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09/19/2022
 2 minutes

30s vs 40s: Which watches are most popular in different age groups?

By Thomas Hendricks
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Have you ever seen a photo of yourself from ten years ago and thought, “What was I wearing?” or “Who thought that haircut was a good idea?” Thankfully, watch purchases are seldom something to regret, but tastes can and do evolve over time.  

We’ve crunched the numbers to find the top-10 most popular watches on Chrono24 for buyers in their 30s and 40s. Do you have a good grasp of the watch market? Let’s see if you can guess which watch matches up with each age group. 

The Omega Speedmaster Reduced is very popular among the younger crowd.
The Omega Speedmaster Reduced is very popular among the younger crowd.
The Omega Speedmaster Racing is preferred among slightly older collectors.
The Omega Speedmaster Racing is preferred among slightly older collectors.

First up, we have the Omega Speedmaster Reduced vs. the Omega Speedmaster Racing

The data says: younger buyers prefer the Reduced and older buyers prefer the Racing edition. 

This reflects a wider trend of younger buyers purchasing more mainstream models, while more seasoned buyers gravitate towards niche references. It’s a similar story with NOMOS: 30-something buyers prefer the classic NOMOS Tangente ref. 139, while 40-somethings opt for the NOMOS Tangente Neomatik 41 Update ref. 180. 

Next up, we have the Breitling Navitimer ref. 806 vs. the Breitling Colt ref. A17035

The Breitling Navitimer ref. 806 is more popular among older buyers.
The Breitling Navitimer ref. 806 is more popular among older buyers.
Younger buyers prefer the Breitling Colt ref. A17035.
Younger buyers prefer the Breitling Colt ref. A17035.

The data says: younger buyers prefer the Colt and older buyers prefer the Navitimer. 

This is a good example of a not-so-surprising trend that we see across the board with different brands: purchase price tends to increase with age. The average sales price for the top-10 watches for 30-somethings is roughly $3,700. This jumps to roughly $6,000 for 40-somethings. 

Now let’s talk about Rolex: Here, we have the Yacht-Master II ref. 116680 and the Yacht-Master 40 ref. 126621

Older collectors tend to buy the larger Rolex Yacht-Master II ref. 116680.
Older collectors tend to buy the larger Rolex Yacht-Master II ref. 116680.
Younger collectors prefer smaller dials such as the Yacht-Master II ref. 126621.
Younger collectors prefer smaller dials such as the Yacht-Master II ref. 126621.

The data says: young guns prefer the more compact Yacht-Master 40, while the old heads prefer the 44-mm ref. 116680. In fact, we see a near unanimous increase in case size with age. The average diameter of the top-10 watches is 37.7 mm for those in their 30s, vs. 41.9 mm for those in their 40s. 

OK, let’s switch it up a bit for the last matchup. We’re pitting the modern Cartier Santos WSSA0029 against the IWC Pilot Chronograph “Le Petit Prince”

The Cartier Santos WSSA0029 is popular among a younger audience.
The Cartier Santos WSSA0029 is popular among a younger audience.
The older generation prefers the IWC Pilot Chronograph "Le Petit Prince."
The older generation prefers the IWC Pilot Chronograph “Le Petit Prince.”

The data says: younger buyers prefer the Santos and older buyers prefer the IWC. This reflects a few common trends, including brand preference by age bracket. Younger buyers gravitate towards: Rolex, AP, Hublot, Cartier, NOMOS, Omega, and Richard Mille. Older buyers, on the other hand, prefer Panerai, IWC, and dressier options like Blancpain, JLC, Chopard, Breguet, and Glashütte Original. 


About the Author

Thomas Hendricks

I didn’t grow up a watch guy, but a few years after graduating from university, I landed a job at the online publication Watchonista as a writer and marketer. “Welcome to the watch world,” my colleagues told me half-jokingly, “no one ever leaves!” Now at Chrono24, I work as a private client advisor, helping people find the perfect watch for major life moments.

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