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Top 3 Watches for a Return on Investment

Any watch collector knows that a good timepiece isn’t just an elegant accessory or means to stay on schedule, no. The true watch connoisseur knows that, if selected carefully, the right watch will yield a return on its investment. So here are the top 3 watches for style and substance.

1. Rolex Submariner Date 

The black dial Rolex Submariner Date is undeniably the best watch investment you can make. You can own this watch for 10 years with no servicing and be able to sell it for almost the same amount as you bought it for, if not a little higher than its original market value. Here are four reasons why you should buy a Rolex now. First, Rolex was ranked the best watch brand for 2017, according to Forbes, and the name recognition factor helps its resale value enormously. Second, when Rolex watches become classified as vintage their value increases dramatically. Third, consumer confidence in Rolex is supremely high. A Rolex today is a Rolex tomorrow, unlike other brands they only make minimal changes to their watches over the years and so a second-hand one is pretty indiscernible. Fourth, Rolex, although not famed for the most refined movements, has proven the strength and durability of their watches. They are workhorses. The Submariner Date is one of the finest examples of their capacity for design durability and aesthetic appeal, making this one of their prime investment pieces. Finally, Rolex’s brand has been, and likely will always be, that of a luxury tool watch so its servicing is not exclusive to a Rolex store. Hence, unlike other luxury watches, in the unlikely event that Rolex was taken out of the market, you could still find a way to service your watch. You can own a Rolex Submariner Date for between £6K and £7K.

Rolex Submariner
Rolex Submariner

2. Patek Philippe Calatrava 

A Patek is without a doubt the strongest brand name in the luxury watch industry. It may not have the same street-recognition as the Rolex but within the world of fine timepieces Patek Philippe is the most reputed brand. If Patek is king of respected watch brands, then its crowning glory is the Calatrava. The Calatrava is a dress watch with a clean and elegant dial. The beauty of this Swiss watch is in its minimal simplicity. The Calatrava will always hold its value and ages beautifully. With the right servicing a 50-year-old Calatrava will be as elegant as the day it was first purchased due to the nature of the mechanics. The watch has no specific delicate parts such as a large bezel or intricate additions to the dial, thus making the Calatrava pretty resistant to damage. The vintage market for Calatravas is also very strong, and second to Rolex, it has a high capacity for increased resale value once declared vintage. Depending on the variation of metal, a Calatrava will usually come in at around £12K to £16K.

Patek Philippe Calatrava
Patek Philippe Calatrava

3. Omega Speedmaster  

Also known as the Moon watch, the Omega Speedmaster comes in third for high resale value due to its acclaimed moon landing. The Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the moon, so the cool factor of the Speedmaster’s history has helped its second-hand value tremendously. Omega is a highly respected brand within the watch industry and comes with a sense of understated taste. Omega is a more affordable luxury watch brand, so if watches aren’t high on the priority list then an Omega is a good investment as the price won’t squeeze your wallet so tightly. Of all the Omega watches the Speedmaster certainly has the highest capacity for retaining and exceeding its original market value. What’s more, Omega introduces new variants of the Speedmaster quite regularly, which means the rarity of your variation of the Moon watch will begin much more readily than the more classic watches listed above. A Speedmaster will cost you between £2.5K and £3K.

Omega Speedmaster
Omega Speedmaster

Two watches you may be surprised to not see on this list are the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The reason for this is that both of these watches require an extremely delicate polish on the bezel, which means that over time the watch will either become dented or over-polished, removing the original finish. Unfortunately, it really is a one-or-the-other scenario and in both cases the original value of the watch is highly reduced by this effect.

Orla Lavery

Orla is a London-based fashion, arts and culture journalist, with a personal and professional habit in menswear. Having worked in the industry for over 10 years, she now specialises in the fashion business space, consulting to a number of brands on their business strategy and optimising for sustainable, long-term growth.

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