Why are Luxury Watches Such an Aspirational Purchase?

Luxury watches have long been a status symbol, one that most people can’t afford. But this doesn’t mean that the luxury watch market is a niche one. Far from it, in fact.

The market for luxury timepieces is growing, fuelled by demand from millennials and buyers in Asia. Buyers are willing to pay a premium for luxury watch brands such as Rolex and Cartier because they are well-made, high status, and a smart investment.

Buyers can invest in a luxury watch and sell it later, without making a huge loss. There is strong demand in the second-hand market, so it isn’t difficult to sell a high-end timepiece, with many dealers specialising in certified pre-owned watches.

What’s Driving the Demand for Luxury Watches?

New marketing channels and social influencers are driving the demand for luxury watches. Celebs and influential social media stars post images of themselves wearing gorgeous timepieces and the rest of the world drools. We all want to look like our celebrity crush, so we aspire to own the same designer clothes and accessories.

The rise of social media has played a huge part in the luxury accessories market. Everyday consumers now have a window into a lifestyle they previously knew nothing about. We all want what everyone else has, and that includes luxury watches and other designer accessories.

Mechanical Vs. Digital

Interestingly, research has shown that mechanical watches are still favoured over digital smartwatches, despite our obsession with technology. A survey carried out by one of the big four accountants, Deloitte, discovered that affluent millennials much preferred spending their money on luxury Swiss watches if given a wad of cash. In fact, 70% of UK respondents said they would spend their money on a luxury Swiss timepiece from a brand like Patek Philippe.

Demand for luxury timepieces is growing particularly fast in Asian markets. Younger Asian consumers are responsible for around 35% of market growth. Wealthy Chinese tourists are also snapping up high-end watches when they visit Hong Kong, which is the biggest luxury watch export market. The second-largest market for luxury watches is in the United States, closely followed by China and Japan.

Pre-Owned Timepieces

One of the reasons why luxury analogue watches are so in favour right now is that it’s possible to buy pre-owned, fully certified watches for a reasonable price online. For example, you can find watches by Patek Philippe at Chronext. This site offers certified pre-owned luxury watches from many leading brands, including Rolex and Breitling. It’s a more affordable way of adding to your luxury watch collection.

If you decide to invest in a designer watch, do make sure you buy a certified timepiece. The market is full of fakes made in China, so don’t be duped into paying over the odds for a knock-off watch.


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