Swiss watch exports have experienced a record-breaking boom, partly due to the trend of Generation Z buying luxury goods in a responsible way.
The second-hand watch market is currently estimated at around 20 billion Swiss francs and it could grow to up to 35 billion Swiss francs by 2030, according to a study by the consulting firm Deloitte.
This market was traditionally dominated by collectors seeking rare pieces at auction, but now there is a wider focus on legitimate online sales. This is due to the increasing global awareness of more sustainable consumption, according to former president of the Haute Horlogerie Foundation Fabienne Lupo.
Millennials and Generation Z, the generations that follow Millennials, have played an especially significant role in this shift as they often prioritize protecting the planet over buying new products. This is coupled with an increasing search for vintage items that are not widely available. The digitalization of the market driven by the pandemic has also contributed to this change.
Many watchmakers, including the Rolex brand, have joined the second-hand market by launching certified pre-owned watch platforms. The Swiss company Bucherer is responsible for authenticating and verifying the authenticity of these pieces.
This has been seen as a positive trend by analysts such as Jon Cox from Kepler Cheuvreux. Cox observed that high prices on the secondary market serve to bolster the reputation of the brand in the primary market.