For enthusiasts, there have never been more avenues to buy timepieces than there are today, with new online retail options spreading throughout the industry to supplement more traditional brick and mortar solutions. Despite the increasing field of competition, eBay remains one of the most popular platforms for buyers and sellers alike, with over two million watches sold in the past year. As part of the site’s recap of the 2019 sales year, eBay has released a detailed breakdown of current market trends and prices in its 2020 Luxury Watch Report. Details in this report range from comparative brand sales performance on the platform to emerging trends and the most expensive watch sales on the site in 2019, all of which deliver fascinating insights into the current state of the market.
Not surprisingly, Rolex continues to dominate on eBay in terms of sheer sales volume, with Rolex timepieces making up a whopping 25 percent of total luxury watch sales on the platform in 2019. Beyond that, every one of the top 10 most popular models on the site is a Rolex, including model lines like the Submariner, Sea-Dweller, GMT-Master, GMT-Master II, Datejust, and Daytona. Interestingly, however, the highest-placed Submariner is only third on the list, beaten out by the stainless steel reference 1601 Datejust and the chart-topping reference 116520 Daytona. Overall, however, this news confirms the strength and staying power of the current Rolex secondary market. eBay’s top brands on the platform globally remain more or less the expected major players as well, with Rolex, Omega, Breitling, TAG Heuer, and Patek Philippe rounding out the top five.
Variety begins to show through in the current market trends. While the number one trend on the platform continues to be stainless steel Rolex sports models, other movements to watch in the report include a resurgence in popularity for vintage inspired pieces. While vintage styled timepieces have been a major focus for the watch industry over the past decade, the interesting shift to watch is the change in the source of inspiration. According to the report, popularity is shifting towards designs from the ‘40s, the ‘70s, and the ‘90s into 2020, which may lead to some interesting new reissues and reimaginings as brands adjust to catch up. Nineties-inspired designs, in particular, have yet to really drive much of the current wave of reissue models, but that distinctive period in design could be fertile ground for watchmakers in the years to come. Rose gold is third on the list of 2020 trends, remaining the most popular gold hue among buyers as popular tastes continue to shy away from the classic yellow-gold look. Whether this comes down to the more distinctive color, lack of yellow gold’s cliché associations, or slightly more forgiving price point is difficult to say, but there’s no denying the watch industry will continue to ride this wave in 2020. Speaking of distinctive colors, eBay’s report recommends buyers keep an eye out for colorful timepieces, as pops of color such as green and salmon dials have become hot commodities on the platform. Like rose gold, this could be a response by buyers looking for a way to differentiate themselves from the crowd and catch attention. Another 2020 trend outlined by the report is the explosion of exotic materials and finishes such as carbon fiber, ceramic, and PVD in watchmaking.
Despite fears from some collectors wary of the platform, eBay was a sales hub for several ultra-luxury watch purchases over the past year. Many purchases stretched into six figure territory, topped by a Patek Philippe Grand Complications which hammered for $535,499.99. Sales of this scale reinforce that, as time goes on, buyers have become more comfortable making even extremely large purchases online through the eBay platform.
Lastly, some of the most exciting news in the report comes courtesy of the announcement of a limited-time sales deal just in time for Valentine’s Day. eBay is offering up to 30 percent off of a wide assortment of new and pre-owned models from many of the highest-selling brands on the platform, including Rolex, Omega, TAG Heuer, Breitling, and more.
While the luxury watch market continues to grow in 2020 and beyond, the eBay 2020 Luxury Watch Report shows that the seminal online auction platform looks to be here to stay in this vibrant and shifting field. For more information on eBay’s current selection of pieces for sale, or to take advantage of this limited sales offer, please visit www.eBay.com/LuxuryWatches.