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Pro at work: Wong showing the luxury watches on sale at his boutique at Penang Plaza in Burmah Road. — KT GOH/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Owning luxury watches like Rolex is the new rage among the young who cannot go for holidays abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Watch specialist Vincent Wong said there has been an uptrend in demand for such timepieces as investment since the first lockdown in 2020.

“Due to the pandemic, foreign currencies have become unstable.

“Many people, especially the young ones, have decided to invest in watches with the money saved from what was supposed to be meant for their overseas travels.

“The value of luxury watches is more secure and the trade-in value is recognised internationally and valued in US dollar.

“More young people are into watches due to the influence of social media.

“Brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe hold better value, depending on the models,” he said when met at his boutique at the Penang Plaza in Burmah Road yesterday.

Wong said the second hand value for some watches could go up to between 50% and 120%, depending on the brands and models.

“There is a strong supply-and-demand for investment in these timepieces, especially for models after 2010.

“Although the retail prices for watches are fixed, sometimes they are not available at authorised outlets.

“The retail price for Rolex watches is between RM25,000 and RM100,000 but the resale value can be way higher than that.

“Although the value for money will depreciate over time, the value of luxury watches will always remain.

“Since the various phases of the movement control order (MCO), we have also received more repair and reconditioning works,” he said.

According to Forbes, the popularity of Rolex watches is due to its demand that vastly exceeds the supply of new timepieces, leading to a robust secondary market for pre-owned watches.

Branded goods trader Adibah Ahmad Asri said there were also those who sold off their luxury watches during the movement control order.

Engineer HT Ong, 45, who is an avid watch collector, said he began investing in watches 20 years ago.

“I started buying watches when I was young as I love watches.

“I have a collection at home, including brands such as Breitling, Omega, TAG Heuer, and Rolex.

“I have been buying from an online company which has good feedback and reviews.

“I was told that the value of a Rolex watch does not depreciate,” he said.

Ong said he would only sell his branded watches when he wanted an “upgrade” for a higher range of watches.

“I can make at least 20% profit by selling a branded watch.

“There will always be new watches with better features in the future.

“If I have the ability, I will invest in them and trade up my current ones,” he said.

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