I had an entirely different topic in mind for the latest update to A Stylish Way, and then a chance encounter at the bank led me into a completely new direction.
Let’s talk about luxury watches and timepieces.
Though I know more about luxury watches than the average person as a luxury writer who has covered the subject for various publications, a lively discussion between two male clients of my bank caught my attention as we waited to be seen.
One gentleman appeared to be in his late 30’s to early 40’s while the other seemed to be in his 50’s (with the appearance of someone at least 10 years younger). Both wore Rolex watches, the theme of the conversation.
Here, their juiciest quotes:
“The only company important for a watch is Rolex. You’re investing in it. Other watch brands lose 30-40% of their value as soon as you leave the ‘lot’, like a car.”
“Mayors has a huge sale twice a year, but not on the Rolex.”
“If I need 6, 7, 8 grand right now, I can just go and get it and that’s it.”
“Yeah, I’ll look yours up on Bob’s Watches. Just a second… Okay, I see they have it at 85 list. If you have the factory stickers, you’ll get even more money.” [referring to a $10k model on the other gentleman's wrist]
“Tags look really good too. Tag Carreras are nice, but at the end of the day, no other watch beats the resale value of a Rolex.” In reply: “Exactly. I use Bob’s Watches, they send you an envelope and wire you the money. It’s as easy as that.”
“They make them with ceramic now so they don’t fade. You see the vintage ones from the 60’s and 70’s and they’re faded.”
While pondering the possibility that the watchmaker limits production to increase demand, the two dismissed the thought as irrelevant either way. Rolex wearers for life. Their enthusiasm, nothing short of contagious, led to me think about the resurgence of luxury timepieces’ strength in the marketplace and the power of the Rolex.
Huntington Beach-based Bob’s Watches is a name I hear with more frequency with every passing season. The online marketplace is a highly lauded place to buy and sell timepieces in the digital sphere. The catch? They only deal with Rolex watches. The company celebrated for trust, transparency and a streamlined process has been featured by everyone from Esquire to Forbes. Owner Paul Altieri collects Rolexes himself with a personal stockpile of a few hundred vintage styles.
At first glance, pre-owned watches may not seem as if they fit into the luxury lifestyle. However, sales paint an entirely different picture. Just ask Francois-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet... he spoke to Reuters at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Switzerland, announcing the brand's move to sell second-hand watches in their own stores.
"Second-hand is the next big thing in the watch industry."
- Francois-Henry Bennahmias, Audemars Piguet
The Power of the Rolex
While most people don’t purchase Rolex watches with the intention of having to sell, the strong resell value helps. This applies to models including Yacht Master, Daytona and the Submariner. They never go our of style (although some may disagree when it comes to the bright yellow gold models of yesterday - which can sell for upwards of $30k). They look good with pretty much anything and while women’s watches have notoriously lower resale values, most men’s Rolex styles work fantastically for women too.
Do you own at least one luxury watch?
What is your go-to watch brand(s) and why?
Why do you purchase luxury timepieces?
Have you ever sold a watch or purchased a pre-owned model?