Weekly sales on secondary market platform Chrono24 dropped by 20-30% in most of its main markets as the Coronavirus pandemic swept across the world, but had already recovered to pre-crisis levels a month later and are now around 13% higher, the company says.
In the second of a series of monthly reports, which you can download here, Chrono24 reveals data that suggests a strong bounce back in demand for luxury watches on the secondary market.
Chrono24 examines activity from the start of the year to the present day in several key countries including Italy, Spain, Germany, UK and USA.
Daily sessions (visits to the website) are tracked along with daily checkouts in each country and the evidence that activity is recovering now as fast as it fell as we went into the crisis is notably consistent across all markets.
“We see the same trends emerging in user behavior by country: areas that saw steep declines are now experiencing remarkable recoveries, albeit at different rates,” commentary accompanying the data says.
Hopes that the hottest watches may be cheaper during the recession caused by Covid-19 are not yet being realised. Prices are more or less stable, “a bit softer for some super iconic watches”, Chrono24 says.
It gives examples of Rolex’s GMT Master II with a Pepsi bezel, which has seen prices fall by 7% over the past month to an average of $16,743 (around £13,400). That is still almost double the recommended retail price of £7,750.
Over the same period, the price of a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A has risen by 9% to $70,582 (around £56,500), still more than double its retail price of £23,440.
An extra-thin Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (no reference number) is selling for $45,755 (around £36,600), up 6% on last month.
Other pre-owned watch specialists have told WatchPro that prices are down around 20% for several unicorn watches since their peak late last year, but still well above retail prices.
There is evidence that prices are under downward pressure as customers are negotiating harder with dealers listing watches on Chrono24.
Users are requesting 16% higher discounts than pre-coronavirus levels, but more price negotiations are falling through, the report reveals.