>> In a sign of the times, luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet is embracing the second hand.>> It's a next big thing in the watch industry.>> The Swiss company is the first big brand to announce plans to tap into a rapidly expanding $5 billion a year market for pre-owned premium watches.
The next luxury watch sector is worth more than $45 billion. But there's an industry-wide sale slowdown, and new generation of customers value variety more than permanent ownership.>> A second-hand watch trade was handled by what I call the dark side. Everyone was at it but not the brands themselves which for me is commercial nonsense.
>> Luxury watch makers fear diluting the exclusiveness of their brands and cannibalizing their sales, handing a growing consumer base to third party dealers.>> But Audemar will test the market, launching it's second hand business in several Swiss outlets before rolling it out globally if it's a success. Supporters says customers buying from brands directly can feel confident they'll receive genuine products with a valid warranty.
So far there's no details on how the second-hand time pieces will be priced or a launch date. But smaller brands too are signaling interest, attempting to stay up to the minute with what consumers want.