Especially if you aim for a collection of beautiful pieces, the investment in every luxury watch should be worthwhile in the long run. The value of some pieces has increased considerably over the years, while with newer models, with a little knowledge and skill, you can plan exactly which watches will still experience a significant increase in value. We will help you to make the right choice for your investment and tell you with which pieces you are always guaranteed to be right and practically acquire an immortal cash cow. Already during the financial crisis in 2008, the top brands of the watch market proved that there is no threat of a loss of value.
What you need to know
Timepieces are an attractive investment, considering the current extremely low interest rates on time deposits. However, watches as an investment generally require good prior knowledge, because even minimal differences can have an impact on the market value. Furthermore, there are many fakes on the market. One should always be careful with private individuals, as it could be stolen or false goods, as well as original goods with fake parts. Optimal planning, information and purchase from a reputable dealer or renowned auction house are therefore essential to be on the safe side with regard to authenticity and details – both for historical and newer models. Pieces in excellent condition with warranty card, invoice and complete box are also always worth the most. It is therefore extremely important to treat the watch with care. Copies with a German serial number are also a safeguard in case you have questions about import sales tax later on. With foreign purchases, the German value added tax, as well as customs duties if necessary, are due on import. When exporting to other countries, you can partially reclaim their value added tax. Here you have to recalculate, because some of the prices can turn out to be a loser. It is also important to consider that you have to pay tax on the turnover if you resell a purchased watch within a year.
Rolex always pays off
A Rolex is always chosen primarily because of the brand’s outstanding design combined with unparalleled watchmaking craftsmanship inside. However, if you take a few small things into account, you can take advantage of the steady increase in value of Rolex watches and accumulate a small fortune. The increase in value can be as much as 10 percent in just three years. Even the most expensive wristwatch in the world comes from Rolex: a Daytona Reference 6239, once owned by Paul Newman, was auctioned off in 2017 for about 15 million euros – a proud price when you consider that the price of a new watch in 1972 was less than 1,000 euros. But even if this incredible increase in value was a special case, immense increases in value are not uncommon for Rolex watches. Since Rolex has long been one of the most popular watch brands in the world, timepieces from the Swiss brand are always the right choice if you want to invest your money wisely. Some new Rolex watches are suddenly worth twice as much the next day – who wants to miss such an opportunity? If you want to invest in Rolex pieces that are particularly promising, you should go for the sports models in stainless steel, such as the Submariner Date (reference 116610LN) or the Explorer (reference 214270). The Cosmograph Daytona chronograph in steel (reference 116500) is also a wise investment, but unfortunately this watch is extremely difficult to get. In addition to the Daytona models, which are steadily increasing in value and can now fetch up to 100,000 Euros, the Rolex GMT Master II copies in steel are sometimes very popular and are often resold for twice the price, for example the version with a blue-red bezel or the one with a blue-black bezel. The general rule is: The more limited the number of pieces on the market, the more the value of a timepiece increases. So if a watch is suddenly re-produced, this can reduce its value, while limited special editions and especially old pieces are promising. Other “hyped” Rolex watches that are currently trading well above their original price are the Submariner Date with green bezel and green dial (also known as the “Hulk”, reference 116610LV), and the Deepsea with blue D-Blue dial (also known as the “Cameron”, reference 126660). The Rolex Submariner models are among the most famous watches ever and are ideal classics for a profitable investment. You have the chance to buy one of the Rolex models mentioned above at the original price? Take it, because you are guaranteed an enormous increase in value. In addition, you should stay alert, because usually the value of a model increases as soon as it has been revised and the demand for it increases. In addition, Rolex tends to raise its prices time and time again – you can’t go the other way. It is therefore often worth investing in a new, currently less sought-after piece from a range that will certainly produce a successor and whose price will rise over time.
Wristwatch instead of share: 3 more top performers
At the top of the value-added pyramid are Rolex and other well-known luxury brands such as Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. These stable-value brands are attractive value investments, because lesser-known or popular suppliers hardly ever increase in value. The Patek Philippe Nautilus model is a classic collector’s item and for many people it is practically the epitome of an investment watch. This is not surprising, as many Nautilus specimens have increased in value enormously, and this with thoroughgoing stability. Proud profits of between 50 and 100 percent are possible. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore are also true miracles in terms of value growth, with which sizable returns can be achieved. These lucrative watches, limited to a few hundred pieces, are dedicated to famous racing drivers and achieve high market prices. At a new price of 15,000 euros, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore special edition dedicated to “Terminator” Arnold Schwarzenegger is now earning at least twice as much. We also recommend Omega and A. Lange & Söhne, as they are also among the most stable brands in the world. The limited Omega Speedmaster editions are perfect for investment. The Omega Speedmaster Professional, also known as “Moonwatch”, is one of them, for example, because it is the one watch that was on the moon (reference 3570.50.00). This hand-wound timepiece, with its Hesalite glass, steel back and stainless steel bracelet, has seen its value increase enormously in recent decades: the market price has actually more than tripled between 1995 and 2019. Old Speedmaster models of each version can currently fetch up to several 100,000 dollars, provided they are at least in good condition – especially as their value continues to rise steadily, which means that there is no chance of losing money. In fact, the Grand Complication from A. Lange & Söhne is one of the most valuable watches in existence today. The wristwatch is entirely adorned with diamonds and is strictly limited, which has caused the price to rise immeasurably. Only six pieces were produced, with only one piece being manufactured per year – for a proud 1.9 million Euro. In the end, however, despite all the thoughts about returns, one thing should not be forgotten: that the watch should appeal to you on the surface. Otherwise, even investing is no fun.
This post is also available in: German