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Rolex and Patek Returns Beat Vintage Cars and Bitcoin

After bull run, luxury watch prices starting to soften

A 5726/1 Nautilus Annual Calendar

A 5726/1 Nautilus Annual Calendar

Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

An unprecedented price surge for the most sought-after second-hand luxury watches is showing signs of settling down after some owners put their Rolex and Patek Philippe timepieces back on the block to cash out, a new index by trading platform Subdial shows. 

The Subdial50 index, which tracks global market prices for the 50 most traded luxury watches by value, has declined about 6% in the past 30 days. A black-dial Rolex Daytona reference 116500LN has lost 10% of its value in a month, though it’s still up about 19% in the past 12 months. The blue-dialed Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 steel sports watch — which retails for about £119,000 ($145,230) on the site -- is down about 12% in 30 days after surging 44% in 12 months, the data show.