Crypto's crash is making Rolex watches cheaper

A retreat of buyers after the cryptocurrency collapse has increased supply in the resale market.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04: A Rolex Daytona watch (£46,000) is displayed at the Mayfair Antiques a...
Leon Neal/Getty Images News/Getty Images

At the peak of cryptocurrency’s hype, many celebrated buying a Rolex. But ever since the market’s collapse, crypto bros aren’t investing in luxury timepieces like they used to. According to a report from online watch trading platform Chrono24, the supply of trophy watches “is now much larger,” and has significantly impacted the price of models from brands including Rolex and Patek Philippe.

Timepieces such as the Rolex Daytona and Patek Nautilus 57HA were once some of the most sought-after watches on the second-hand market. Cryptocurrency’s high valuation brought on an influx of new luxury buyers, which led to a price increase on multiple brands and models.

As “crypto winter” sets in and the market scrambles to recover its losses, luxury timepieces are the last thing on investors’ minds. The retreat of new buyers is creating an increased supply on Chrono24 and in turn causing watch prices to dip.

Patek Philippe, one of the most sought-after luxury watch brands, is seeing a dip in price on Chrono24. Leon Neal/Getty Images

Demand hasn’t completely halted, though. Chrono24 co-CEO Tim Stracke said overall trading volumes on the site have increased by more than 50 percent in the first half of 2022. Now that the prices of the most sought-after watches are balancing out with similar pieces, some dealers and private buyers are taking advantage.

In the first quarter, a $35,000 Patek Philippe Nautilus 57HA watch had soared to a whopping $240,000 on the site. Now, it’s listed for about $190,000. Although pieces on the highest end are on a price decline, other pieces from Cartier and Breitling are still rising in price. Demand has also risen for the Swatch and Omega Speedmaster collaboration from March, ink stains and all. So while it may be (somewhat) easier to buy a Rolex or Patek, luxury consumers as a whole aren’t going anywhere.

Despite cryptocurrency’s fall from grace and inflation rising to 9.1 percent for the first time since 1981, consumers are still spending, spending, spending. Chrono24 even said it expects sales to increase during the second half of 2022. And if ever you were thinking of making a Rolex purchase, the time might just be now.