Just like Patek Philippe’s familiar classic slogan-‘No one can own a Patek Philippe, it’s just for the next generation of custody.’ Watchmaking brands always tirelessly emphasize the inherent quality and long-lasting performance of timepieces. This leaves people with the impression that the quality of the watch does not change over time. However, at the same time, watchmaking brands are still ignorant of the vast second-hand watch market, and they have not even considered giving them a more euphemistic name.
Christian Odin, founder and CEO of France’s largest watch trading platform Cresus
On December 3, 2015, the 19th International Symposium of Watch Marketing Seminar was held in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and finally paid a little attention to the increasing number of participants in the secondary watch market. Different speakers at the meeting explored the ambiguities of two mutually exclusive worlds, one is the new market for luxury retailers, and the other is the already profitable two watch market.
Catherine Bourdin-Mougel and Karine Brisset win JIMH Awards
Brand Opt Out
In recent years, the transaction of second-hand luxury goods has skyrocketed, and the annual turnover of the global watch market alone can reach billions of dollars. There are two main reasons for the remarkable growth in the luxury market over the past two decades: the arrival of new technologies and changes in purchasing habits. Through private sales, auctions, loans, swaps, and leasing, the number of easy-to-hand watches continues to increase, and the Internet is another important driving force. The latter has shown endless development potential in contacting buyers and sellers. The number of new products sold each year around the world makes this market situation even more encouraging. In 2014, Swiss watch exports reached 5 million pieces, with an average value of more than 500 Swiss francs.
However, as Catherine Bourdin-Mougel from the Chamber of Commerce of the Province of Ontario said, watchmaking brands are no longer able to operate in this area. The lack of interest, or the lack of possibility, is largely due to the difference in sales thinking between the two markets: on the one hand, a strict pricing strategy that excludes any form of discount; on the other, there are distinct unpredictable ends on both the supply and demand sides. Sex. Catherine Bourdin-Mougel concluded, ‘Other market players fill this gap.’
According to Christian Odin, the success of the second watch market is due to new shopping habits
Juggling word games
Cresus is one of them. Headquartered in Lyon, the company is France’s largest second-hand watch trading platform, employing 43 people. Since its establishment in 1993, it has sold more than 50,000 pieces and achieved a turnover of 15 million euros in 2015. Cresus has 9 retail stores and 1 website, ensuring online and offline coverage. ‘There is a fixed process for buying a watch,’ said Christian Odin, founder. ‘Customers first seek relatives and friends, then browse the Internet, and finally visit the retailer. Our mission is to accompany customers at every step, blog, Facebook or the company’s official website ( Daily visits can reach 10,000 people). ‘The watch you no longer wear, there is always someone else who wants to own it, this is the entry point of the Cresus business. How does the company focus on maintaining its brand image and sales network? Play around with word games!
Despite engaging in completely legal business in a market economy, Cresus is cautious and cautious. What is the reason? First of all, Cresus business is not included in the authorized network and is not controlled by the brand. Therefore, most brands refuse any kind of contact. ‘We are not on the brand’s dialogue list,’ explains Christian Odin, ‘the door is open.’ As a result, the brand will not train watchmakers, supply parts, and provide after-sales service for Cresus. Secondly, Cresus’s supply comes not only from individuals, but also from authorized retailers (excess inventory), and sometimes even the manufacturers themselves, which makes the originally obscure areas surface. ‘If there is a new product label, we will have trouble,’ Christian Odin said frankly. ‘We don’t offer discounted prices. Watches are cheap because they are second-hand, that’s it.’
Geoffroy Ader, general manager of Antigoron Online, talks about insights and insights into the second watch auction
The power of auctions
Auction houses are another major player in the second-hand luxury market. Bidding sales first appeared in ancient Rome as a means of distributing loot. With the founding of Sotheby’s (1744) and Christie’s (1766), modern auction houses are finally taking shape. Two centuries later, in 1974, Antigourn Geneva became the first auction house to focus on watches.
Since then, this channel has developed into an industry reference that cannot be ignored and is sufficient to have an impact on the new product market. At one time, the auction only offered antique clocks and pocket watches, but in a modern auction, in some cases, 95% of the lots were watches that were released shortly. The most notable achievement comes from Patek Philippe, a brand that regularly sets transaction price records. On November 14, 1989, Antigourn organized the first single-brand timepiece auction, 231 Patek Philippe watches, including the one bought by French actor Fernandez for himself in 1945. From launch to auction, time didn’t go far, but prices skyrocketed. Patek Philippe also pioneered the second watch trade as a means of adding aura to the brand. It is worth mentioning that Patek Philippe has almost all auction records of timepieces. In November 2014, a Patek Philippe pocket watch sold for $ 24 million, setting a new record for watch auctions.
Kim Claes, Graduate School of Business, Seoul National University, believes that there is a specific correlation between the auction price and the price of a new product
Affects the price of new products
According to Kim Claes, Graduate School of Business, Seoul National University, and Ryan Raffaeli, Boston Business School, ‘Watchmakers can benefit from the added value of brand watch auctions.’ In a study entitled ‘Second Watch Market Analysis-Based on Antigoron Database’ In the report, the two students reviewed the auction held by Antigoren in 1984-2012, and research showed that 95% of the lots sold exceeded the lowest estimate and 5% of the lots sold exceeded the highest estimate. They concluded that for the latter, ‘brands can increase the price of new products by 4% to 25% without losing customers.’ High-profile auctions in luxury hotels can attract the attention of wealthy collectors and even public speculators. And, once again, the Internet has become the intermediate medium for most lotteries. Today, auction houses and online platforms supply tens of thousands of modern and antique timepieces throughout the year.
Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO of Louis Moinet
Will the expanding secondary watch market adversely affect brands? No, Christian Odin affirmed that as long as market players can act according to rules, brands are more closely involved. Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO of niche brand Louis Moinet, was invited to attend the round table and made a conclusive judgment on the situation: ‘I have bought some outstanding timepieces made by Mr. Louis Moinet during his life, including time Measuring the first chronograph in history, (participating in the auction) will undoubtedly help to improve the brand’s reputation. However, I have also seen brand watches online, or stolen dirty goods or (as a gift) transfer Sale, the price is only a quarter or even a fifth of its due value. Obviously, this is very unfavorable to the brand image. ‘