The Top 5 Luxury Watch Brands To Invest In
The luxury watch market is ruled by established horological brands – and certain names are perennially positioned on top. Flavia Galeotti reveals the top five brands worth investing in
A luxury watch is a marriage of form and function that has captivated the desires of the well-heeled for ages. From the stunningly designed haute joaillerie watches to the utilitarian stainless steel models, luxury watches cater to a great variety of discerning tastes and budgets.
Beyond merely serving as a fashion accessory, watches are viewed by many as a viable alternative investment vehicle. The luxury watch market has grown by 66% over the past 10 years, according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index. Recent years have seen collectors moving away from dress watches towards more functional models such as sports and military chronographs. Timepieces from established brands have proven to be a solid investment – with top names Rolex and Patek Philippe boasting growth between 30% and 60% respectively over the last 10 years – there have been some astonishing returns. In 2016, for example, a rare stainless steel 1941 Patek Philippe went for US$11 million at Phillips Geneva, setting the record as the most expensive wristwatch sold at auction.
And while it seems that these days the most popular watches at auction are the ones that have had famous previous owners (like Jackie Kennedy Onasis’s 18-karat gold Cartier Tank watch or Paul Newman’s Daytona Rolex heading to the block at Phillips’s inaugural New York auction in October), there are certain coveted brands that chronically top collectors’ lists.
Here are the top five luxury watch brands that you should consider if you are building a watch investment portfolio:
The bottom line
As is the case with other alternative assets such as cars, art, and even handbags, aspects like brand recognition, heritage, exclusivity, and availability determine how luxury watches appreciate over time – limited edition collections and even commemorative watches can dramatically increase the selling price down the line.
Ultimately you should buy a luxury timepiece that you like, as a passion investment should really be about what excites and inspires you. That way, even if you end up not selling your luxury timepiece, it will be something you enjoy and cherish as time goes by.