watch exports swiss break records, but the sales of second-hand parts also accompany this boom driven by the generation Zwho seeks to consume luxury in a responsible way.
The second-hand watch market is estimated at around 20 billion Swiss francs (an equivalent amount in euros) and could grow to 35 billion Swiss francs by 2030, according to a study by the consulting firm Deloitte.
Historically, this market was focused on collectors looking for rare pieces at auction, but now it is turning towards online sales that verify the authenticity of an item and that manage to capture the interest of the brands themselves.
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“Today there is a global awareness that we must consume in a more responsible way”estimated Fabienne Lupo, former president of the Haute Horlogerie Foundation, which organized a luxury second-hand show in Geneva in November that brought together online auction giants such as eBay, the Watchbox watch sales platform and Swiss brands such as zenith.
According to Lupo, the enthusiasm is explained by the choices when it comes to consuming that the “millennials”, those born between 1980 and the end of 1990, and their successors Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2010) who “they care a lot about the future of the planet and don’t want to buy new things anymore”.
Added to this is the search for objects “vintage” (old) and “that are not found everywhere” and the “digitization that accelerated with the pandemic”he explained to AFP.
On the internet, certified pre-owned watch platforms are multiplying and continue to attract new entrants.
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In December, the brand Rolex took the step, launching a second-hand program with the Swiss company Bucherer, which is in charge of authenticating the pieces, to sell them in six countries, with the aim of reaching the United States.
Watch makers have been around for a long time. “concerned about the secondary market”explained Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux. “But they realized that there is actually a halo effect”that the high prices in the secondary market “they reinforce the value of your brand in the primary market”he explained to AFP.
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