Investing in watches is one of the smartest, and probably least complicated ways you can make your money work for you.
By sticking to a few key principles, even a beginner can make it work.
I will share with you 5 of these principles today.
It’s all in the name!
Some watch brands are synonymous with luxury and craftsmanship.
They have a rock solid reputation that often spans decades.
Think Rolex and Patek Phillip for example.
Rolex was founded in 1905 and they have been flag bearers in terms of luxury and quality.
They also have a long list of ground-breaking innovations to their name.
For example Rolex was the first brand to earn a chronometer certification in a wrist watch.
The advantage of investing in luxury brand titans like Rolex and Patek Phillip is that they are generally a safe investment, because there will always be a market for them.
The downside is that everyone else is after them! so prices tend to be sky high.
The market can go absolutely crazy for a particular edition of a watch brand.
It can be because that edition is limited, as in fewer numbers were made.
Or it could be because it has a particular feature that isn’t found in the rest of the brand’s line up.
It could also be because the particular edition has a nice story behind it.
A recent auction of a rare Patek Phillip 1518 owned the late Egyptian King Farouk was recently sold at auction in Dubai for nearly $1 million US Dollars.
The watch was made in 1944, and was only one of less than 300 ever made by the luxury brand.
To top it off, it was engraved with the Egyptian royal emblem, in 18 carat gold.
And if that wasn’t enough, this was the first perpetual calendar watches ever made (i.e. it didn’t need winding to show the correct date)
So as you can see this watch completely ticks the “special edition” requirement.
If you can find a watch like this before anyone else, then congratulations!
A great back story can take a watch from being a watch to being a classic.
Let’s take the Rolex date-just.
It was launched in 1945 and it quickly became a symbol of luxury, power and authority.
One of it’s first proud owners was US wartime hero, and later president, Dwight D Eisonhower.
So if you are lucky enough to find one of the early models from the mid 1940s to the late 1950s, you will be extremely lucky. Because those early models have such a tremendous back story by the association with the US president.
A special feature
Watches with unique or ground breaking features are extremely collectable.
Let’s take the example of this classic Audemars Piguet.
This particular edition is extremely sought after because it combines manual winding perpetual calendar with that exquisite long platinum case.
It is a combination of features that has seen the value of this particular edition soar to over $40,000.
The condition of the watch is vital.
All reputable sellers and collectors should be very clear as to the condition of the watch, and include lots of close up pictures with every listing.
As a buyer you need to ask:
Does the watch have all it’s original parts?
Are there any hidden dents or scratches?
Has the watch ever been repaired?
Is there full paperwork for all the repairs?
How many previous owners and does the paper trail exist to verify this?
If you can, you should use a watch expert to asses the watch for you.
Warranty and insurance
Most sellers should offer you a decent at the point of purchase. This usually around 12 months. But some sellers offer up to 24 months.
You may also want to invest in insurance for your watch as additional protection. Particularly if you are planning to wear the watch yourself.
Now, let’s go through 5 examples of classic luxury watches that you can consider as you start investing in luxury watches
Kicking off our list is the legendary Rolex Submariner.
A diving watch with a steep history in innovation.
In the Submariner, Rolex were the first company to launch a watch that was waterproof to a depth of 100 feet in 1953; helping divers keep time, and more crucially, keep tabs on how long they stay down.
This heritage is evident with that beautiful ebony black bezel.
The steel case is something Rolex pride themselves in. It is robust but has a touch of elegance and quite sophistication.
And don’t think Rolex cut corner with those bright white hands either !
They are made from 18k white gold my friend.
The movement and precision are solid enough, but lets be honest, you don’t buy this watch to keep time!!
By owning a submariner you own a legend.
You become part of history.
It’s a watch that keeps time, while remaining timeless.
PS: We particularly love bronze bezel editions.
Breitling Navitimer GMT
Next up is the stunning Breitling Navitimer GMT; from the legendary Luxury Swiss watch-maker established in 1884.
The Navitimer features a stunning sapphire crystal case, giving both durability and scratch-resistance.
It is a chronograph watch meaning you can use it as a stop watch, which is what that extra little hand is for.
There is dual time zone and 24 hour function available meaning this watch will be a hit with frequent travellers.
Offcourse, this watch is certified by COSC, meaning its precision is beyond doubt.
If you can get your hands on the limited edition Aurora blue dial with the matching strap ; you have struck gold sir/madame!
The Breitling Navitimer is a statement of sophistication and class.
It looks reassuringly complex while remaining a breeze to use every day.
And it holds it’s value tighter than a banker holds a wad of cash!
Garaham watches have built their reputation on being mechanical marvels. George Graham himself was a leading watchmaker of the 18th century.
The first thing that strikes you about the Graham Oversize is , well, it’s size. That huge flamboyant face is an impressive 47mm in diameter.
But without a doubt its crowning glory is that beautiful chronograph trigger, that looks like it’s the trigger to launch a rocket into space!
I was hesitant that a watch this large might be difficult to wear for people with smaller wrists, but the lug drops so tightly that it hugs most wrist-sizes without slipping or being floppy.
If you want to invest in a watch that combines flamboyance and prestige then the Graham is what you need.
It’s loud, it’s big and it says ” LOOK AT ME”!!
Look out for one of the limited edition versions for that extra bit of rarity
Hublot classic racing grey
Striding with grace and elegance into our list is the Hublot classic racing grey 45mm watch.
While most watches in our list are loud and flamboyant, the Hublot oozes dignified class.
The titanium case not only adds a luxurious finish, but gives robustness. This is a big watch measuring 45mm across so people will notice as it sits proudly on your wrist.
I love the simplicity of the dial and the hands. It’s minimalist and uncluttered. And that striking racing grey colour is as smooth as a james Bond smile!
The Hublot classic is a watch for the purists. A simple and elegant watch that doesn’t need to shout to be noticed.
It just gets noticed!
Omega Seamaster 300
Up next is the Omega seamaster 300M. As the name suggests this is another watch with strong maritime connections.
Everything from the helium escape valve at the 10 o’clock position, the 30 second timer at the 3 o’clock position to the wave pattern of the seconds dial is a nod to the art of deep sea diving.
Look beyond the diving heritage and you will see a watch that boasts exquisite detail. The case is 42mm in diameter made from polished stainless steel.
The face glass is re-inforced with sapphire crystals for extra durability and scratch-resistance.
And that beautiful stainless steel strap adds to the comforting solidity of this watch.
This is a modern classic from a brand at the cutting edge of watch-making today.
There is a plethora of choice when it comes to colours and styles to satisfy even the fussiest of collectors.
Should you consider Pre-owned watches?
These watches hold their value magnificently; so a pre-owned one in good nick as as good as buying a new one.
So don’t be shy in visiting the “used” stand in your local dealer.
Should you buy online?
Well, let us answer this by saying you MUST buy online!
For two very good reasons.
- This is where you get the best deals both in terms of price and warranty. Online retailers have few overheads so they can offer some terrific savings
- It is perfectly secure provided you go to a reputable seller; and most even give you a 2 year warranty