It’s not just toys and tech that are in short supply this Christmas. Best US Rolex replica watches will be harder to find too. Luckily for bling seekers, there are other ways to get in on the luxury watch boom.
A combination of lockdown savings, roaring markets (until recently at least), revenge spending and a broader interest in alternative assets has sent demand for the hottest 1:1 cheap fake watches far outstripping supply. Waiting lists have gotten longer and prices on the second-hand market are skyrocketing.
Interest in iconic models, such as the high quality replica Rolex Daytona watches, the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, is long-standing. There’s also fanfare around the skeletal luxury copy watches made by Richard Mille, the top 1:1 fake Rolex Submariner and the GMT-Master II watches. Among the most hyped recently is the Rolex palm print dial, dubbed the “Weed” in some circles.
Of course, there have always been more buyers than available timepieces. Rolex is estimated to make about 1.1 million replica watches for sale a year, while Patek Philippe makes about 65 000 and Audemars Piguet about 45 000 — hardly enough to satisfy luxury shoppers.
But interest in AAA perfect fake watches has exploded over the past two years, as lockdowns led people to funnel money that would have gone to vacations and fine dining into luxury goods instead. The first choice for men was a watch, and many buyers reached for the brands they knew best. Record stock markets and soaring cryptocurrencies have not only brought wealth, but also driven a broader interest in investing in alternative asset classes, whether it’s non-fungible tokens or timepieces.
The mismatch became so great that in September, Rolex took the highly unusual step of issuing a statement that scarcity was not a strategy. It simply could not keep up with demand without reducing quality. The group declined to comment further.
Even retailer Watches of Switzerland Group, which had always been able to secure Swiss movements Rolex replica watches for its boutiques in the UK and US, ran out of stock around July, thanks to demand escalating month over month. It is now working with Rolex on a new concept, where it carries a range of fake watches shop for display only. Customers can come in and try the models, including the Submariner and Daytona, which were rarely in stores before, and then register their interest — a bit like in a car showroom.
Decade-long waiting list
Watches of Switzerland doesn’t keep waiting lists beyond two years. Lists for the most popular models would otherwise extend well beyond this limit. Anecdotally, there are reports of waits for the Rolex Daytona replica watches online site stretching up to 10 years.
Shortages have also driven up prices in the secondary market, populated by operators including Germany’s Chrono24 GmbH, Watchfinder (owned by Cie Financiere Richemont SA) and London’s A Collected Man. The luxury Swiss fake Rolex Daytona watches, AP Royal Oak and Patek Nautilus can change hands for three to four times their original retail price. Other sought-after Swiss made Rolex super clone watches can trade at two times at least.
Perhaps even more frustrating than not being able to get your hands on one of these models is that the three manufacturers are privately owned, so there are few ways for equity investors to participate in the excitement. One is through Watches of Switzerland, which generates 50% to 60% of its sales from Rolex, AP and Patek. Its shares have almost trebled over the past year.
Meanwhile, interest in replica watches for men and women is spreading from the most supply-constrained brands to those owned by the listed players: Swatch Group AG and Richemont.
Omega, owned by Swatch, has a strong following, with the Speedmaster particularly popular in Asia and the latest James Bond Seamaster watch, produced to coincide with the most recent film, also sought-after. Richemont’s Cartier has been relaunching or upgrading some of its classic models over the past five years. The company’s strategy is to keep supply running slightly behind demand, after buying back excess stock in the wake of China’s anti-corruption campaign, which led to a glut of timepieces about five years ago.
Can the frenzy continue?
Online watch platform A Collected Man, which specialises in independently owned Swiss makers, has also seen interest surge in two other Richemont brands: A. Lange & Sohne and Vacheron Constantin.
The big question is whether the current frenzy, and escalating values, can continue. Recent market jitters and rising prices for many essential goods could mean their time is running out. Pressure on cryptocurrencies would be another challenge. Meanwhile, efforts to curb conspicuous consumption in China could mean less demand for top-end timepieces in the region.
But with the major issue right now being supply constraints, a slowdown in China could mean more to go around in other booming luxury markets, such as the US.
So if you can get your hands on Rolex knockoff watches wholesale this Christmas, it won’t just give you bragging rights, it’ll be a hedge against common prosperity too.