had some bling to it with the Rhodium plated hands & hr. markers. I had just started learning about Rolex back then in the late ’80’s. I had a Casio;). Now as a S.F. Operator, OR a Navy SEAL/Diver, I can understand the appreciation for a watch that is self sufficient and most of all dependable with it’s self winding movement, sapphire crystal, screw down crown and 1K’ depth rating!!! You have to know the correct time or lives can be lost when your air runs out of your tank – or you miss your extraction time. I ended up like so many of us getting my first Rolex. Mine was in ’93. I told myself I’ll never wear it if /when I deploy – *don’t want to leave ANYTHING of value to the enemy if I get smoked! It was a S.S. Sub w/Date, of course, and it ran $2,500.00 back then. The non-date was $2k. I loved the watch! Got a lot of looks! Thought it was really bitchin looking and felt nice on the wrist. Then I started really paying attention to it’s time keeping. It gained 3 sec’s a day! I thought that was B.S.!!! That’s 1.5mins a month, 18+ secs. p/yr. I’ll have to keep adjusting it. Why did it cost so much..(Hype)..?!? I then learned that automatics aren’t nearly as accurate as quartz watches. I tired of the Sub., but was more interested in Magnum P.I’s watch – The Pepsi, but what really got me was the Coke. The black and red was AWESOME! I learned that it was at that time $500 cheaper than my Sub. I didn’t understand – It had a more complex GMT movement. Shouldn’t t be more $..?!? I traded in and walked with $500.00 + the watch:) I again gained 3 sec.’s p/day with that one, but I just learned to live with it. Fast forward to civilian life as a Union Electrician, now a Union Contractor – I ended up selling the Rolex Coke GMT. I wouldn’t wear it on the job – you kidding! The guys would’ve razzed the H out of me! So it wasn’t practical. My love of watches grew from that and now I have 10 automatics ranging from my 2- MKII L.R.R.P’s, 2 – Hamilton’s, rare Revue Thommen GMT chrono ETA 7754, S.F. NFW Shumate Diver, Steinhart Ocean 1 Ti GMT, Bulova ETA 2824, and a Rare Bulova Accutron GMT/moonphase ETA 7751, etc. I have since learned to work on watches – opening them up and adjusting them, oiling them, cleaning them, using a watch timer, and now my NON Rolex watches run better @ +1 – 1.5 sec’s p/day now than ANY Rolex I ever owned and at a 1/10th of the price!!! So the big mouth idiot up above^ commenting on how people are poor who cant afford a Rolex needs to man up and STFU^ – Yea YOU^! Is the “Mexican” laborer a pauper because he chooses NOT to buy a Rolex..? He doesn’t need one! He’s more interested in spending his hard earned $ on other things and doesn’t deserve to be shamed for it either! It’s the insecure desk driving idiot who needs a status symbol around his wrist he can flash around does, or so he thinks:/ Are Rolex’s worth the $$$..? Trick Q! S.S. no jewels NO – NO WAY!!!!! The ETA 2893-2 does everything the Rolex 3133 or 3183 movement does, and just as well. Will a Rolex last longer..? NO -same rubies and S.S. parts, and I oil mine with syn;). (I know Rolex uses 904L S.S. – whooptie dog doo – who’s working with acid or really cares!)
    Rolex excuse/claim is that their watches cost what they do because of the in-house movement, the man hours involved. Hey I can appreciate hard work directed to your passion in life, but they go further with the excuse that their prices are a reflection of inflation/deflation. That the $2,500.00 I spent on my watch is the same amount it would’ve cost BITD when they first made the Sub. – Whaaaa – Things are suppose to get cheaper with time, especially with robots/CNN/Computers. Imagine IBM/Apple trying that shit! Rolex is an albatross headed out to sea! They will DROP as more and more people who CAN afford them choose NOT to because of their pompous smug B.S. and the 90% of the people they attract! The best thing you all can do is buy what you like – and wear it with pride, even if it is a Rollie! That old saying “a suit makes the man” is B.S.! Just like this watch! I’ve seen a LOT of D bags rely on materialistic items to bail them out from being good people and doing their INSIDE work developing themselves with good hearts/minds/souls because they’re too weak! Sad thing is the “REAL” good guys are the ones who end up getting burned!+

  18. This article is total BS. The prices for sport ss Rolex watches are rising like no more tomorrow. Just go on any GM sites and see for yourself.

  19. The Millennials are buying Apple Watches and Fitbits, that is probably the reason, seems the younger generation is not as appreciative of the finer things that always represented the pride of success. It’s probably inevitable that the prices of luxury items (especially watches as the younger generation choose to wear phones on their wrists) will drop over time!

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