Prices for many luxury watches have only moved in one direction over the past few years: up. But the market has proven to be quite turbulent in 2022 so far, holding plenty of surprises for collectors. While some models are losing value, others seem to be making a final race to the top. Here are a few of the winners and losers of the first half of the year.
Losers: Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen
Rolex Daytona Ref. 116500LN
The legendary Rolex chronograph is currently one of the losers in terms of 2022 performance. Earlier this year, the Rolex Daytona was flying it, peaking in value in March 2022. But now, prices for the Rolex icon have visibly dropped for the first time in many years. While the average price for an unworn example was north of $45,000 in March, it is now sitting at $40,000. You can even find some listings on Chrono24 for under $35,000. These are hardly pre-crisis-levels we’re looking at – after all, we are still talking about unbelievable prices for a stainless steel chronograph – but perhaps this could be the perfect opportunity to add the legendary Rolex to your own watch collection?
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711
The Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711 is another one of our losers in the first half of 2022. Since it was discontinued in the spring of 2021, the value of this Genta legend has risen sharply, even managing to double its already massive market price. Since March 2022, however, you can see the first downward trend emerging. While average prices for an unworn 5711 had surpassed a staggering $180,000 in February 2022, they are now closer to $150,000. While this is still a lot of money to spend on the discontinued classic, it certainly marks a significant drop in performance compared to the past few years. You can currently find used models for around $130,000. This is anything but a bargain, but do you think the iconic Genta watch will become even “cheaper”?
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The final loser in this article is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Another Genta classic, this watch also fell significantly in value during the first half of 2022. In March 2022, an unworn AP Royal Oak “Jumbo” with a blue dial cost some $140,000 on average. Today, the same watch “only” costs around $118,000. There are even used watches listed for closer to $80,000. Prices for variants with a white or gray dial are only slightly lower. Is this your moment to finally get your hands on the famous Audemars Piguet?
Winners: The Up-And-Comers
The first half of 2022 hasn’t just been a story of losers, however; many a watch model has been performing stronger than ever before despite the overall market drop. So, let’s take a closer look at three of the most interesting winners of 2022 so far.
The Girard-Perregaux Laureato has been a hugely underrated watch that has managed to fly under the radar of many watch collectors for far too long. Since the start of 2022, however, more and more watch fans seem to be catching on. Have people finally noticed the sheer beauty of this model? Or is it simply the most accessible alternative to Genta’s classic Royal Oak? It’s probably a mix of the two to some degree. In any case, this former underdog has performed amazingly well in the first half of 2022. Last year, prices for an unworn watch were around the $8,000 mark. By April 2022, however, they’d more than doubled to just shy of $18,000. While prices have since dropped slightly, there is no denying that the model is one of the biggest winners of 2022.
Rolex Datejust 41 Ref. 126300
The Rolex Datejust 41 with a fluted bezel has been one of the hottest performers on the market over the past two years, and it’s looking like 2022 won’t be any different. All eyes are on the Rolex Datejust 41 ref. 126300. Every steel-bezel version of this Rolex icon has increased in value so far this year. Average prices for watches with a black dial were hovering slightly under the $10,000 mark at the end of 2021, but an unworn Rolex Datejust 41 will now set you back upward of $11,000. The average price for the variant with a rhodium dial is almost $12,000. In fact, every version of the Datejust 41 ref. 126300 – black, blue, gray, and white – is experiencing an uptick in value. Enthusiasts seem to prefer the model on a Jubilee bracelet, but I personally think it looks better on an Oyster bracelet. The Oyster bracelet especially suits the Rolex Datejust 41 with a steel bezel, and the difference in price is only marginal. In any case, you are certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to this reference.
Chopard Alpine Eagle
I can easily understand why the Chopard Alpine Eagle is currently garnering more interest. The model offers everything that a lot of watch lovers are looking for these days. For starters, its Genta-esque design is strikingly reminiscent of icons like the Patek Philippe Nautilus and AP Royal Oak, but it still retains an independent character. Plus, it is on point size-wise: not only is there a modest, 36-mm version available for slimmer wrists, but also a versatile 41-mm variant. In reality, the large Chopard measures closer to 39 mm, which is not dissimilar to the current Rolex Submariner 41, Datejust 41, and Oyster Perpetual 41 in this regard. The 41-mm Alpine Eagle with a blue dial is the most popular version of the model at present. While average prices were around $9,500 at the end of 2021, they are now hovering just over the $11,000 mark – and are showing no signs of slowing down. Both the blue and slightly less popular gray dial version are booming success stories that could well cause a stir in the months to come. While this model may be lagging behind the Girard-Perregaux in terms of overall performance, it has still been a hot prospect in the first two quarters of 2022.