- Buying luxury watches is an investment — both for your style and your finances.
- Although new watches are nice, vintage watches are the ones that almost dominate the watch sector.
- Secondhand watches are also very popular. A 2018 Bain report found the secondhand market to be worth nearly $25 billion, with watches and jewelry making up over 80% of all secondhand market purchases.
- And some watches, such as Rolexes and Patek Philippe, have the potential to resell for thousands more than their purchase price.
- Business Insider spoke to three watch experts to see which they recommend to those looking to start (or expand) their watch portfolios and they recommended 11 stand-outs. The list includes both new and secondhand watches.
- The watches include a Royal Oak Jumbo Audemars Piguet, which goes for about $27,600, as well as a Patek Philippe Nautilus that can go for nearly $45,000.
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Drake owns a Richard Mille worth $750,000. Justin Bieber has an Audemars Piguet worth $50,000. And Jay-Z has a Patek Philippe worth at least $2.2 million.
They’re watches, of course.
High-net-worth-individuals have been buying high-end watches for years, but the trend has accelerated along with so much other spending at the upper end during the pandemic.
For example, the Sotheby’s Important Watches live auction concluded Tuesday and brought in $10.4 million — a 27% increase from last year — with a Patek Philippe Ref 2499 retailed by Tiffany & Co. selling for $818,600. A Cartier Ecran Mystery Clock went for $564,500, while a Rare Salmon Dial Audemars Piguet Royal Oak sold for $441,000.
New watches can be very pricey and collectible, but vintage watches are the ones that almost dominate the watch sector. In fact, secondhand watch sellers are almost as popular as the auction houses that sell blue-chip artwork, and the websites that resell Birkin and Chanel bags.
According to Deloitte’s 2019 “Global Powers of Luxury Goods” report, the average annual sales made by the top 32 watch and jewelry companies topped $2 billion in 2017, but a 2018 Bain report stated that the secondhand market was worth nearly $25 billion, with watches and jewelry making up over 80% of all secondhand market purchases.
As for where to look in secondhand? There are certain stand-out names.
“Brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet are controlled by families and not investors,” Tim Stracke, CEO of the watch resale site Chrono24, told Business Insider earlier this year. “They have limited their supply for more than a century. They have a super long-term view and they value brand reputation higher than short term profits. This will very likely prevail for future generations and keep the value of their watches up.”
Business Insider spoke with three watch experts to find out which watches are the best to invest in, and which ones they would recommend to those looking to start (or expand) their watch portfolios. The list includes both new and secondhand watches. Keep reading to find out the 11 stand-out watches they recommend.