An index and report on the prices and trends of “professional” Rolex watches
WORLD’S FIRST INDEX REVEALS “PROFESSIONAL” ROLEX WATCHES SURPASS ALL OTHER PASSION INVESTMENTS.
NEW REPORT IDENTIFIES CURRENT TRENDS BEHIND PHENOMENAL GROWTH
June 09, 2022: The world’s first index tracking the value of Rolex “Professional” watches is released today in a new report from Art Market Research (AMR).
The index is featured in AMR’s “Rolex at Auction” report, which takes a closer look at the extremely popular market for Rolex “Professional” watches (including “Sport” and “Tool” watches), a sector that is is doing so well that it outperformed all other alternative assets in 2021, including Art, Classic Cars and Coins.
AMR is an independent research company and uses price information – gathered from auction houses located around the world – to measure the performance of 22 individual watches, including Daytonas, Submariners, Explorers and others. AMR’s index methodology was designed in association with the London School of Economics.
Sebastian Duthy says: “Rolex ‘Professional’ watches have grown in value twice as fast as any other brand sector over the past 15 years and show no signs of slowing down.
Rémi Guillemin, head of the watch department at Christie’s in Geneva, contributes to the report and agrees that business in the Rolex market has never been better: “There are so many people who are ready to invest in watches at all levels that I think is unprecedented. . And the fact that people see that the watches are selling well, that motivates people to sell their watches. Right now we are in this situation where many stars are aligned.
Sebastian Duthy adds: “Rolex Daytona watches are no longer the only vintage models in most collections. Some Rolex Explorers, GMT-Masters and Submariners are becoming increasingly popular, not least because from around a tenth the value of many vintage Daytonas they are always on hand.
James Marks is an international specialist at Phillips and an expert in Rolex watches. He shares his own thoughts on investing in the report: “When you’re dealing with assets that are both low volume, design icons and crucial transportable wealth, the notion of investment becomes very appealing.”
Contrary to what many industry players claim, the report finds that scarcity is not the most important factor determining prices. Sebastian Duthy says: “The condition is key to ensuring that a Rolex watch will appreciate in value and some of the references produced in much larger numbers have seen more examples survive in mint condition. In addition, a higher volume of transactions on these models is conducive to establishing market value, which makes these benchmarks more attractive to investors.
In addition to sharing the index, the Rolex at Auction report takes a closer look at individual watches in demand and finds that the sector is increasingly volatile. Sebastien Duthy says; “Collectors know precisely what they want and are looking for very specific pieces. For example, a gold Daytona 6263 is more sought after if it has a black dial, while black dials on a Ref.3525 are less in demand.
Highlights from Art Market Research’s Vintage Rolex Sports Watch report include:
• 2021 was a record sales season as it was the first time that 5 Rolex watches crossed the $1 million mark in a single year.
• The value of vintage sports watches manufactured by Rolex has increased by more than 2,000% since the 1980s. In 2021, average values have increased by 24%
• The value of a Rolex Explorer, considered the most underrated of all Rolex references, has increased the fastest over the past 5 years.
• As mainland Chinese buyers increasingly eye the market, Hong Kong is fast approaching Geneva as a destination for the best watches.
• Poly Auction in Hong Kong is the preferred auction house for mainland Chinese buyers. While total sales are a fraction of Phillips, Sotheby’s and Christie’s, the average prices paid for the watches were the third highest of those surveyed.
• Despite the trend towards online-only sales, direct sales remain essential to achieve high prices. Phillips is the only auction house that doesn’t see the need for an online-only sale, as international specialist James Marks explains, “Vintage watches need to be handled and understood in person to achieve the values that these parts order.”
• Condition is increasingly important and the AMR index only tracks watches in very good condition, eliminating mediocre or heavily restored examples. Sebastian Duthy says: “Pricing between a mid-range example and a premium example will be in a different world. Unfortunately, the market is now much tougher than it was before.
• The London watch auction market is in a period of decline as auction houses look to the Eurozone. With Sotheby’s inaugural watch sales in Paris and Antiquorum’s first sale in Forte dei Marmi, Italy, in 2021, total sales at major eurozone auction houses were two-thirds higher than at London.
Deep-pocketed millennial collectors are at the heart of the interest, as James Marks explains: “With each passing month, more and more young and committed collectors enter our market, thirsty for knowledge and the finest watches.” .
Rémi Guillemin at Christie’s also notes the evolution of the market. “There are a lot of millennials coming into the market, so our customers are particularly young. People who have purchasing power and a thirst for knowledge. They travel the world to attend auctions. If they are in the United States, they will come to Geneva, Hong Kong, Japan, Dubai and the Middle East and inspect every Rolex in front of them.
Poly Auction in Hong Kong has been selling watches since 2013. Although the volume is relatively low, the prices obtained are among the highest in the world. Karen Ng, watch specialist at the auction house, says he sees growing interest from mainland China: “The Chinese watch market has grown significantly in recent years, with many valuable items being sold on the market . Our watch platform will be able to connect the international community with the growing interests of the Chinese market. »
Beginning with an in-depth study of the major watch departments of auction houses around the world, the report compares the global market by size, price and geography, along with an analysis of online and live sales trends.
Searching over 1,000 prices across 22 Rolex references since the 1980s, the index is an essential tool for navigating this rich and varied industry. The data is also broken down into a series of raw data tables as well as individual case studies showing how RAM arrives at its conclusions.
The report also explores major auction events that have generated interest since 2002 and notes how auction houses continue to attract collectors. Rémi Guillemin oversaw the modernization of Christie’s watchmaking department in Geneva: “The auction market is a much more efficient market than it was before. So, with the internet and social media, you can reach more people. We still print catalogs but it’s more of a luxury!
Say more than just time
On reading the Report, it is clear: the market for Rolex “Professional” watches continues to evolve, becoming both more sophisticated and volatile. New, young collectors are keen to find watches that will deliver a return on investment and auctioneers are following the trend. As the knowledge about Rolex sports watches expands worldwide, the market is expected to continue to grow.
Sebastian Duthy summarizes: “The report shows that while some dealers may have good instincts about the most invested Rolex watches, only studying the data will give you the true picture. Rolex is the most recognizable watch brand today and young collectors will travel far and wide to secure a handful of sought-after references.
The Rolex ‘Professional’ Watch Report is available to buy from https://www.artmarketresearch.com at £295.00 plus VAT.
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Note to editors:
a) Art Market Research (AMR)
This is a new addition to the AMR indices which serve as a benchmark for comparing the price movement of alternative assets and passion investments. The AMR database contains over 1.7 million prices for works by over 20,000 artists working in painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography and contains over two million transactions on classic cars, jewelry, watches, handbags, stamps, coins, ceramics, books, furniture and money. . AMR has been providing independent art market analysis since 1978.