The price of classic Blancpain Fifty Fathoms watches have leapt by 15% on the secondary market since the brand collaborated with Swatch to launch the Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms.
Omega’s Speedmaster experienced a similar bounce, according to Subdial, a pre-owned specialist that maintains charts of prices for watches from major brands on the secondary market.
Subdial’s research found that the price of a core collection Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe ref. 5000-1110-B52A rose from an average of £6,137 to £6,950 in the month following the Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms launch.
Prior to the Swatch launch, the price had been sliding since October of last year, so the bounce, for a watch with relatively low trading volumes, may just be a blip.
Subdial notes that it is too early to say whether the price rise is the start of an upward trend, but describes the 15% hike as striking in the context of a broadly flat market over the summer for the most traded watches from the likes of Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet.
Thinner trading for watches like the Fifty Fathoms is likely to have magnified a relatively small number of watches being sold at slightly higher prices.
But, what about the impact of the original MoonSwatch launch on Omega’s Speedmaster, which changes hands on the secondary market far more frequently?
Here, the prices have been less volatile.
In the month immediately following the release in March 2022, there was a 6% increase in prices for the Omega Moonwatch, plus the pre-launch buzz had already pushed up Speedmaster prices by a few percentage points.
The bounce from £4,315 to £4,747 did not last for long.
Since the summer of last year, prices for the Omega have been cooling, and now sit at roughly the same level as before the MoonSwatch launch.
It is also important to note that the secondary market prices for both the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the Omega Speedmaster are still well below retail.
Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe ref. 5000-1110-B52A will cost you over £9,700 from an authorised dealer.
Omega’s Speedmaster Moonwatch is currently £6,600.
People hoping to flip a Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms for a profit are also likely to have been disappointed.
The £340 watches have been selling for as little as £320, according to listings of sold items on eBay, although the median sold price looks to be closer to £450.