GEORGE TOWN: Owning luxury watches like Rolex is the new rage among young people who cannot go on holiday abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Watch specialist Vincent Wong said there has been an upward trend in demand for watches such as investment since the first lockdown in 2020.
“Due to the pandemic, foreign currencies have become unstable.
“A lot of people, especially young people, decided to invest in watches with the money saved on what was supposed to be for their trips abroad.
“The value of luxury watches is more secure and the trade-in value is internationally recognized and valued in US dollars.
“More young people are into watches due to the influence of social media.
“Brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe have better value, depending on the model,” he said when meeting at his Penang Plaza boutique on Burmah Road yesterday.
Wong said the second-hand value of some watches can reach between 50% and 120%, depending on the brand and model.
“There is a strong supply and demand for investment in these timepieces, especially for post-2010 models.
“Although retail prices for watches are fixed, sometimes they are not available at authorized outlets.
“The retail price of Rolex watches is between RM25,000 and RM100,000, but the resale value can be much higher than that.
“Although the value for money depreciates over time, the value of luxury watches will always remain.
“Since the various phases of the movement control order (MCO), we have also received more repair and restoration work,” he said.
According to Forbes, the popularity of Rolex watches is due to its demand which far exceeds the supply of new watches, leading to a robust secondary market for pre-owned watches.
Trader of branded goods Adibah Ahmad Asri said there were also those who sold their luxury watches during the movement control order.
Engineer HT Ong, 45, who is an avid watch collector, said he started investing in watches 20 years ago.
“I started buying watches when I was young because I love watches.
“I have a collection at home, including brands such as Breitling, Omega, TAG Heuer and Rolex.
“I bought from an online company that has good feedback and reviews.
“I was told that the value of a Rolex watch does not depreciate,” he said.
Ong said he would only sell his branded watches when he wanted an “upgrade” to a higher range of watches.
“I can make at least 20% profit by selling a branded watch.
“There will always be new watches with better features in the future.
“If I have the ability, I will invest in them and trade the ones I currently have,” he said.