The Business Corner
The summer business climate has been difficult, to say the least. Between threats of North Korea and civil unrest, it is hard to get people in a buying mood. The IWJG had two shows, one in Brooklyn on July 24-25 with a fair turnout given many dealers on summer vacation. Three weeks later they had a show in Long Beach CA on August 14-15, also with a fair turnout.
Rolex sales were good with sports models hard to buy. Both the IWJG and World Wide Traders are having shows in Las Vegas starting on Sept. 23-24 for WWT and the 25-26 for IWJG. These shows should put together a better spin on the market.
WHATS HOT AND WHATS NOT
Movado chronographs the 1940s and 50s are becoming hot. Especially screw back models with round pushers. Original dials are very important with case, crown and pushers in good condition. Longines 47mm Weems Sidereal is very hot, as are LeCoultre chronographs from the same vintage.
Rolex sport watches continue to be very hot, and are hot and are hard to get in the secondary market. Gold-filled pockets and wrist watches have died. Gold pocket watches, unless they are extremely rare, are only worth gold value. The same can be said for average wrist watches.
The strong dollar is taking a hit. Two months ago the Swiss Franc was trading at $1.0515. The Euro has also gained 8% against the British Pound. This will make the gray market goods less attractive.
The FWJG had a show in June at Miami Beach. It was not as well attended as other Miami shows. They had a big problem with the air conditioning not working, which hurt the show. This also was at the same time as the WWT show and the NAWCC National Convention. The number of shows per year is saturating the market along with the internet.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT
Early Rolex GMT 6542 1675 and 16750 with plastic crystal, are doing very well in S.S. and all gold models. It is important that these watches have the original Rolex dials. Repainted dials and later Rolex dials can severely hurt the value. 6542 models with non-original bezels are very difficult to sell. Sapphire crystal 16700 GMT 16710 & 16760 are very hot. Steel and gold models are not as strong.
The new Rolex S.S. Daytona 116500with ceramic bezels are trading over retail with white dial models bringing more than black ones. Preowned and Aquanaut watches are very hot.
The Swiss Watch Federation reported last year that exports fell almost 10% to 19.4% billion; its biggest decline since the global financial markets collapsed in 2009. Sales fell 25% in Hong Kong and 9.1% in the US.
This was brought about in part by China’s crackdown on corruption. The worldwide prices of watches have been a boon for the gray market. This is because dealers and watch companies flooded the market with excess inventory. It appears that many companies are looking the other way. Rolex no longer restricting the import of both new and preowned watches into the U.S.
What’s Hot and What’s Not
The Phillips May watch auction in Geneve had 2 Rolex Moonphase 6062 realize record price. An 18kt YG model with original black diamond dial went for $4.2M and a stainless steel with special markings on the dial went for $1.2M.
Stainless Rolex GMTs continue to be very hot, both the 1675 & 16753 with plastic crystals. The same goes for the 5513 & 5512 non date Submariners. This in part because these watches look like the highly popular “James Bond Submariners.”
Soft now: Preowned Hublot, Harry Winston, Graham, Gerald Genta, Franck Muller, Blancpain, Bulgari and Bell & Ross.
Rolex introduced several new models at Besel, including a new SS 43mm Sea-Dweller model 126600 with “Sea-Dweller” in red on the dial. This in reference to the first 1665 model. It is also the first with a Cyclops on the crystal, and has a new 3235 movement. This watch should be very hot with a retail of $11,350.
Two new Sky-Dweller models were introduced, model #72223 S&YG $17,150, and model #72220 Steel with WG bezel $14,400. Also a 37mm S&PG Yacht Master #268621 with O.Br., $12,900.
The 41mm Datejust domed bezel model #126300 with the new caliber 3235 comes with Oyster and Jubilee bracelet, retail OB $7,350. The WG bezel version model #126334 retail OB $9,350; JB $9,450.
The ladies’ Datejust Steel is 28mm up from the 26mm version Rolex made for the past 40 years. It has the new style caliber 2236 movement. The Steel domed bezel model 279160 retails for $6,300 withe the Oyster bracelet and $6,400 withe the Jubilee bracelet. The White Gold bezel model 279174 retails for $7,350 OB; $7,450 JB.
A new Cellini 39mm Moon Phase watch was introduced in 18kt Pink Gold with automatic caliber 3185 movement with date and moon phase, Leather strap with 18kt Pink Gold deployment buckle, and retails for $26,750.
The FED raised the interest rate 1/4% in March.
February was show time in Miami. There were 3 antique jewelry and watch shows over a two-week period. The IWJG had a two-day show in between the first two shows and the last show. The original Miami Beach Antique show was held at a new venue, the Miami Dade County Youth Fair. lt was very well attended in spite of being more than 15 miles west of Miami Beach. Prior to the show they had a Jewelry History two-day seminar. I presented the high end vintage watch section.
The IWJG had a very large turnout Sales at all shows were ok. However we are in a selected market.
What’s Hot and What’s Not
The pre-owned high end modern watch market is very soft for many makers. Used Girard Perregaux watches are selling for 15% – 25% of their retail price. Larger, 44mm are doing much better than smaller ones. Ladies models are very difficult to sell. Pre-owned Hublot watches are selling 20% – 30% off their high. Used Jaeger-Le Coultre watches are soft with little interest in Reverso models. Roger Dubuis, Piaget, Parmigiani, Panerai and Tag Heuer continue to be weak.
Lower end watches such as Oris, Tutima, Seiko, Maurice-Lacroix, Hamilton, Fortis, Doxa and Baume Mercier have very little value in the pre-owned market.
The Rolex is discontinuing the 40 mm Sea Dweller 116600 after a short production.
Christmas sales for many of my subscribers was strong, a better than expected result. January sales to date have been soft. The IWJG January show in Las Vegas with a good attendance was an “ok” show. Many dealers reported better sales with a smaller show.
Gold has had a strong recovery since last month when it was trading in the $1.141 range. Today it is trading $1.213.
The strong dollar is hurting the U.S. authorized dealers with the flood of grey market goods coming to the U.S. from overseas.
Some Rolex Sport watches are very hot. Rolex 5513 and 5512 with original dials and bezels are very hot in good to excellent condition. Rolex 1680 models in S.S. are doing ok; the 1680 G. model is very hot. GMT 1675 is doing very well in the collector market with the gold ones very hard to find. The 16710 with solid case, no holes, box & papers – very strong in excellent condition. “Batman Blue Black” GMT Master 116710 is still doing well in the collector market. The new S.S. Daytona 116500 is selling for over retail in the secondary market. The S.&P. Yacht Master (all sizes) is weak. Explorer II 16570 & 16550 are very soft.
Many dealers reported that there business has picked up after the elections. It seems that the buying public is waiting until the last few days before Christmas for watch and jewelry purchases.
The strong dollar has caused gold to drop over $90 in the last 30 days. This, along with the December prime interest rate increase, could keep the price down.
Both the IWJG and the WWT had December shows in Miami. Both were well attended with reports sales could have been stronger.
The preowned Patek Philippe market is down from what has been a very hot market. Ladies preowned models are very soft with 24 models off 10-20% from their highs. Older men’s models with attached bracelets have become very difficult to sell. Demand for preowned Breitling and Tag Heuer watches have fallen off. Ladies models are very difficult to sell. The vintage market is mixed. Demand for vintage chronographs is very strong if they are in excellent condition with original dials and not over polished cases.
The world is waiting until November 8th for the U.S. presidential election. I hope that buyers will be back in the market for the Christmas season.
Both the World Wide Trader and I.W.J.G. had Las Vegas September Shows. Attendance was ok at the shows. Sales were not great.
Since last month. Gold declined 4.5% and the British Pound dropped 8%. Oil prices are rising, and there could be an interest rate increase in the U.S.
Most dealers are reporting a very slow July and August, There is an old saying “When the U.S. catches a cold the rest of the world gets pneumonia”
The IWJG end-of-August show in Long Beach, CA was a small show but did better than last year’s show at Universal. Watch Traders’ show in Munich, Germany was 10 days later, with an Ok turnout. The refugee problem in Europe has made for a dangerous situation and it is hurting business.
People are waiting for the Presidential election and are not in the mood for serious buying.
New and preowned Rolex Presidential watches, midsize and up, are doing very well in both yellow and rose gold. Ladies preowned 26mm watches are very soft. I have not had a report on the new ladies 28mm models. Demand for both white gold and platinum is weak.
The preowned Rolex GMT market is very hot. SS watches with both Pepsi and Coke bezels are highly sought after. This is true for plastic and sapphire models. Demand for S&G and all gold are strong. Early plastic models 1675 & 16753 with original brown nipple dials are highly sought after.
Overal Rolex is the brightest spot in a soft market.
Our new improved website should be up and running by August 1. It is our desire to give you a first-class product. The Islamic terrorist attacks in France and the US has had a negative effect on business.
Britain’s exit from the EU is. causing some panic in the world’s financial markets. Gold was up over eight percent. The British pound lost more than 10% against the US dollar. After a 3-day loss, the Dow Jones is now at an all-time high.
It looks like the U.S. is still a safe haven for investors. We are in uncharted waters for the watch industry.
Pre-owned Rolex watches are still very not. The 3/4 size models and larger are selling very well. The 26mm Ladies continue to be soft. JVon sport models without dates are hard to sea Pre-owned Cellini and other non-Oyster models are very hard to sell. Parts for older Rolex watches, model 6517 pre 1972 are almost impossible to repair.
Patek Phillippe watches are still selling. Ladies models have slowed down, particularly the steel 24 models. Incomplete watches without box and papers, and additional backs can be very difficult to sell.