The state of the watch market in 2023


It’s easy to see that the watch market in 2022 will be volatile. We had already experienced massive watch price inflation that had swung downward even faster than when prices rose. There is a perfect storm of external forces such as inflation and global market confidence combined with internal forces such as gray market investors and artificially choked supply that could collapse the watch market in 2023.  13165PRT_6 13165PRT_7
On the surface, all of this may sound like a bad thing, but ask yourself, “Who is this bad for?” Arguably, the factors that caused this bubble will be the ones who suffer the most and therefore drive them out of the market. This puts the average watch collector who has remained patient over the past 3-4 years in the best possible position as they can now purchase replica watches from authorized dealers, such as fake Rolex, or purchase used watches at reasonable prices.
A person’s buying power plays a large role in choosing what they want and need. As inflation continues to spiral out of control, the value of our currency decreases. This makes the divide between choosing what one needs and wants even clearer, which is evident in our 2022 watch market. Due to inflation, inflated prices have become so high that the free market is beginning to fight back by reducing demand in the watch industry.
You can call it anything you want, but the monetary relief program is free money for many people who don’t need it. We’re not talking about people struggling to get by, but a large percentage of the country received funds they otherwise wouldn’t have needed. All this extra cash has contributed to inflation and increased demand in many industries, including watches.
Whether outside investors, traditional jewelry stores, or individual watch dealers, there are already clear signs that sellers have been choking off the supply of many popular copy watches. You may be wondering why anyone would do this. The reason is that once you restrict supply, demand and prices go up in the hope that the restricted models are now considered “investment watches.”
This internal force in the 2022 watch market makes me happiest. It looks like buyers are finally starting to wise up and are no longer swayed by the second-hand market or the games of authorized dealers. It takes two to tango, and when buyers have finally had enough of overpricing, it will naturally drive prices down. Now let’s wait and see how far buyer inaction can drive prices down when buying certain watches.
At the peak of the watch market in 2022, the situation is unsustainable. Collections become investments, and prices become uncontrollable. I can speak for many watch enthusiasts when I say that we prefer to operate in a watch market where we can buy the watches they want without waiting, being asked to buy other watches to get the ones we want, or paying inflated prices on the secondary market.
What we expect is that this whole experience will lead to brands understanding the needs of their products in a better way. Over the years, they have seen stress tests on the prices of their products and can justify the expansion of production internally if needed.