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In early December Swiss watch manufacturer Rolex SA confirmed plans to issue certificates of authenticity to authorised dealers selling pre-owned watches. Image: WatchBox
In early December Swiss watch manufacturer Rolex SA confirmed plans to issue certificates of authenticity to authorised dealers selling pre-owned watches. Image: WatchBox

Swatch Group to steer clear of second-hand market

Swatch Group has no plans to issue certification for second-hand watches despite a recent dramatic change in approach from an industry-leading rival.

In early December Swiss watch manufacturer Rolex SA confirmed plans to issue certificates of authenticity to authorised dealers selling pre-owned watches.

A Rolex spokesperson told WatchPro that the motivation behind the decision was improved oversight of its products.

“[The program] guarantees that these watches benefit from the quality criteria inherent to all Rolex products and from the full know-how and professionalism of the brand’s worldwide network of experts,” the spokesperson said.

“Rolex watches – new or second-hand – should only be bought from official Rolex retailers, who are authorised to sell and care for Rolex watches.”

Nick Hayek, Swatch Group CEO
Nick Hayek, Swatch Group CEO
“Why should we mix ourselves into the market of used watches? This is a market that is regulating themselves. The people who want to buy used watches, they can buy it as they buy many other things. They don’t need us.”
Nick Hayek, Swatch Group

Certification is limited to watches that are at least three-years-old to discourage the ‘flipping’ of newer models at prices above retail.

Rolex's program will see authorised dealers selling certified pre-owned watches at higher prices than new products offered at retail outlets in some cases.

Models including the Submariner, Daytona, and GMT frequently sell at a premium as demand outstrips supply.

Earlier this month, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek confirmed that neither his company nor any of its leading brands – including Omega – plan on offering similar issues of certification.

“Why should we mix ourselves into the market of used watches?” Hayek asked on Bloomberg TV.

“This is a market that is regulating themselves. The people who want to buy used watches, they can buy it as they buy many other things. They don’t need us.”

Swatch Group, a Swiss conglomerate, owns Omega, Longines, Tissot, and Breguet, among other brands.

Industry research from Deloitte estimates that the pre-owned watch market will grow to $US35 billion before 2030.

 

WATCH FULL BLOOMBERG INTERVIEW

 

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