Spotlight: Singapore’s appetite for luxurious watches and why collectors are turning to the gray sector

SINGAPORE: Mr Jay Tun put in almost two yrs pondering about it before obtaining his 1st luxurious observe in 2018.

The S$16,480 Rolex Sea-Dweller is nonetheless in his hands, allowing for him to embark on an “unstoppable” journey.

The 35-12 months-outdated has considering that invested a lot more than S$300,000 on the timepieces. He now thinks his look at is now really worth about S$400,000, not only as a passion but also as an financial commitment.

“I really do not just like watches for benefit. I like watches with diverse movements, different issues in the motion itself. It is extremely interesting…it’s like art to me,” he stated.

“No make any difference what I want to get, primarily a check out, the quantities have to make feeling in the 1st position. But of class, the piece has to be a little something I like.”

Demand for some of Mr Tun’s luxury watches is in brief provide. Watches from brands these kinds of as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet are the most well known.

Buyers cannot just walk into a retail store and acquire these watches. Watch dealers and collectors say there is typically a extensive list of waits or interests, specially for preferred styles.

Mr Jarod Ng, co-founder of Observe Capital, a retailer of new and pre-owned luxurious watches, reported several men and women located the wait around time also lengthy.

“Let’s say you want to invest in this as a wedding ceremony anniversary reward, or you want to buy it as a graduation gift for your son. You can’t wait a different two several years for him to graduate in the next 6 months,” Mr Wu claimed.

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Placing your name on the listing also in no way ensures that you have a check out.

“I believe a lot of folks are as discouraged as I am when it comes to authorised sellers. You go there and they give you the common SOP (Normal Operating Procedure) – it is a pretty popular piece, with this checklist of pursuits, ‘ claimed Mr Tun.

“If you do not observe up, if you stop acquiring everything from them, you might hardly ever listen to from them.”

Chen Kaixiang, who runs an on-line retailer termed KHF View in Carousell, stated even VIP consumers experienced to wait around months to get their beloved watch.

At first a check out collector himself, Mr Chen begun acquiring and investing luxurious timepieces on the e-commerce market in 2019. He also buys watches overseas on behalf of other sellers in Singapore.

pick out gray

Mr Tan mentioned new consumers were being typically told the enjoy they preferred was out of stock, so they turned to the grey industry. The grey current market is made up of stores who promote watches without having formal authorization from the brand name.

Mr Tan likens the procedure to getting an distinctive bag like the Hermes Birkin. “For ordinary men and women, it truly is unachievable,” he said.

Mr. Charles Lee, founder of Considerably East Plaza Great Time Luxurious, mentioned acquiring watches through the pandemic has grow to be additional challenging as customers cannot go overseas to acquire them.

“Even if they stroll into boutiques, you just cannot obtain popular versions. You cannot buy Rolexes, the shelves are vacant. That’s why persons have to obtain from gray dealers like us.”

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Some consumers will not head spending a lot more to get what they want appropriate absent.

More well-known models and designs can command 20% to 30% much more on the gray current market, while some brand names and products retail for nearly double the retail price tag.

A CNA test on the authorised dealer’s internet site discovered that entry-level Rolex Submariner types are priced at close to S$12,000. On Chrono24, an online marketplace for enjoy consumers and sellers, the identical model sells for close to S$22,000.

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