Watch geeks drive booming trade in preowned pieces

NEW YORK (AP) — A thriving trade in preowned luxury watches is overshadowing sales of new time pieces, fueled by internet buzz and a proliferation of dedicated retailers who pull in millions of dollars a year.

Established brands are also getting into the business. It's good news for anyone who has pined for a Rolex or an Omega, with gently owned pieces often on the market for a third of the price of a new one.

And even though watches have been disappearing from people's wrists with the spread of mobile phones, luxury watches remain a popular status symbol. In fact, sales have slightly crept up in the last two years.