The demand for second-hand watches is steadily increasing, particularly among Millennial and Gen Z consumers. A study conducted by consulting firm Deloitte suggests that the market could reach a value of CHF35 billion (€36 billion) by 2030, surpassing the market for new watches. Currently valued at CHF20 billion, the second-hand watch market is experiencing growth due to lower prices and the availability of discontinued models.

One of the main reasons why consumers are opting for used watches is the lower cost compared to new models. Additionally, the long waiting lists for sought-after brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe are prompting consumers to consider pre-owned options. This shift in consumer behavior has led to the emergence of websites specializing in certified pre-owned watches, which are experiencing significant growth.

Deloitte’s study surveyed 5,579 individuals in Switzerland and the top 10 export countries for Swiss watches. The results showed that 48% of Millennials who are watch enthusiasts are likely to purchase a pre-owned watch within the next year. This percentage drops to 37% for Gen Z consumers and a mere 12% for Baby boomers.

Ben Clymer, the founder of the Hodinkee website, observed that the current generation of second-hand watch buyers differs from traditional watch collectors. They are younger, frequently engage in buying and selling watches, and have a strong interest in pre-owned timepieces. These consumers also view watches as assets that can appreciate in value.

Luxury watch manufacturers are taking note of the growth potential in the pre-owned market. The Deloitte study revealed that 70% of watch industry executives believe that second-hand watches have a positive impact on their brand reputation. In response to this trend, some brands are forming partnerships with established websites that specialize in certified pre-owned models. Others are launching their own e-commerce channels to target this market segment.

In 2018, Richemont, the luxury group that owns brands such as Cartier, Piaget, IWC, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, entered the second-hand market by acquiring the British website watchfinder.co.uk.

Overall, the second-hand watch market is poised for significant growth in the coming years, driven by the preferences of younger consumers and the increasing availability of certified pre-owned models. This presents an opportunity for both consumers, who can find desired models at lower prices, and luxury watch brands, who can capitalize on this expanding market segment.

For more information on the second-hand watch market and its growth potential, you can refer to the following links:

1. Business of Fashion – Inside the World of Pre-Owned Luxury Timepieces

2. Deloitte – Watches with a Past: How second-hand watches are shaping the future