Daily Management Review

Second-Hand Trading Of Luxury Watches To Be Started By Swiss Luxury Watchmaker Audemars


Second-Hand Trading Of Luxury Watches To Be Started By Swiss Luxury Watchmaker Audemars
The first major watch brand to get into the lucrative and fast-growing market for used premium watches is the Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet. The company recently announced its plans of launching its second-hand business this year.
The company plans to expand its business for its pre-owned premium watch throughout Switzerland in this outlets after the company successfully completed a test run of the business plan in one store in Geneva. In case the project turns out to be successful, the company plans to roll out the plan in the markets of the United States and Japan.
“Second-hand is the next big thing in the watch industry,” Chief Executive Francois-Henry Bennahmias said in an interview to the media at the SIHH watch fair in Geneva this week.
Based on the fears that second-hand trading of watches would dilute the exclusivity of their brands and eating into their sales, most of the luxury watchmakers have kept themselves away from this market. Instead, third party dealers run this market segment.
Ion recent years, online platforms such as Chrono24 and The RealReal have enhanced the growth of the second-hand watch market and there has also been a slowdown in the industry. This has driven some of the luxury watch makers to look at this market with renewed interest.
“At the moment, in watches, we leave it to what I call the ‘dark side’ to deal with demand for pre-owned pieces,” added Bennahmias. The company of Bennahmias is globally renounced for its octagonal Royal Oak timepieces for prices that are at least 40,000 Swiss francs ($41,680) on the average.
“Anybody but the brands (is selling second hand) - it’s an aberration commercially speaking,” he said.
Interest in the second-hand trade have also been expressed by some of the smaller brands such as H.Moser & Cie and MB&F.
“It is important to control the sale of second-hand watches to protect the owners and the value of watches already in the market by keeping the grey market in check,” H.Moser & Cie boss Edouard Meylan said.
A 20-30 percent discount on second-hand watches is expected to be given by MB&F after the company launches its second-hand trading business later this year through its website, the company said. For customers, purchasing second hand watches from reputed and established brands, could make them feel confident about the genuineness of the products and the assurance that they would be in good functioning condition along with a valid warranty. 
There were no comments from any of the major watch brands.
Some of the 26 Swiss outlets of Audemars Piguet would be used for sale of second hand watches, the company said. 
Initially, the company plans to provide new Audemars Piguet against old Audemars Piguet watches for its customers. The old Audemars Piguet watches would then be put up for sale.
Because of the emergence of a new generation of customers who accord more importance to variety than permanent ownership in the luxury world, there has been a proliferation of the business of second-hand luxury watches, said experts. Most of the sale is being done through various online platforms.

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