In today’s digital world, almost anyone and everyone can check the time via their phone or tablet. Consequently, you might assume that unless your watch has a few apps or can alert you to your latest texts, then your timepiece must be outdated and worthless.
But despite the rise in technology, luxury watches still retain a great deal of their value. Like wine, art, or diamonds, some watch brands deserve a spot in your investment portfolio. The following brands, in particular, can bring in thousands of dollars (and occasionally millions) when properly maintained.
Even if you’ve never shown much interest in watches until now, you’ve likely heard of a Rolex. Rolex, by default, is one of the best-known watch brands, and many buyers will pay extra for a brand they are familiar with.
Rolex relies on 904L steel, which is gorgeous but difficult to machine. Additionally, Rolex has its own in-house foundry to make all the gold and platinum components for their watches. And they test each batch of diamonds and precious stones before hand-setting the gems. When you purchase a Rolex, you can rest assured that you purchase quality, both inside and out.
However, keep in mind that some models appreciate more than others. In general, the sport watch models, such as the GMT, the Submariner, and the Daytona, do the best over time. To break even on your investment, look for vintage models (older than 30 years).
2. Patek Philippe
For watch enthusiasts, Patek Philippe has almost the same popularity as the Rolex. These high-end Swiss watches have an understated elegance and craftsmanship that make them one of the most-sought brands in the industry.
Although their manufacturing process remains a closely guarded secret, the most basic Patek Philippe watches take as long as nine months to complete from start to finish due to their intricate detailing. And the more complicated designs can take as long as two years to produce. Due to limited production, Patek Philippe watches have a scarcity that makes them immensely valuable straight from retail.
Like Rolex, not every Patek Philippe watch will automatically increase in value. So look for models such as the Patek Philippe Calatrava, Nautilus, and Aquanaut.
Omega has an impressive history of branding. It journeyed to the moon on Buzz Aldrin’s wrist, and it was
James Bond’s watch of choice in Casino Royale. A few other noteworthy individuals have donned Omega watches, including Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, and George Clooney. When you invest in an Omega watch, you can count on a few heads turning in your direction.
Unlike Rolex and Patek Philippe, Omega relies heavily on its branding and marketing campaign rather than its watch design to attract attention. But though their watches can’t compete for complexity, their Speedmaster Professional model did survive testing from the United States Space Agency, making it a technological success and a popular investment piece.
If you’d like to invest in Omega’s other high-end models, take a look at the Omega SA, Constellation, and
De Ville. All of these luxury watches have seen impressive growth in their recent market sales.
Breitling Swiss-made watches have been a popular investment choice since 1884. Many of their models come especially constructed for pilots, athletes, and artists, and they’ve long been a status symbol for prestige and performance. Celebrities such as Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Tom Cruise, and Leonardo DiCaprio have worn Breitling watches to famous events.
Breitling combines its centuries-old techniques with the latest advancements in manufacturing and production. And like Patek Philippe, Breitling has several rare models that make for the perfect addition to any collection. For example, Breitling only made 50 of the Bentley Flying B J28363, and it currently retails for over $255,500.
Want to purchase something a little more reasonable? Look for the Breitling Navitimer, Superocean Chronograph, and the Barnato Chronograph.
Don’t Miss Your Next Opportunity
The above brands all make for a worthy investment, so if you can find them, you should hold onto them for as long as possible. Keep a look out for these brands in the most unlikely places, from auction sites to pawn shops. You never know when a timeless timepiece will show up.