As falls crypto, so falls crypto’s status symbols, as the price of Rolex Daytona watches points to the dashed dreams of cryptocurrency and its enthusiasts.
Financial experts have come to view the collector’s item watches as a barometer of buoyancy for cryptocurrency mavericks. “The watch world has, in the last couple of years, become kind of a big echo chamber,” WatchCharts founder Charles Tian told Business Insider.
And after two years of performing like equities and real estate, these once must-have crypto bro luxuries are now heeding the laws of physics.
From a March high of about $48,500, RD’s coveted Cosmograph Ref. 116500, slid to about $36,676 as of 3:40 pm (PT) Monday, according to WatchCharts. A downward trajectory mirrored in prices of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus.
Prices of all three had exploded last fall through early summer, as the echo chamber fed the hunger among cryptomaniacs for these three specific, hard-to-get models, though other similarly well-known Swiss brands also benefited from the fever.
Bloomberg columnist Andrea Felsted pointed to the market’s “bling boom” bubble, inflated by crypto and stock gains, reflecting Jeffries’ findings that crypto wealth accounted for at least a quarter of the growth of U.S. luxury sales.
There’s no shock that luxury goods would face a downturn in today’s economic climate, when a Goldman Sachs analysis found that conservative investment portfolios faced the biggest decline since 1932, and inflation is at his highest since 1981. Oddly, several decades ago it was market volatility and geopolitical turbulence that brought investors to Swiss luxury watches as supposedly more durable investments.
“While the level of growth in the secondary market since 2021 may be unsustainable, we believe that there is a strong baseline of value to be found in ‘investment-grade’ luxury watches,” Morgan Stanley analysts Edouard Aubin and Elena Mariani wrote in a research note that Business Insider reported.
This market’s longer-term enthusiasts established a value baseline separate from the one goosed by trend-chasing speed investors. “Those people aren’t going to go away just because the market drops,” WatchCharts’ Tian told BI.
And for his part, Paul Altieri, founder of leading Rolex reseller Bob’s Watches, reports that the dip he’s seen in his own shop’s Daytona market isn’t as dramatic as the one WatchCharts has tracked.
One plausible reason? His company doesn’t accept cryptocurrency.
“That money is still out there,” Altieri said. “And it’s gonna find good quality assets to buy. There’s just an insatiable appetite.”
The “bling boom” may be over, but they aren’t making that many Daytonas. Time may still be money, but apparently not all money’s equal.
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