The fall of the Rolex prices on secondary market
The Rolex Submariner Kermit ref. 16610LV with black dial and green aluminum bezel, now discontinued, suffered the biggest drop. 16610LV was the biggest bearer, dropping 4.6 percent in one month to $14,988.
The Rolex Submariner with black dial and green ceramic bezel, also known as the Starbucks, which is more modern and still in the catalog, has a current price of $15,659.
The current retail price of the Starbucks is $10,800.
Image from Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index
The secondary market saw prices stabilize in the first half of this year after a precipitous drop starting in the first quarter of 2022, but the downturn resumed in the summer, in part because waiting lists shortened for models with limited supply.
The rise in price created the peak in the second quarter of last year. The secondary market retailers trading in watches at ever-higher prices has driven this peak.
When the market reversed, the cycle reversed: retailers disposed of inventory to a shrinking group of potential trade customers and end consumers.
November data from the Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index show that we have been in a buyers' market since the beginning of the year.
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The Rolex Submariner (image from Rolex.com)
The Bloomberg Subdial Watch Index
The index comprises the 50 most traded watch references on the second-hand market. It takes into account the last market price of each model and is weighted by its sales value.
From peak to trough, the index price has almost halved, from $60,000 in March 2022 to $34,000 today.
The greater the hype surrounding the models at the market peak, the greater their decline.
For example, the discontinued Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 (three steel-on-steel hands with date, blue dial) was being sold (or perhaps advertised) at $140,000, according to the index. Today that price is less than $80,000 on the Bloomberg Subdial Index, but that is a considerable overestimate of the current market price.
The last 5711 sold at the online auction house Watchcollecting.com was sold in May for 65,000 euros (about $70,000). Prices have remained fairly stable since then.
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