Which luxury watches hold their value the best?

The beginner’s venture into the luxury watch market can be daunting. The industry specific language and seemingly endless selection of brands are in themselves dizzying. What is a chronograph watch? What are automatic watches? Which hand is best to wear a watch?

17th April 2023

Well, with a little research and friendly advice from insiders in the market, the big players, etiquette, and plain facts of the business needn’t be so mystifying. We here at Panache  value clarity, fairness, and transparency that ensures all our clients remain fully informed every step of the way.

It’s important to look beyond immediate trends when searching for a timepiece that’s condition and value will endure for decades to come. Investing your money in a luxury watch can certainly  be exponentially lucrative if you know what to look out for. Rolexes are known to increase in value by 20% in just four years.  Respectively, money sat stagnant in the bank collecting minuscule rates of interest seems like wasted potential. So here are some of the fundamental insights into investing in luxury watches.

Why holding value is something you ought to consider

A smart, meaningful purchase of a quality timepiece is a major source of pride for its owners, and not just because of the money it’s capable of generating. A well crafted watch is a poignant artefact that can celebrate a life milestone, or showcase a piece of history, accentuate your personal sense of style, act as a memorable gift to someone, or take on the role of prized family heirloom.

Indicative of Patek Philippe’s notorious saying: ‘you can never actually own a luxury watch. You merely look after it for the next generation’. These pieces are so skilfully and meticulously engineered that they are built to long outlive their owners.

What makes a watch a good investment?

The craftsmanship, prestige, and high demand associated with luxury watchmaking means a fruitful investment is perfectly possible so long as you’re operating with a bit of know-how. However, not all watches are guaranteed profit generators. Those that are mass produced will likely plummet in value as soon as they are worn. Some will be steadfast and reliably retain their value over time. And others that prove exceedingly special will sell for tens of thousands long after its production.

Although it’s impossible to fully predict, industry professionals highlight these key concerns as reliable indicators of investment return:

  • Rarity. Limited and special editions of certain models usually fetch a higher price
  • Brand. A good reputation encourages greater trust and therefore more generous spending on behalf of second hand buyers.
  • Condition. A perfectly functioning second hand watch is one well sought after.
  • Aesthetics. A watch with particular beauty or unique appearance will garner greater interest.
  • Celebrity affiliation. There is a reason marketers jump at the opportunity to have a revered celebrity be the face of their product. A watch similarly inevitably takes on the connotations of luxury and success of their famous wearers.

Which luxury watches best hold their value?

Rolex and Patek Philippe

These two are undoubtedly positioned at the forefront of the luxury watch business and the most revered and sought after by collectors. Both Rolex and Patek Philippe have unrivalled brand recognition, rich histories, and exclusivity. The enduring popularity of these watches are simply an expectation, meaning marketers have the most confidence in asserting their future appreciation in value.

Both have an international reach, never limiting itself to a single nation’s market. Rolex’s Submariner and Patek Philippe’s Calatrava foster cult followings that promise everlasting demand in the timepieces of these two major watchmakers.

Omega, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Jaeger-Le Coultre, Cartier, Audemars Piguet

Still, there are several other examples of impressive horological engineering. The companies that rise to meet this standard include Omega, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Jaeger-Le Coultre, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, and more.

Omega in particular posed a challenge to the Rolex brand, boasted of by James Bond. Generally, these names have risen to prominence through carving a unique space in the industry for themselves.

Perhaps it lies in the sophistication of Jaeger-Le Coultre emboldened by its famous Aston Martin affiliation. Or in the Breitling promise of exquisite, intricate designs.

Each luxury brand extends quality craftsmanship and their own unique selling point that attracts enthusiasts, but may need more careful reflection on when might be the best time to make the sale. And for this reason it is always advisable to plan the selling of your luxury watch with professionals in the industry.

Sell your watch with Panache

At Panache we strive to offer exactly that. Our highly insightful and approachable staff welcome any queries you might have about the second hand watch market. Based in Birmingham’s Jewelry Quarter, Panache’s secure premises ensure safe, quick, and easy transactions. So whether you’re ready to sell or just have some questions, don’t hesitate to contact Panache today for a free, no-obligation consultation to

Sell Your Watch.

Selling your pre-owned watch has never been easier. Simply fill in our online valuation form to receive your free, no-obligation quote today.

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