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Seiko and Breitling break into top 5 of Chrono24’s most popular watches of the year

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Chrono24’s annual report on the most popular watch brands among its 100 million users has seen Omega, Seiko and Breitling shoot up the rankings.

The report is based on a combination of which watches are most searched for on the marketplace, and which are bought.

This skews the results towards higher volume brands and potentially relegates brands like A. Lange & Sohne, Patek Philippe and Richard Mille, which other studies find have been highly desirable this year.

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Rolex keeps its top spot as the most popular brand in 2021, followed by Omega, Seiko, Breitling and Audemars Piguet.

Tim Stracke, co-CEO of Chrono24.

“These top five most sought-after brands not only reflect popularity, but also prove that watch buyers are looking for a sustainable investment. Rolex, Omega and Audemars Piguet have proven to be exceptionally stable in value. Seiko, on the other hand, is an interesting newcomer in Chrono24’s Top five and offers high-quality mechanics ideal for everyday use, especially for watch fans of all income groups,” says Tim Stracke, co-CEO and founder of Chrono24.

Breitling is new in the top five — further evidence of the growing momentum CEO Georges Kern is generating. “Breitling is particularly known for classic chronographs and this year it attracted attention with interesting innovations. The strategy of Georges Kern as CEO of Breitling is having a very positive effect. The Chronomat models – which are classic – as well as the Endurance Pro and the Superocean line were in greatest demand. Patek Philippe, on the other hand, was less in demand as a manufacturer — here, too, a consequence of the discontinuation of the Nautilus in stainless steel, whereupon the market prices have exploded,” Mr Stracke suggests.

List prices of the Patek Philippe Nautilus have tripled, taking them out of reach to all but a small group of collectors or long term investors.

The 170-piece limited edition Tiffany Blue-dialed Nautilus 5711 / 1A-018 has dropped like a bombshell.

“It is to be expected that the prices for the 170 watches will be astronomical. The first watch to be auctioned at Phillips, Bacs & Russo reached a whopping $ 6.5 million retail price — at a normal price of $52,635! The remaining 169 customers are handpicked by Tiffany & Co and Patek Philippe — it couldn’t be more exclusive,” Mr Stracke says.

As well as researching brand popularity, the same methodology was used by Chrono24 to discover which individual watch models were most desirable this year.

Rolex took three of the top five spots, and Omega will be delighted at taking the remaining two.

Interestingly, the Rolex Datejust — a watch that until very recently was being traded for under retail on the secondary market — ranks number one this year.

Rolex’s Daytona, which topped the table last year, has slipped to fifth place. The watch is currently trading at around £30,000, a level at which collectors are beginning to compare it to interesting watches from artisan independents at the same price.

Top five most popular watches of 2021

  1. Rolex Datejust
  2. Rolex Submariner
  3. Omega Seamaster
  4. Omega Speedmaster
  5. Rolex Daytona

Alternatives to the Daytona, such as the Omega Speedmaster, move up in Chrono24’s Top 5 this year, and were searched for (and bought) far more often than in previous years — benefitting from market availability constraints on rival steel sports watches.

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