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Addressing investors, US financial services company Morgan Stanley issued a warning against pursuing profit via the collection of luxury watches such as Rolex, Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet, TAG Heuer and Omega, among others. Image: WatchBox
Addressing investors, US financial services company Morgan Stanley issued a warning against pursuing profit via the collection of luxury watches such as Rolex, Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet, TAG Heuer and Omega, among others. Image: WatchBox

Morgan Stanley warns against investing in high-end watches

The second-hand market for luxury timepieces has been a treasure trove for certain collectors in recent years, however, one industry expert is cautioning against viewing the world’s most sought watches as an investment platform.

Addressing investors, US financial services company Morgan Stanley issued a warning against pursuing profit via the collection of luxury watches such as Rolex, Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet, TAG Heuer and Omega, among others.

“We have noticed a significant increase of watch inventory in the secondary watch market year to date as a result of second-hand watch dealers and individual watch investors off-loading their stocks,” the note reads.

Adrian Hailwood, Watchcollecting.com
Adrian Hailwood, Watchcollecting.com
“Price and availability will always fluctuate and the only way to protect yourself is to buy what you truly like, at a price you can justify to yourself. If the value of your watch shifts up or down, you don’t care because that’s not the reason you bought it.”
Adrian Hailwood, Watchcollecting.com

“Given the current watch inventory for sale and the worsening macro backdrop, we would expect second-hand prices to contract further quarter over quarter.”

One key issue raised during the address was the belief that supply still exceeds demand when it comes to luxury second-hand watches, even among the highly desirable pieces.

Watch Collecting is an online auction platform for luxury timepieces. Spokesperson Adrian Hailwood told WatchPro that reporting on prices – which have slumped in recent months – has been widely misinformed.

“An advertised price is meaningless without an achieved sale. The market will set the value,” he said.

“Price and availability will always fluctuate and the only way to protect yourself is to buy what you truly like, at a price you can justify to yourself. If the value of your watch shifts up or down, you don’t care because that’s not the reason you bought it.”

According to research published by Yahoo Finance, the price of popular Rolex models has decreased by 21 per cent since a peak in April of 2022.

In July a report from Idex suggested that the state of the stock market, wide-spread decline of value in the cryptocurrency market, and the rise of interest rates and inflation has contributed to a declining second-hand watch market.

More reading
CEO concedes MoonSwatch madness could have been avoided
Swatch Group to steer clear of second-hand market
Making sense of the Omega x Swatch chaos
Luxury watch prices slump, US sales down
New Rolex factory expected to be completed in 2029

 











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