As retail opens up around the world, it appears that demand is focused more narrowly than ever on the hottest watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, which continue to sell at well above recommended retail prices on the secondary market.
David Hurley, executive vice president for The Watches of Switzerland Group in the United States, says there has been a flight to the sort of investment-grade timepieces so prized by flippers.
“During Covid, it seems people have doubled down on purchases that hold and grow in value,” he describes in an interview with Professional Watches. “Rolex continues to be a top performer along with AP, and Patek.”
Sales remain robust for these key three brands despite a limited number of new watches being launched. Patek Philippe has launched just four watches this year, Audemars Piguet has focused on is CODE 11.59 rather than the far more popular Royal Oak in the first half of the year, and Rolex will not reveal any new watches until the first week of September.
Mr Hurley says the announcement of new watches has been crucial throughout lock down and since.
“I would say that the pace of new watch introductions this year — which seems to show no signs of slowing down — is also driving a lot of consumer interest,” he suggests.