New trend of the moment: second-hand luxury watches

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It could be the economy, or maybe a wave of nostalgia, but it seems like the time has come for pre-owned luxury watches to take on their full meaning. Like used cars, they can offer great value, and once on your wrist, who can really tell anyway?

In Ridgefield, Wayne Addessi of Addessi Jewelers said business in the pre-owned luxury category is booming. “People come looking for something unique. They want something they won’t see anywhere else, so vintage and used pieces are hugely popular now.” Since his family has been in the jewelry business since 1948, he recognizes a trend when he sees one.

In its display case you will see pre-owned Rolex, Omega, Breitling and Patek Phillipe, although inventory changes quickly. Addessi maintains a list of customers and the specific watch they are looking for, and for some watches, like the Rolex Daytona, there is always a demand. This watch, which was a favorite style of Paul Newman, is

up to $ 15,000 in new condition.


Terry Betteridge, of Betteridge Jewelers in Greenwich, said there is such demand for the Daytona and some other used models that they are hard to come by and are not always cheaper. He too keeps a list of customers and their wish watches. “When I get one, I want to sell it to someone who appreciates it.”

The economy can affect the market, but not necessarily in the way one would expect. “With the economic recovery, the prices of new luxury watches have increased,” Addessi said. So, in turn, there is a greater demand for used vehicles. A new Rolex could sell for $ 13,000; the same used style could be closer to $ 7,000.

Although the price of a used vehicle may vary, it will be determined by the popularity of the model and its condition, as well as where it comes from. “Every watch has a story, and knowing that story will add to its value,” Addessi said.

Frank Cappiello in Danbury, owner of Cappiello Jewelers, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary at CityCenter Danbury, agrees. “Estate jewelry is popular and people love to collect watches and wear them,” he said. The store is known for selling the Carmen Lucia Ruby, a 23.1-carat Burmese ruby ​​set in a platinum ring with diamonds, and now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

“A luxury watch is a piece of jewelry. It’s a limited market, but people want it,” he said, explaining that luxury watches are expensive because of everything that goes into making them. “It can take two to three years to make a Patek Phillipe, and they are in high demand in the used market.”

Cappiello also makes the analogy with a car. “Man has always had an obsession with speed and time, which translates into cars and watches. A car travels for a few hours and then turns off, but your watch travels 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. . A luxury watch, because of the quality of the movement, can make this trip several times. “

“It’s an investment,” Addessi added. “A watch can last a lifetime and be passed down from father to son (or daughter).” One of his clients came to have his Submariner (Rolex) serviced. The watch, which probably cost $ 300 when it was new 30 years ago, would cost around $ 8,000 now if it was new. “His dad wore it all this time, and now he’s wearing it. You wore it, you liked it and you can still sell it.”

Paul Roche, director of Ridgefield Parks and Recreation, bought a used GMT (Rolex) in Addessi and believes it to be a win-win purchase. It was 50 percent less than what a new one would have cost and just as good. “It’s certified and comes with a good warranty, just like buying a used car,” Roche said.

Used watches can also be personalized to suit the new buyer. Roche said his watch was like new. “Addessi replaced the glass, seals and other worn parts, restored the movement and reconditioned the bracelet and case. It cannot be said to be a second-hand item. It has the New air.”

Since oversized watches are all the rage for women, you will also see women wearing men’s watches. No matter who wears it, experts warn against buying from a reputable dealer. “The fakes are so good that you can’t tell they’re fake until you see the movement inside,” Roche said. “That is why it is best to buy from a jeweler you know who will guarantee that it is a Rolex and can authenticate it.”

Addessi agrees. “The watch industry has changed over the past 10 years; counterfeits are common,” he said. “Do your homework online, but buy from a trusted jeweler to be sure what you get.”

Deb Keizer is a freelance writer in New York; [email protected]


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