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The Crypto Collapse Has Flooded the Market With Rolex and Patek Phillippe

Switzerland’s Federal Council decided Friday to adopt the measures which will come into force in the next few days, the government said in a statement.
The collapse in cryptocurrencies is easing supply of the most sought after watches on the second-hand market, depressing prices for hard to get Patek Philippe and Rolex models. (Shutterstock)

The collapse in cryptocurrencies is easing supply of the most sought after watches on the second-hand market, depressing prices for hard to get Patek Philippe and Rolex models.

The supply of trophy watches such as the Rolex Daytona or Patek Nautilus 5711A “is now much larger,” online-watch trading platform Chrono24 said in an emailed statement.

The recent swoon in cryptocurrency valuations “has directly impacted pricing of luxury watches from brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe,” said the company, which is based in Karlsruhe, Germany, and has more than half a million watches listed for sale on its website.

The price decline for the most sought after models is the latest indication that the once soaring second-hand luxury watch market is starting to lose pace. Surging valuations for crypto currencies had minted a new class of luxury buyers, leading to an unprecedented price increase for models particularly from brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek. Now that many digital tokens have been hammered, these consumers are going into reverse.

Chrono24 Co-CEO Tim Stracke said the pullback for some models represents a consolidation as prices for the most sought after timepieces fall closer in line with similar watches.

At the same time, Stracke said trading volumes on the platform, which links dealers or private sellers with buyers, have jumped more than 50 percent in the first half of the year.

The price of a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711A, which sells for about $35,000 at retail, surged to $240,000 in the first quarter, according to Chrono24. Now the blue-dialed steel sports watch is fetching about $190,000.

Chrono24 has seen price increases for watches like the Girard-Perregaux Laureato as well as many Cartier and Breitling models. Demand has also risen for nearly all models from the Omega Speedmaster collection, the result of a collaboration with sister brand Swatch, Chrono24 said.

Chrono24, which is mulling a potential IPO, said it expects a further increase in overall sales transacted on the site in the second half of the year.

By Andy Hoffman

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