Our Top-selling Luxury Watches & the Unexpected Brands Millennials Are Buying

Words by Jody Hume | 5.3.17
Our men’s watch division has grown dramatically in recent years, with 2016 clocking in as our biggest yet. While it’s no wonder that brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe sell very well, other top performers may surprise you. Outlined here you’ll find sale trends from our new Luxury Watch Resale Report which tracks buying patterns for the best-selling, top-performing, and most-consigned brands.
Watch Brands Earning The Highest Resale Value

Coming in first place for top-selling is Panerai, garnering an average of 57% of its original retail price. Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Söhne, and Breguet all come in at about the 50% mark. The perennially popular IWC and Rolex round out our top six at 47% and 43% — no surprise, considering the consistent quality and craftsmanship of these brands. Individual returns will vary with the rarity, condition, and metal type of your watch, but any of these six is certainly a sound investment.
Triple-Digit Sales Growth In Eight Top Watch Brands

In terms of growth, Patek Philippe led the pack of soaring watch sales with a 1,062% increase. Other watchmaking giants IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, and Breguet all saw growth over 100%.
Shapes, International Markets and Rising Retail Prices Influence Sales

As far as aesthetics are concerned, the most popular case shapes here have recently been rounded designs; specifically, the Cartier Ballon Bleu and the Panthère, which both rose in popularity last year. Conversely, geometric designs like the Cartier Tank Francaise (resale value down 25%) and the Bulgari Diagono (resale value down 21%) are cooling off right now. Watches popular in Asia have also seen a dip in demand, a reflection of the economy no doubt. The Omega Constellation, for example, lost 26% of its value in 2015-2016. And we’ve seen that as retail prices rise for new watches in a brand’s existing collection, the resale values drop. IWC has raised the prices for its new Portuguese Chronographs, and we’ve seen a drop of 16% at resale.
Millennials Want The Real Deal

Millennials: What do you want right now? We have the answer, and it’s the real thing: mechanical watches that work the old-fashioned way, without a battery. It’s hard to believe, but not a single Millennial bought an Apple Watch from us in 2016. Who wants the Apple Watch at resale? The 35-and-over crowd, who bought 100% of our Apple Watches in 2016. Millennials purchased 40% more Rolexes than their older counterparts, and also had a higher share of sales for Breguet, IWC, and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
High Value Watches On The Rise For Both Buyers & Sellers

Speaking of higher shares, we saw an increase of 75% in the value of mechanical watches consigned through our Luxury Consignment Offices. Big picture, it’s watches priced at $10,000 and up that were the fastest growing segment of our watch business last year, expanding by 161%.
Find out what your watches are worth by visiting one of our six Luxury Consignment Offices in the US. You receive an individual, private appointment and free on-the-spot watch and jewelry valuation with no obligation to consign. Our staff includes 30 watch experts across the nation, selected carefully for their knowledge and skill. If you consign with us, your watch will reach an audience of five million members worldwide, ensuring a fast sell through at maximum resale value. 
So, what will the next buying trends be? Check back with us early and often.

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