The Top 5 Watch Brands To Invest In
As more people aspire to becoming luxury watch connoisseurs and collectors, the secondary market has been booming: a Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime sold for $31 million, the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona brought $17.8 million, and Elvis Presley’s Omega Caliber 510 went for $1.9 million. But how can a beginning watch collector get in the game? What are the top watch brands to invest in? What do you need to know before you buy?
What Are The Top Watch Brands To Invest In?
Rolex has been called the best-known luxury watch brand in the world: everybody recognizes its best-of-the-best Swiss craftsmanship and materials. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong buying a Rolex, as long as it’s authentic.
Unfortunately, more and more of the Rolex watches on the secondary market are counterfeits. So begin by reading our tip sheet on How to Spot a Fake Rolex and beware of buying from anyone who can’t authenticate and warranty your watch.
Since its start in 1839 as a firm first known as Patek, Czapek & Cie, Geneva based Patek Philippe has had a reputation as a brand that holds, and sometimes exceeds, its original value. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
A Calatrava that cost $300 in the mid-1950s can easily command 15 or 20 times that amount today. The Nautilus sports watches designed by the legendary Gérald Genta, which sold for $3,000 in the 1970s, can now cost five- or six-figure sums, while new Nautilus watches with a particular blue-black face have a waiting list that’s years long.
Although Omega started in Switzerland back in 1848, the brand wasn’t well known in the United States until 1932, when it became the official timekeeper for the Los Angeles Olympics. Then, in 1962, astronaut Wally Schirra wore a Speedmaster on his Mercury mission. This set a precedent that would lead to Buzz Aldrin wearing an Omega on 1969 lunar landing. Today, collectors seek out models like the Seamaster, Constellation, and Chronostop, particularly from the 1940s through 1960s.
Ranked with the foremost names in haute horlogerie since its founding since 1755, this Swiss watchmaker has long counted kings, queens, popes, princes, and presidents among its clientele and, according to WP Diamonds’ watch expert Tom Pozsgay, “is currently undervalued.” Best buys on this brand are models that show off its distinctive design, such as the Patrimony, Traditionnelle, and Historiques.
Last on our list of the top watch brands to invest in is Audemars Piguet. Still run by the family that founded the business in 1875, this Joux Valley-based watchmaker made haute horlogerie history with the first minute-repeating watch, the first skeleton wristwatch, and, most recently, the first ultra-thin automatic tourbillon. Today, the Royal Oak remains its most sought-after model, but you should also do well with the Classique and Skeleton.
What To Know About Investing In Watches?
1. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it: The guy who strolls out of a store and flips his watch for more money than he paid is the stuff of legend. Yes, it has happened, but not as often as people think (and even then it was usually happened for watches with a five- or six-figure buy-in).
Luxury brands take precautions to make sure their brand is not losing its value: tracking who buys what and limiting quantities. Likewise, scooping up a luxury watch at an auction (or auction site) is rarely a quick and easy way to make money.
2. Nothing is guaranteed: Events as random as which celebrity wears a watch on the red carpet will affect a watch’s resale value. “I don’t like people to think of watches as investment vehicles,” explains Tom Pozsgay, WP Diamonds’ watch expert, “Some watches retain their value more than others, but you’ll always be happiest buying a watch that you’ll wear—and then preserving its value so you have the option of reselling down the line.”
3. Keep the original box and papers in good condition: Because they speak to the history and provenance of your watch, any collector, auctioneer, or resale platform will ask for papers and packaging.
For example, a Patek Philippe watch comes with a Certificate of Origin that is literally irreplaceable, because it functions as the watch’s “birth certificate,” guaranteeing its authenticity and warranty. Having one can make a huge difference in the price you get when you sell your watch.
4. Have your watch serviced by an authorized dealer: Like other pricey machinery, sports cars being one example, your pricey mechanical watch will need service on a regular basis. Rolex, for instance, recommends taking your watch to an authorized dealer for a tune-up every seven to ten years.
But pay attention to the word authorized, since you don’t want just anyone opening up your Rolex. (The servicing process for a Rolex is so particular that different types of lubrication are used on different parts of the watch.) When that service is over, remember to save the receipt and stash it with the watch’s other paperwork.
How To Afford A Luxury Watch?
Do as the serious watch collectors do: finance your next watch by selling the watches that you no longer need or want to the watch experts at WP Diamonds.
Created in 2012 as a 21st-century alternative to pawnbrokers and auction houses, WP Diamonds can complete the buying and selling process in as little as 24 hours. Our watch experts will buy your luxury watches and jewelry outright in a process with no hidden fees or commissions deducted.
How it works:
- Complete the online form
- Receive your price quote
- Request a free, fully insured shipping label to send your watches to our office or schedule an in-person appointment in NYC, the UK, Tokyo or Hong Kong
- Receive your final offer
- Accept payment or your watch is returned free of charge
Where To Buy Luxury Watches For The Best Price?
At myGemma you can shop a selection of pre-owned watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet at up to 80% off retail. Discover incredible buys ranging from a Rolex Submariner 116610LV to a Patek Philippe ladies’ white gold and diamond Twenty-4, all authenticated and warrantied by our team of luxury watch experts.
With those savings, easy monthly payment plans, free U.S. shipping and 14-day return policy, your opportunity to own one, or more, luxury watches may be just a click away.