Millennials and Gen Z Like Their Luxury Watches – and They Like them Second-Hand

According to a new report by consulting firm Deloitte, the pre-owned luxury watch segment of the market will surge by 75% by the end of the decade.

Ben Clymer, the founder of online watch news and retail website Hodinkee, said in Deloitte’s report, “Our audience is so much different than who you assume a traditional watch buyer to be. They’re much younger, they’re buying and selling watches much more often, and they care about pre-owned.”

That means that over half of watches sold will be pre-owned, and younger buyers are behind the drive for vintage pieces.

Annual sales of second-handed watches are expected to skyrocket to $35B by 2030 from $20B now.

It’s presenting somewhat of a conundrum for watchmakers, and Deloitte suggests that watchmakers will create their own secondary-market sales channels to capture more buyback stock and manage supply.

The current rise in a desire for luxury watches came about during the pandemic when people were home and not spending money – so they turned their eyes to fancy watches through online sales. And it turns out that Millennials and Gen Z really like second-hand watches. Those age groups are more comfortable buying secondhand online, plus they like the benefit of cheaper prices – half of Millennials said they’d buy a second-hand watch in the next year compared to only 12% of Baby Boomers.