How to Invest in Luxury Watches

written by Alexander Bitar

The general interest in watches has grown extraordinarily in recent years. Everything from fashion watches and smart watches to luxury watches. The latter is expensive and, therefore, also subject to investments. Read below to learn more about how to invest in luxury watches.


A K-Serial Rolex GMT Master II (model year 2003), ref.16710. (Juho Eskelä)

The Definition of a Luxury Watch

Like always, "luxury" is heavily connected to price tags. If something is cheap, can it still be a luxury product? Probably not. And if it's accessible to everyone, can it still be a luxury product? Again, probably not. The Apple Watch or other digital smartwatches are relatively inexpensive and very accessible. Pretty much all can afford an Apple Watch, but few can afford a Rolex. Besides the price tag, luxury is also synonymous with quality. That isn't always the case, though. Many luxury brands have cheap products with their logos on them. What customers are paying for is pretty much only the logo – the brand. Regarding luxury watches, the quality is always high. So the easy way to define luxury watches is high quality and high price.

Why Invest in Luxury Watches?

There are not many investments that you can enjoy and use while their value still grows on a yearly basis. Sure, you can live in an apartment that you own, and the value of the apartment will likely increase. But that can't be said about many other investments. Luxury watches are something you can use on a daily basis, and as long as you don't damage the watch, the value can increase. It's normally not any cost to maintain the watch and its function. A service can be made every ten or twenty years. It's not like a car you drive each day that needs service way more often than once a decade.

Patek Philippe Nautilus (model year 1976), ref. 3700-1A (Patek Philippe SA)

Patek Philippe Nautilus (model year 1976), ref. 3700-1A (Patek Philippe SA)

How to Invest in Luxury Watches?

First and foremost – knowledge. Like all investments, knowledge is key. Since the interest in watches is so big internationally, there are many sources of knowledge. Just google luxury watches, and there is an infinity of content. Same with social media. On YouTube, there are many channels focusing on luxury watches. The information is out there, and it's free. So my number one tip is to know what you're doing before buying anything. To purchase, you need money. Your budget will dictate what kind of segment of watches is relevant. If you can't afford a Rolex, maybe Tudor is a better alternative. By the end, there are many alternatives as the number of watchmakers grows yearly.

How to Appraise Your Watches

As with all collectibles, it's always good to get a valuation from a third party. Value My Stuff works with world-leading experts who understand the watch market and the value of watches from various brands. If you'd like to get a watch appraisal from our experts, simply follow the easy steps by clicking here.

A K-Serial Rolex GMT Master II (model year 2003), ref.16710. (Juho Eskelä)

A K-Serial Rolex GMT Master II (model year 2003), ref.16710. (Juho Eskelä)

How to Choose the Best Investment Watches?

The easiest way is to choose the most hyped watch models. A Rolex Daytona, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, a Patek Philippe Nautilus. There are quite a few more examples of hyped models that are pretty much a guarantee that they will give good returns. One crucial factor is, of course, the price you pay. If you're buying above the market price, you can't expect a return. But if you're buying retail prices, you've probably doubled your investment just as you walk out of the store, at least if it's any of the hyped models. Due to the very high demand, it's very difficult to get the opportunity to buy such models from a retailer.

Should You Buy New or Old Watches?

If you can buy from a retailer, that's often a good alternative. If you want an older model, the only alternative is the secondary market, where the price is based on the current market. So to answer the question, it's all about what type of watch you're looking for. Both new and used watches can be good from an investment standpoint. 

A Cartier Santos in steel and gold (model year 1988).

A Cartier Santos in steel and gold (model year 1988).

Which Are the Best Watch Brands to Invest in?

In general, it's Rolex and Patek Phillippe. Pretty much all their models are good from an investment point of view. Talking about Audemars Piguet, Cartier, and Omega, there are only a few models that would be good investments. Notably, the vast majority of all watches out on the market are NOT a good investment. So you need to pick your choices wisely.

Best Ladies' Watches to Invest in?

Again, Rolex is the answer in general terms. However, it should be clarified that ladies' watches are not as desirable as men's watches. The demand for ladies' watches is much lower than for men's watches. It's therefore very difficult to invest in ladies' watches. Some classic models for ladies are Rolex Datejust and Cartier Tank.

Well-known brands or independent brands?

The safest alternative is arguably the well-known and established brands with a long history. Among independent brands, we find F.P. Journe and De Bethune, to mention a few. By buying any of those two brands, there is a big possibility that you'll make an excellent investment, but for the less-known independent watchmakers, there's a more significant risk that they are not around in ten years. There's a high risk, but possibly a high reward.  

A Rolex Day-Date, 18k yellow gold with champagne dial featuring diamonds. (Fabian Peiffer)

A Rolex Day-Date, 18k yellow gold with champagne dial featuring diamonds. (Fabian Peiffer)

What's The Best Investment Watch 

In the watch community, there's a term called "piece unique". Meaning that the watch in question is indeed unique. There can be some type of element of the watch that makes it a one-of-a-kind. For example, a specific Patek Philippe model made in white gold, or a Jaeger-LeCoultre with a ruby in the dial. A unique watch is always of interest as people want what others can't have. The best combination is to have a piece unique from one of the leading watch brands.

Appraise your luxury watches here!

Alexander Bitar is an international dealer of high-end collectibles. Based in Stockholm with an office in Beverly Hills, some of Alexander Bitar's specialties are entertainment memorabilia as well as autographs and manuscripts.

Upload a photo
Upload a photo of your item
Item is appraised
Experts appraise your item
Receive appraisal
We send you your appraisal