Rolex appeal fades as recession blues hit Singapore

Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:42pm EST
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By Melanie Lee

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - Suffering from recession blues and looking to offload that new Rolex watch?

Don't turn to us, say second-hand luxury stores in Singapore, who are being swamped with requests from people desperate to sell their luxury goods.

Traditionally resilient during times of economic downturn, more than 70 second hand shops in the city-state are feeling the chill of recession, as the appetite for expensive goods has fallen sharply despite big discounts.

"Rolex prices have been like a reliable currency in the past, but there are signs that even Rolex is hit by this recession wave," said Ngo Han, an avid watch collector.

"New Rolexes are selling at much lower prices than before and that has trickled down to the second-hand market," Ngo said.

Home to the highest density of millionaires in the world, Singapore is a wealth management center and a shopping destination for the region's wealthy.


Second-hand stores that stock luxury goods, such as brand name bags and flatscreen televisions, experienced a boom in the past few years, as rising incomes and the need to upgrade to keep up with fast-changing fashions created a fertile secondary market for designer wares.   Continued...

<p>A view of the Central Business District in Singapore September 23, 2008. REUTERS/Allison Ching</p>