I wanted to do a post on a topic that I have never read before anywhere else and something that is different than my usual posts. I did internet research and even interviewed a few watch dealers to get this valuable information. I am fascinated with watches and a thought came to me one day. What watch brands hold their value or even increase in value as time passes? The list below is a great list with excellent brands, but unfortunately cost an arm and a leg just to get your hands on some of these. So if you want to invest in one of these you better start saving now because they are costly? Obviously if you are in the market for one of these you should be debt free, on solid financial ground, and have a huge net worth before attempting to buy one of these time pieces. Make a new budget category labeled future watch purchase, hahaha.
I have heard through the grapevine that wealthy individuals actually invest in timepieces as a way to hedge part of their money against other risky investments in their portfolios or to place surplus money in a hard asset. Have any of you heard of anything like this? Would you consider this for your own investment strategy if you could? If you knew for a fact that certain watches equals value would you drop a few thousand and make a purchase?
Examples of Hard Assets:
Jewelry (Gold, Silver, Precious Stones)
Cars, Planes, Boats
Vintage Furniture / Artwork
Machinery ( For Businesses)
The important thing to consider when purchasing one of these watches is first and foremost is to decide what movement you desire and if it is made by the company itself or not. Automatic, mechanical, quartz, and Solar are the only options for watch movements. By far the automatic movements with a power reserve (powered by your mobility aka Kinetic) are pricier than the others and it will hold its value longer. In addition to the complications mentioned before always make sure that the movement is Swiss made as this will pay off later in eventual resale. You will see a small print in the face of the watch that will verify if it is or not Swiss made. In addition to this if you dig a little further you can find out if the movement is a Valjoux which is a highly respected and recognized movement. The retail prices of most of these brands range between $1,500 – 80,000+. IWC and Omega are on the lower end of the price range and Patek Philippe and Jaeger LeCoultre are on the higher range price point. The companies who market their brands too heavily are disgraced by watch collectors because they are more mass produced in the world of watches and thus eventually will not increase in value. Quality over quantity is a key lesson for watch aficionados. This is something to consider prior to a time piece purchase.
Best Watches equals Value Brands:
-A. Lange & Sohne
If you notice there are some brands that are not mentioned here like Movado or Oris, I do recognize that these two brands and a few others as being good for certain target markets, but overall they do not increase in value as the brands on the list if they do at all. Granted other companies offer excellent watches, but the value of certain brands tend to stay level.
Important fact and a distinction people overlook is for what purpose you are buying this timepiece whether you want this time piece to be for everyday wear or for special occasions? Always remember that you should look at purchasing a timepiece that is timeless literally, because then you can pass it down to your heirs. Even though most of the brands on this list might be considered luxury and can cost more than what the average person might want to spend. It is important to understand that this category of watches aka luxury are the ones that increase in value over time while the budget based watch categories do not. (Examples of budget based brands: Seiko, Citizen, Bulova, Timex, Invicta, Swiss Legend, Fossil, etc.)
Companies who are honorably mentioned for having excellent timepieces but did not make the list: Hamilton, Tissot, Bell & Ross, Momo Design, Oris, and Tag Huerer. (Value increases if any will not be as substantial) Also any watch made by a fashion designers like Coach, Versace, Michael Kors, or Gucci is blasphemy for real watch collectors, but might hold a special place for certain brand lovers. They are hell bent on making a fashion statement rather than making a fine time piece. Also to all you Michael Kors watch loving people, did you know that fossil is the maker of their watch movement? Enough Said.
-Getting a watch that will increase in value and could possibly be triple its worth in 15 years is another example of watching your money!
PS: Ask Men has a cool section called the watch snob where the author answers any questions you may have with luxury based watches.
*The series and movement of these brands will determine if the value will increase.
PSS: Rolex is the most recognized brand and it is renowned worldwide as a timeless brand. Pic By Rolex