Investing in the Pre-owned Watch market | Xupes
GENEVA, March 20—Baselworld 2015, the world’s biggest watch fair, is into its second day and watch brands are trying to make the best of a difficult situation. Meanwhile, the potbellied pre-owned watch market is making merry.
It was a tough start to the year. When the Swiss National Bank (SNB) decided to abort the currency value cap it had placed three years earlier against a flagging euro—a bombshell move dubbed “francogeddon” on social media—the Swiss franc spiked a terrific 23 percent against the euro and 16 percent against the dollar. For the Swiss watch market this was a minor crisis. The answer for many, including Richemont and the Swatch Group, who own several of the top brands, was to raise prices outside of Switzerland by 5-10 percent.
In Thursday’s official Baselworld press release, Mr François Thiébaud, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, conceded that forecasts for 2015 have been revised as a result of the deteriorating economic environment. Add to this the impending release of the Apple Watch and the imminent onset of the smartwatch revolution, and you start to understand the fuss.
Now, perhaps at the higher end of the market—the Hublots, the rare Pateks and the Richard Milles—the changes won’t make too much difference; those willing to splash a million dollars on a wristwatch are unlikely to sweat about it being $1.05 million, and they probably aren’t in the market for anything mass-produced. But at the lower end, amongst the entry-level buyers and watch dealers, these margins and new fashions can make or break a business. In such a troubled climate, heads have been turning to the pre-owned market.
Understandably too. If you take, say, a current issue Rolex Submariner stainless steel 116610LN (the latest ceramic bezel model)—at present retailing at around £5700—the pre-owned selling price, often with little-to-no wear, is between £4250 and £5000. Or better, a Rolex Submariner 116619LB in white gold—at present retailing at £24,700—can be found selling between £13,500 and £18,000. That’s a serious saving, and these watches will likely only increase in value. Ignore the watch collector’s adage only buy what you would wear, margins like that are too big to pass up, and the hugely inflated number of investors would suggest the same.
Over the past five years, online pre-owned watch sales have skyrocketed. Up-and-coming companies such as Xupes now offers warranties and buy-back schemes that rival the high street, but with a pressure-free shopping experience. As well as rebuying items, Xupes can sell watches on a customer’s behalf through their commission service. With all the marketing and hassle out of their hands, many customers manage to upgrade their watches in line with natural price increases, and not lose any money in the process.
Xupes is an established online retail company with a wide selection of iconic watches, jewellery and associated luxury goods. Specialising in brands such as: Rolex, Omega, IWC, Cartier and Patek Phillippe—to mention just a few. They also offer in-house watch servicing, repairs and refurbishment. Additionally, Xupes sources brands and models based on clients’ needs or requests. Xupes is unique in being able to offer significant discounts on luxury brands without compromising on quality or service. Xupes is located in Bishop’s Stortford at Wickham Hall in beautiful period premises. With their new exclusive Wonder Room, guests can now browse luxury pieces at their leisure with friendly and knowledgeable specialists at hand.
For more information, visit Xupes or call 01279 461969 to speak to one of their sales team.