Have you perhaps noticed that some brand new watches are on the market for above retail price, and on top of that appear impossible to get? As you read these words someone, somewhere is trying to purchase a brand new Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, or something else from a select few number of brands whose close to entry-level watches might currently be very hot commodities. That translates into a frustrating buying experience where authorized dealers can’t get you what you want (or sometimes force you to play games to purchase something for retail price).
Things aren’t much better online as those same watches are available (if they are at all) in both new and pre-owned condition often for more than retail price. Pure capitalism is alive and well for certain luxury sport watches… or is it? Let’s discuss an interesting phenomenon we at aBlogtoWatch have been noticing that should be of particular interest for anyone keen to get a popular sport watch from certain brands in the the next several years.
ROLEX, PATEK, & CO.: HOT WATCHES, HOT PRICES
The market for luxury products such as wristwatches is highly reliant on human emotions and perception. Dealers of artistic or lifestyle luxuries have long known that perception and availability are for many consumers much more important than actual inherent value. That means even a temporary “high-demand trend” can quickly translate into more demand than supply.
Luxury seekers end up focusing more on the fact that a product is hard to get versus what that actual product is inherently worth much of the time. In some instances a very “good” product will also be hard to get, which further decreases ease of acquisition because the items are both inherently valuable and actually scarce. A product (or experience) being desirable because it is hard to get is what we refer to when something is “exclusive.” The idea being that it is desirable specifically because it is uncommon – and watch brands know how much this emotion can galvanize watch collector purchase behavior.