Swiss watchmakers Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille are snapping up stakes in their franchised shops, seeking to tighten their grip on the sales network as a growing number of top brands ditch wholesalers.
Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe is seeing good demand across the world, its president told Reuters on Thursday, playing down industry concerns about a potential slowdown in top luxury goods buyer China.
Online retail giant Ebay has extended its authentication program to watches this week, in a move to limit the number of fake timepieces being sold on its platform, increasing consumer confidence in the items being sold.
The booming pre-owned premium watch market, powered by websites like the RealReal, has lured its first official big brand, with Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet announcing it would launch a 2nd-hand business this year.
While high-end watches are still out of reach for most people, the increasing prevalence of deals on the grey watch market highlights the perplexing predicament in which luxury watchmakers now find themselves.