Rolex Ranks Number One In Watch Resale

Patek Philippe, Franck Muller and Audemars Piguet also posted good results.

By Victoria Gomelsky 14/01/2021

One of the biggest players in the circular economy just released a report documenting how 2020 trends in luxury consignment are affecting the resale category in 2021—and one watch brand dominates the findings.

Say it with us: R-o-l-e-x. According to The RealReal, the world’s largest online marketplace for authenticated, consigned luxury goods, the Geneva maker is its No. 1 selling watch brand, and only strengthened its position in 2020. Rolex timepieces sell 1.1 times faster than they did a year ago, with certain models capturing resale values well above retail—such as the GMT-Master II “Batman,” which sold for an average of 170 per cent of its original retail price in 2020, and a Rolex Sea-Dweller Special Edition Sommozzatori model that sold for around $116,345, seven times its current retail value.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Special Edition Sommozzatori

Rolex Sea-Dweller Special Edition Sommozzatori Courtesy of TheRealReal

Notably, resale values for the Rolex Explorer are up 15 per cent year-over-year, while the average selling price of Rolex watches adorned with diamonds was up 44 per cent in the second half of 2020.

Out of the top 10 luxury brands with the highest resale values on the site, Rolex and Patek Philippe ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, with the latter climbing three spots to claim its new spot on the list. (The French luxury brand Goyard ranked No. 1.)

Franck Muller Revolution 2 Tourbillon watch

Franck Muller Revolution 2 Tourbillon Photo: Courtesy Franck Muller

Other watch trends worth noting include an apparent comeback for the Franck Muller brand, whose watches achieved the greatest average sale price growth on the site, jumping 63 per cent year-over-year, and big leaps in resale value for both the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (up 24 per cent year-over-year) and the Cartier Tank (up 25 per cent compared to a year ago).

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar

Audemars Piguet RO Perpetual Calendar Courtesy of Audemars Piguet

Even at the very top of the market, watches sold quickly. A Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5722G, with a bezel of baguette diamonds, sold in five days for approx. $152,540, while a baby blue-hued Richard Mille RM030 sold in 10 days for around $138,330.

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