Swatch Group has no plans to issue certification for second-hand watches despite a recent dramatic change in approach from an industry-leading rival.
In early December Swiss watch manufacturer Rolex SA confirmed plans to issue certificates of authenticity to authorised dealers selling pre-owned watches.
A Rolex spokesperson told WatchPro that the motivation behind the decision was improved oversight of its products.
“[The program] guarantees that these watches benefit from the quality criteria inherent to all Rolex products and from the full know-how and professionalism of the brand’s worldwide network of experts,” the spokesperson said.
“Rolex watches – new or second-hand – should only be bought from official Rolex retailers, who are authorised to sell and care for Rolex watches.”
Certification is limited to watches that are at least three-years-old to discourage the ‘flipping’ of newer models at prices above retail.
Rolex’s program will see authorised dealers selling certified pre-owned watches at higher prices than new products offered at retail outlets in some cases.
Models including the Submariner, Daytona, and GMT frequently sell at a premium as demand outstrips supply.
Earlier this month, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek confirmed that neither his company nor any of its leading brands – including Omega – plan on offering similar issues of certification.
“Why should we mix ourselves into the market of used watches?” Hayek asked on Bloomberg TV.
“This is a market that is regulating themselves. The people who want to buy used watches, they can buy it as they buy many other things. They don’t need us.”
Swatch Group, a Swiss conglomerate, owns Omega, Longines, Tissot, and Breguet, among other brands.
Industry research from Deloitte estimates that the pre-owned watch market will grow to $US35 billion before 2030.
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