1.1 Definition and scope of the study
In this study, we will focus on the second-hand watch market, also known as the secondary or resale market, in France. We will only focus on the second-hand market for luxury watches because it alone represents 80% of this global market.
The lockdown in 2020 has caused buyers to consume less on a daily basis and turn to buying safe havens such as luxury pre-owned watches and gold. Although the prices of the top fifty most resold luxury watches fell by 18% between May and October 2022, the second-hand watch market will continue to grow and increase by 75% by 2030.
In France, this market is also experiencing strong growth. According to a leading second-hand watch sales website, 1.7 million searches were made by French people in 2022 on just five vintage luxury watches (Rolex Submariner, Audemar Piguet Cosmograph Daytona, ...). This growth is in line with an increasingly popular second-hand market, especially among the under 40s.
The evolution of buyer profiles, from passionate collectors to young people wanting to own second-hand watches, has modified the places where these goods are sold, with sales becoming increasingly digitalized. Thus, specialized websites will continue to develop. Luxury brands wishing to control the quality of their products on this second-hand market are also starting to offer this service directly in their points of sale. This is the case for Rolex, for example, which has been trying out this new service since December 2022 in six countries and should extend it to all its points of sale in 2023.
1.2 A global market that is on the rise
The market for second-hand watches has grown considerably in recent years. More specifically, the segment of second-hand luxury watches is booming and helps to boost the market. In addition, the arrival of refurbished connected watches is also leading to a renewed interest in the sector, which is diversifying and targeting an ...
1.3 The domestic market
The following graph illustrates the evolution of the market value of the watch industry in France between **** and ****. Thus, we can see that the market is growing, from *.*** billion euros in **** to *.*** billion euros in ****. Nevertheless, the French watch market has still not recovered its **** level of *.*** billion euros. *.* million watches ...
ANALYSIS OF THE DEMAND
2.1 Demand driven by the younger generation
In France, * out of ** individuals regularly wear a watch on their wrist. The penetration rate of this fashion accessory is therefore among the highest. Nevertheless, the diversity of the watch offer leads to a multitude of practices concerning their use. For many people, the watch is an aesthetic accessory. It is ...
2.2 Environmental concerns and declining purchasing power lead to a second-hand boom
The second-hand market has grown considerably in recent years. Indeed, the reasons to turn to second-hand and reconditioned products are multiplying, leading to an increase in demand. If the main criterion remains the lower price (***), other factors push individuals to opt for second hand. The opportunity to own an appliance that ...
2.3 Collectors and auction houses, historical applicants
Watch collectors and auction houses, looking for rare pearls, are two categories that fuel the demand for second-hand watches. Indeed, watches are "classic" items among French collections, due to the variety of vintage models and the age of the discipline. In ****, they were the eighth most collected item category, with *% of ...
2.4 Counterfeiting, an obstacle to second-hand purchases
Many consumers refrain from making second-hand purchases because of the risk of counterfeiting. This phenomenon is particularly marked in the luxury sector, where counterfeits are very numerous and very difficult to detect. Counterfeits of Rolex are among the most numerous and this is one of the reasons why the brand has ...
3.1 Watchmakers face competition from new players
If the historical watchmakers and the big luxury houses reign supreme on the new watch market, the second-hand market is much more fragmented and involves a multitude of players. Among them, we find distributors specialized in second-hand watches, digital and reconditioning platforms, but also private individuals.
Several companies specialize ...
3.2 The rise of digital platforms, a lever for the second-hand market
Although watchmakers seem to have understood the importance of second-hand watches, they have been outpaced by online platforms and specialized distributors, which still account for a large majority of sales today. Since the ****s, online sales sites have taken over the market, promoting online purchases.
Which channel do you prefer for ...
3.3 The auction of luxury watches
Like many other luxury goods, watches are considered a good investment during times of uncertainty. For example, watch auctions exploded during the pandemic. In ****, the Drouot auction house recorded €*,*** million in sales in the Art & Collectibles category; an increase of +**.*% compared to ****. In ****, growth slowed but maintained an interesting pace for ...
ANALYSIS OF THE OFFER
4.1 Typology of used watches
There are different types of watches, which can be categorized as follows:
Mechanical watches ; Automatic watches ; Quartz watches ; Radio-controlled watches ; Connected watches.
The vast majority of used watches are luxury watches. Thus, we can look at the different categories of luxury watches. These are very diverse but we can draw up ...
4.2 The paradox of second-hand prices
Like many other products, second-hand watches have seen a sharp rise in prices since the beginning of ****, due to the energy crisis and therefore the inflationary context. We can look at the Subdial** price index. This index includes the top ** most traded second-hand models on the market, which represent **% of total ...
4.3 The democratization of refurbished connected watches
For several years, we have been witnessing a considerable boom in connected watches. Indeed, they offer undeniable advantages that facilitate communication and information sharing while offering greater practicality. Shortly after the democratization of this new accessory, a second market was born: the refurbished market. Indeed, just like smartphones, connected watches are ...
5.1 Regulations on the watch market
Watchmaking companies are concerned by numerous regulations concerning the following products
Nickel: restrictions in articles in direct and prolonged contact with the skin. Cadmium: restrictions in the metal parts of articles. Lead: restrictions in accessible parts of watches. PAHs: restrictions in plastic materials (***). Chromium VI: restrictions in leather (***).
In addition, for ...
5.2 Regulatory framework concerning counterfeiting
Luxury watches are particularly affected by counterfeiting and smuggling. The Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes(***) is the authority in charge of the fight against these frauds, as specified in the Code de la Propriété Intellectuelle and article L. ...
POSITIONING OF THE ACTORS
- Swatch Group
- Patek Philippe
- Audemars Piguet
- Back Market
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