Luxury Watches as a Financial Investment: A Comprehensive Guide

When you look at resellers’ prices for some watch models, they can make your head spin. Some of the most popular models are sold for ten thousand – if not more –, after their retail price started somewhere in the four-figure range at best.

Luxury Watches as a Financial Investment

These jumps in value, based on rarity, passing time, and watch collector trends, can make a high-quality watch a promising investment. How do you invest in luxury watches, and where do you find suitable models to buy?

Price Developments in the Luxury Watch Sector

Luxury watches are more than a tool to tell the time, that much is clear. In a world where smartphones exist, nobody would pay much more than the material and production value of an object that has practically become obsolete. 

It is mostly the prestige tied to a high-quality wristwatch that still makes them beloved items. The watches of prestigious Swiss manufacturers are on many wish lists and want to be owned as a marker of personal success and status.

The value of a watch is much more measured in non-haptic things, like the tradition and expertise of the manufacturer. The models with the highest complexity have been hand-built by them and therefore only exist in small batches. This makes them the ideal collector’s items. 

Over time, the number of intact watches from a certain model decreases, and the value of individual pieces skyrockets.

For example:

● The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Calibre 5 started with a retail price of about $2,200. Today, we can find models of this kind selling for as high as $26,310 (www.chrono24.co.uk/tagheuer/aquaracer--mod149.htm).

● More popular collector’s watches, like the Rolex Submariner, starting at $8,950 and reaching $37,950 retail price depending on the model, are easily sold for 6-figure numbers.

● It might be a non-replicable event, but record sales like the Rolex Daytona owned by Hollywood Star Paul Newman started out with a retail price of $210 in 1968. Afterwards, the watch was most recently sold for $17.8 million at an auction in 2017. Watches of the same model that were not owned by Paul Newman often are sold for around $250,000.

Luxury Watches as an Investment

Clearly, there is a chance for monetary gain when buying the right watch and holding on to it for a while. Compared to virtual assets like stocks, when we buy watches, we have a haptic item with intrinsic material worth created by 

● the craftsmanship of the watchmakers, 

● their complex technologies, and 

● valuable metals. 

In some cases, an idealistic or historical value will be added on top.

What exactly makes luxury watches a promising investment?

What Drives a Watch’s Value?

The price of a watch is driven by market demand. How much you will gain by selling it is entirely dependent on whether interested buyers exist. In contrast to investments in the stock market, real estate, or resources like gold, watches are a collector’s item.

Which watch is in high demand is typically tied to the manufacturer and the exclusivity of the model. Traditionally, Swiss watchmakers have established themselves as the creators with the highest quality of craftsmanship and complexity. They have a long history of researching and developing new technologies and driving the industry forward.

This quality is based on events of the past:

➔ The high focus on decorative and luxurious watches in Geneva developed from the ban of jewelry called out by Protestant Reformist John Calvin in 1541. The established jewelers had to discover a loophole and found it in creating highly decorative yet practical items, in the form of watches, which Calvin deemed proper thanks to their functionality.

➔ Later, when quartz watches rose to popularity in the 1979s, they doubled down on their focus on intricate and highly technical mechanic watches to rival the easier-to-create and thus more affordable battery-powered variants.

Thus, the most popular collector’s watches are often powered by mechanic or automatic movements and include many complications, like moon phases, perpetual calendars, and many other functionalities.

Additionally, they are typically made from valuable materials, such as gold and gems.

Overall, the value of a watch is tied to:

● the brand

● the production numbers

● limited editions

● used materials & technologies

● manufacturing type (hand manufactured, mass fabrication)

● manufacturing date

● rarity of intact models

● collector’s market trends

What to Consider When Investing in a Luxury Watch?

Informed Decisions – As with most investments, it is important to put in some research first. Around 20 % of luxury watches end up being a profitable investment. It is essential to use statistics and keep an eye on the market to discover promising models and good prices.

Good Condition – You can buy the watch and lock it away or be especially careful when wearing it.

Original Papers – Keep the original boxes and papers to prove the authenticity of the watch easily.

Mechanism, Complications & Functionalities – Typically, the more complex and intricate a watch is, the more it distinguishes itself from others and the higher the demand for it is.

Quality of Materials – The used materials, like precious metals, always add their own material value.

Scarcity – Rare watches are highly sought after and will be sold for the highest prices in exchange for owning them exclusively.

Conclusion – Are Watches a Worthy Investment?

Luxury watches can be a great option for portfolio diversification. Historically, their value remains stable and – in the case of models with collector’s value – rises over time as the number of intact objects decreases. With the right background knowledge, an investor can buy a watch for a comparatively small price and increase their capital by selling it years later.

In some lucky cases, watch values have risen by multiple thousands. Since the true potential of collector’s watches develops over time, it is best used in combination with more short-time investments in other assets, like stocks.

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TechGlobeX: Luxury Watches as a Financial Investment: A Comprehensive Guide
Luxury Watches as a Financial Investment: A Comprehensive Guide
Portfolio Diversification with Luxury Watches ► Is it worth it? ► Definition ✅ Benefits ✅ Chances ✅
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