While a luxury watch is always an exciting purchase, it is quite rare that it is also a sound investment. Only in very select cases can a luxury watch buyer expect to one day sell his or her pre-owned luxury watch for a profit. That is why, when buying a luxury watch, it is extremely important to know which brands and models will appreciate over time, and which ones are at the most valuable on the day they are bought.
Perhaps not surprisingly, pre-owned watches are usually the best luxury watches in terms of investment, especially vintage watches. Of course, vintage luxury watches are substantially more expensive and also more difficult to come by, but the right purchase can end up being a priceless investment.
The top vintage brand to look for is Patek Philipe & Co., a legendary Swiss company that was founded in 1851 and has set the standard for luxury watches ever since. Patek Philipe watches are widely recognized for dramatically increasing in value. An especially sound investment would be one of the company’s stainless steel models made in the 1940s and 1950s. Because these models were fairly unpopular at the time, Patek Philipe made a relatively small number of them, and rarity is in essential element for purchasing luxury pre-owned watches as an investment.
If a vintage Patek Philipe watch is simply too expensive an investment, another brand to consider is Rolex. A vintage Rolex is generally much more affordable than that of a Patek Philipe, but like its fellow Swiss luxury watchmaker, Rolex has a reputation for appreciating over time. Rolex is also the single most popular brand of luxury watches, and as such, vintage Rolexes are a bit easier to come by.
While vintage luxury watches usually make for the best investments, there is an elite group of contemporary pre-owned watches that a buyer can expect to see appreciate over time. These watches, however, are particularly rare and mechanically complex. Look for limited editions by brands such as Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantine, Greubel Forsey and of course, Patek Philipe. Such watches have been known to hold tightly to their original prices even after a few years time, an extraordinary accomplishment for contemporary pre-owned watches and a strong indicator that with more time, such pre-owned watches will prove a sound investment.
A final word of warning when purchasing pre-owned watches: Be sure that your watch has its original documentation. This will be crucial in one day selling it. Also, do not make any changes to the watch; while restoring a watch is usually a good move if you’re planning on keeping it, you will want it to be completely original if you hope to make it a good investment.