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They are among the most popular watches in the luxury segment and made it to the wrists of delighted customers quite frequently this year: the Top 10 most coveted certified pre-owned luxury watches of 2020 from Watchmaster. We've taken the time to look back at 2020 and reveal our top sellers of the year.



Which pre-owned watches were the most sought-after in 2020?


Basically, it's not that surprising, but still kind of impressive: Rolex has managed to place a total of six models in our Top 10 most popular second-hand luxury watches of 2020, which have increased in value by a remarkable 69% over the past five years. Another interesting fact is that the luxury brand Omega remains close on the heels of market leader Rolex, claiming second place among the most popular brands with a total of two models in our Top 10 list. However, the development of Cartier is also remarkable: especially during Christmas season, the Parisian Maison enjoys particularly high popularity and can thus also look back on booming sales figures.


"If we only look at the fourth quarter of 2020, Cartier is one of the most sought-after brands. More and more women are discovering the world of watches for themselves; in addition to Rolex, models by Cartier are particularly popular under the Christmas tree. In order to meet this high demand, we specifically buy ladies' models from Cartier during the last quarter of the year", says Tim-Hendrik Meyer, CEO of Watchmaster.


Market leader Rolex takes six places

As the leading platform for certified pre-owned luxury watches, Watchmaster has determined the models and the ranking of this Top 10 list based on the number of sales of each model during the past year. Clearly, Rolex defends its position as the most popular luxury watch brand and dominates the Top 10 with six different models. This year, there is also a ladies' model particularly popular again: the Lady-Datejust was able to take sixth place in our ranking. For comparison: the men's version, the Datejust, won first place.


"Rolex is the brand with the most stable trend in value, particularly in the pre-owned watch market," says Meyer. He further states: "The less change in the original condition of the watch, the more valuable the watch becomes. Furthermore, their steel and sports models enjoy exceptional popularity".


The 10 most popular luxury watches of 2020


1st place: Rolex Datejust

As the "archetype of the modern wristwatch", the Rolex Datejust might actually serve as a blueprint for men's wristwatches. A timeless design language paired with the highest quality has made the Datejust an absolute favourite of the public since 1945 – which is also reflected by its high sales figures at Watchmaster. In addition, due to its great popularity, the Datejust model regularly serves as a test case for Rolex. It was therefore the first watch from the Geneva-based manufacturer to be equipped with features that are now considered indispensable, such as the jubilee bracelet or the date display, which is located at 3 o'clock and changes automatically.


Rolex Datejust 116231 two-tone watch with black dial and jubilee bracelet
ROLEX DATEJUST 116231


2nd place: Rolex Submariner Date

As the queen of diving watches, the Submariner deserves to wear the crown of the Rolex brand logo. With an initial water resistance of 200 metres, the Submariner set standards back in 1954. Today, it is one of the most popular and famous watches in the world, with a water resistance of up to 300 metres and with or without a date display positioned at 3 o'clock. Its design has been copied and adapted countless times, but remains unrivalled. The Submariner can also boast impressive figures: As the second most lucrative investment in our top 10, the Submariner Date has enjoyed a 65% increase in value over the past five years, of which 20% can be attributed to this year alone.


3rd place: Rolex GMT-Master II

For the cosmopolitans of the world, Rolex designed the now legendary GMT-Master in 1955. In 1983, the GMT-Master II was launched, allowing its wearer to read up to three different time zones simultaneously. Originally developed for the employees of the American airline Pan Am, the GMT-Master II still features the airline's colours with its blue and red "Pepsi" bezel. With a 69% increase in value over the last five years, the GMT-Master II is only third in our list, but it is the most profitable model after all.


Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR Root Beer watch with black-brown bezel on light grey marble table next to cappuccino
ROLEX GMT-MASTER II "ROOT BEER" 126711CHNR


4th place: Rolex Oyster Perpetual

When Rolex launched the Oyster Perpetual in 1933, the watch world was left in awe. As the first waterproof automatic wristwatch, the Oyster Perpetual introduced features that we now take for granted in our watches. Thanks to its timeless design, the Oyster Perpetual still looks fresh and modern today, almost 100 years after its debut.


5th place: Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is irrevocably linked to the moon landing in 1969, making it a true watch icon. The precise stainless steel chronograph with manual winding has been showered with awards since its successful mission on the moon and, in addition to being a good model to enter the world of luxury watches, it offers everything a collector's heart desires: an impressive history, prestige, a great name and outstanding quality. Affectionately called "Speedy" or "Moonwatch" by fans and admirers, the model has well and truly earned its place in our list.


Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph 311.30.42.30.01.006 steel watch with black dial in black marble case next to notebook
OMEGA SPEEDMASTER MOONWATCH CHRONOGRAPH 311.30.42.30.01.006


6th place: Rolex Lady-Datejust

The definite proof of the growing popularity of luxury watches among women is the Rolex Lady-Datejust collection. Made of steel and gold, the ladies' version of the Datejust comes with smaller case diameters and delicate bracelets, but still maintains all the characteristics of the original collection: high prestige, fantastic everyday usability and timeless design – in fact, a Datejust at heart.


7th place: TAG Heuer Carrera

Although the TAG Heuer Carrera was originally released as a high-precision chronograph, it is now also available as a simple three-hand watch. The Carrera was developed in 1962 after young Jack Heuer heard about the infamous Carrera Panamericana Rally, the most dangerous car race in the world at the time. The chronograph quickly became a popular accessory for racing drivers and enthusiasts. It is not only its history that makes the Carrera stand out, but also the high quality of the watch. The fact that you can get all this for a comparably low price is another reason for its position in our ranking.


39 mm TAG Heuer Carrera WV211A.FC6203 watch with white dial and brown leather strap
TAG HEUER CARRERA WV211A.FC6203


8th place: Omega Seamaster Diver 300M

The next candidate on our list became famous on the wrist of film spy James Bond: the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M. Since 1957, the model has been considered a serious competitor to the Rolex Submariner and has since made a name for itself as a worthy opponent. Unique and distinctive design coupled with high quality, a water resistance of up to 300 metres and a sporty image make the Seamaster Diver 300M a best-seller and well-deserved eighth place among Watchmaster's most popular luxury watches.


9th place: Rolex Daytona

As the born competitor of the TAG Heuer Carrera, things started off rather badly for the Rolex Daytona. However, when legendary actor Paul Newman received a model from the collection as a gift from his wife and presented it to the public on his wrist, the tables turned and the prices for the Daytona skyrocketed. Today, the Cosmograph is one of the most sought-after watches of all time, which can also be expressed in impressive figures: Over the past five years, the Daytona has seen its value increase by 39% to 43%. Within one year, this amounts to 16% to 21%. Considering the already high prices for pre-owned Daytona models, this is a remarkable return on investment.


Rolex Daytona 116503 two-tone watch with a black dial on a black leather cushion
ROLEX DAYTONA 116503


10th place: Breitling Superocean Heritage

One of the most sought-after diving watches in the Breitling range, the Breitling Superocean Heritage collection comes with various sub-brands in different sizes. Whether with a dominant 46 mm or moderate 42 diameter, as a three-hand watch or as a chronograph, the Superocean Heritage combines classic design elements with modern lines and proves over and over again that Breitling has more than earned its place among the most sought-after luxury watches.

Here they are – our, or rather your Top 10 of the most popular certified pre-owned luxury watches of 2020. Four brands and ten different models show that renowned manufacturers such as Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet certainly have their raison d'être in the watch world, but the general public tends to prefer robust watches made of stainless steel that can withstand daily wear without any concerns. The price certainly plays a decisive role here, because the aforementioned collections are all in the luxury segment, but are still to be found among the more affordable models on the luxury watch market.