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Investment watch

Watches as an investment

Recently another record was set in Monaco. As part of the "Only Watch" initiative, where manufacturers offer only one watch to be offered for a charity auction, Patek Philippe's watch was sold for 7.3 million Swiss francs.

This is almost twice as much as the highest price achieved so far for a wristwatch.

At the same time, market statistics show that the market for luxury watches is growing, which means that the price does not deter customers. The market of luxury watches is also a market of mechanical watches, not quartz watches.

The timepieces from the so-called manufactures are the most valued by customers, which in this case means that manufacturers produce watches as well as their own, original and unique mechanisms for them, which nobody else uses.

Luxurious, i. e. mechanical watches are not used to show time, or at least it is no longer their main function. At present, they are primarily an object of use, often made of precious metals and a determinant of prestige and material status.

What is also important, at least male watches, are one of the few acceptable types of male jewellery as an important element of costume and image.

What affects the high price of watches?

The high price of watches is influenced by many factors, which can be defined as uniqueness. The brand is extremely important - its history (the longer and more colorful the better), the founder (innovations and charisma welcome), technical achievements, best past inventions or current successes.

One of such brands is certainly Patek Philippe brand, co-creator of which was a Pole, Antoni Patek. On the other hand, nothing is given out once and for all and manufacturers are actively trying to build brand strength through promotion, PR and users - brand ambassadors, historic or present.

The materials used are also important - precious metals (gold, platinum and palladium) influence the price, but also precious stones, liked by customers in the Middle and Far East.

Uniqueness of watches

Watch manufacturers try to give their watches the most unusual features, such as Titanic steel (Romain Jerome), Napoleon Bonaparte's hair (De Witt) and Old Trafford grass (Hublot).  Modern luxurious mechanical watch is also a demonstration of the possibilities in the field of technology and micromechanics.

The presence of many complications in the clock makes the time indications more difficult to read, but it is an important price-creating factor, especially if it concerns the so-called "time control". Great complications such as tourbillon, eternal calendar or minute repetition.

Watches from years ago

Among the watches of the Rolex, Omega and Patek brands, capital can be placed first of all in unique, older models from the 40s, 50s and 60s, which are currently difficult to reach and need to be "hunted" on the auction market. Among them, it is not difficult to find examples of successful investments.

One can mention the 300 Omega 1968 Seamaster 300 watch, which could be purchased for £1.1 thousand at the Bonhams home in 2007 and sold for £69.7 thousand at the last auction. 1949 Rolex Oyster Perpetual in a similar period of time increased from 83.2 thousand dollars in the year 2005 to 1.2 million dollars (Christie's, 2015).

Limited watches 

An example from a slightly different segment of the market can be the watch The End of Days from the Audemars Piguet workshop. Manufactory was founded by Audemars Piguet in 1878 and has been producing on a very small scale for years.

It began with several hundred copies per year, and nowadays it produces several thousand watches per year. It is also known for the introduction of many technical innovations in its watches, which are currently used by the whole industry.

In 1999, in connection with the premiere of a new movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger,"End of Days", the factory decided to prepare a special edition of 500 watches.

The edition was created within the framework of the Royal Oak Offshore series manufactory, already recognized and characteristic of the workshop. The initial price of one piece of End of Days was approx. 13.6 dollars. At the moment, you have to pay approx. 30-50 thousand dollars.

Profitable investment 

Another example is a platinum tourbillon watch from the German company A. Lange & Söhne. The Pour le Mérite tourbillon watches cost around €75,000 when they entered the market in 1996.

It will now be difficult to get one of the 200 copies produced at that time for less than $200,000. The highest amount recorded is EUR 330 000 for the platinum auctioned version in 2012 and EUR 353 000 for the white gold envelope in 2014.

Of course, these are only individual transactions, but if you look at the whole market, the market is also interesting. According to Knight Frank's data published in the annual report The Wealth Report (2015), luxury watches earned 49 percent of their owners a profit. over the last 5 years.

After getting acquainted with such information, exclusive watches can no longer be treated as an expensive expense, but as an interesting investment of capital.


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