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Crypto Collapse ‘Floods the Market’ with Rolex and Patek Philippe Watches

As the world grapples with rising interest rates and inflation, the cryptocurrency market has quietly slipped into relative misery. Housing affordability and cost of living concerns rightly take precedence in the public eye, but it has to be said that the cryptocurrency collapse has been nothing short of spectacular. Over the past few weeks, external global factors have put significant downward pressure on the industry, with some coins dropping significantly in value, and it’s not just the small players.

RELATED: What the 2022 Rolex Price Increase Really Means

Image: Pierre Borthiry/Unsplash

According to the University of New South Wales, a selloff in bitcoin saw the currency fall to $17,592.78 in mid-June, the first time since December 2020 that it has fallen below $20,000. Similarly, Ethereum fell a whopping 70 percent from its all-time high in November last year, prompting the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to lay off a staggering 18 percent of its workforce. A downward spiral naturally panics economic investors, but for those with a penchant for more tangible assets, the cryptocurrency collapse presents a rare buying opportunity. New report from Bloomberg revealed that the cryptocurrency collapse has significantly freed up supply of the world’s most sought-after watches, meaning that for the first time in a long time, collectors can get their hands on new Rolexes or Patek Philippes.

According to the report, the recent uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency has caused more owners to offload their high-end timepieces, with inventories for the Rolex Daytona and Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711A now “much larger.” In a statement provided to the publication, online watch trading platform Chrono24 revealed that falling cryptocurrency values ​​”directly affected the prices of luxury watches from brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe.”

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Oyster Perpetual Submariner | Image: Rolex/JVA Studios

The Karlsruhe-based business is one of the largest specialist pre-owned watch retailers and marketplaces in the world, currently stocking more than half a million watches on its website. Over the past few years, Chrono24 has reaped the benefits of growing interest in the luxury watch market and benefited from a new wave of buyers. As Bloomberg points out that the rapid rise in cryptocurrency valuations has opened up a new category of consumers and driven the prices of specific models and brands such as Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe sky high.

According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, the size of the market has more than doubled over the past two decades, from CHF 10.297 billion in 2000 to a staggering CHF 22.302 billion in 2021. While there has been an across-the-board increase, much of this growth has been driven by emerging sponsorship from China, which has increased its imports of Swiss watches from CHF 45 million in 2000 to CHF 2.96 billion in 2021. It’s not just new watches that have gained attention. We reported earlier this year that shortages and other external factors have shifted the used luxury market.

An advocate for the popular online watch community Australian Watch Buy, Swap and Sell (AWBSS) has revealed that potential, FOMO and status symbol has seen watch sentiment move more into the investment space. For example, the iconic Rolex “Hulk” went from around $27,000-$28,000 BNIB to the high $40,000-$50,000 range in 2020. A number of other key pieces have more than tripled, leading many to question whether the “bubble has burst.”

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Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date | Image: Rolex/JVA Studios

It seems the penny may have finally dropped, but not for the reason avid watch fans expected. The Bloomberg The report suggests that the ongoing hammering of certain cryptocurrencies has forced once-friendly buyer investors to turn around and sell their assets at an alarming rate. Chrono24 CEO Time Stracke told the publication that the recent global impact has caused prices of the most sought-after timepieces to drop in line with similar timepieces. At the same time, the watch retailer revealed that training volume on the platform jumped by more than 50 percent in the first half of 2022.

In particular, collectibles that offer a certain degree of status have seen huge changes. Just last year, a rare 1957 Omega Speedmaster sold for $4.6 million, breaking records, while a similarly incredible Philippe Dufour piece went for $10 million, making it the most expensive independent watch ever sold. However, a quick look at Chrono24 shows an increase in available models that were once considered hard to come by. In stark contrast to last year’s scarcity-induced price spike, some Rolex Submariners are as low as $10,000, suggesting that the market may finally be righting itself.

While the latest news may be jarring for cryptocurrency fans, the tide is rising for watch lovers. Increased availability would certainly drive prices down and remove the barrier to entry for the luxury watch game, making it easier to secure this piece of the grail.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711a

Patek Philippe Nautilus ref.5711A

Did you like this story of Rolex and the rise of luxury watch investing? Check out some of our other recent news.


Nick Hall

Nick Hall is the editor-in-chief of Man of Many and a respected journalist. He graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a BA in Creative Industries with a double major in Journalism and Music. Prior to working at Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist at Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021, Nick was named B&T Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specializes in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men’s stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Academy of Hairdressing.

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