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Its time to invest

Investing in watches has always been a great way to make money, but over the last few years, the market has exploded.


Since the 1970s the price of a stainless steel Rolex has never depreciated, with some models increasing in value by over 25% in the last three years. Granted, it’s one of the most iconic luxury brands in the world, but it’s just a small indication of what is possible when investing in watches. We caught up with the team at Watchtrader & Co, SWM’s long-standing partner who specialises in buying, selling and trading the most prestigious brands.


With over 10 years of experience in the watch and jewellery market, they’ve got an extensive knowledge of the industry and gave us an exclusive insight into luxury watch investment. “I’d always say buy the watch you like rather than as an investment, especially if it’s in the lower price bracket,” says Watchtrader & Co.


“I’d always look to advise our clients on all of the different options available to them, but if the budget was around the £10,000 mark it would definitely be a Rolex – something like an older Submariner as it will always appreciate in value over time.


“First, I would ask the client what they like and if the watch is to be worn and enjoyed or simply left in a safe as a pure investment vehicle. “Once we’ve established that we can move forward. If the client is looking purely to purchase as an investment I’d guide them towards vintage as the market is a lot more stable than the hot new releases.


“That being said, everything is on fire price-wise at the moment, so it’s a good idea to potentially sell some pieces and get into something else. We see a lot of our clients selling smaller pieces and using the funds to buy a ‘grail’ piece.”


A lot of people would consider any luxury watch a sensible investment, but in reality, the value of most watches, regardless of sentimental value, will depreciate over time. According to the team at Watchtrader & Co, clients should always look at the ‘top four’ if they’re making a purchase with investment potential in mind.


“In short, most models of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Richard Mille have all gone up in value,” explains Watchtrader & Co.


“I’d always discuss with the client what they are looking to achieve first and foremost, but it would always be a discussion regarding the ‘top four’ brands that I’ve just mentioned.”


Originally designed for racing drivers in the early 20th century, the Rolex Daytona was named after the coastal city in Florida known for its international speedway and NASCAR events.


The ‘Panda’ model takes its name from its use of contrasting black and white colours and resembles a panda’s face. The term only applies to two Rolex Daytona models, the 6263 and 6265 and are highly sought after. In January 2021, the Rolex Daytona Panda was valued at £20,000 and in November 2021 it was worth £30,000.


The Patek Philippe Nautilus is one of the most desirable luxury watches in existence and as a result, it’s pretty much impossible to buy one new from an authorised retailer.


It won’t come as a surprise then, that in January a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1a was valued at around £65,000 and today it is now worth nearer £100,000.


The best example from Audemars Piguet is the iconic Royal Oak. The name is taken from the Royal Navy’s HMS Royal Oak battleships and features an
octagonal bezel – a design feature that has since become synonymous with the AP brand. Since its inception in 1972, there have been several models of Royal Oak – the majority of which feature an iconic blue dial.


In today’s market, a steel ‘Blue Dial’ is worth around £55,000, an increase of £20,000 since January 2021. For the majority of watch collectors,
there’s one brand that stands above the rest. Rolex is easily the most recognisable watch brand in the world but it’s also one of the most lucrative and accessible investment brands on the market.


Despite the uncertainty of the last 24 months, high-net-worth individuals continued to buy luxury and expensive timepieces throughout the pandemic. Toward the end of last year, two of the most expensive watches ever were sold by Phillips, when Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona sold for $5,475,000 USD and a 1954 Patek Philippe Guilloché sold for $5,553,000 USD.


The pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on the market, but the team at Watchtrader & Co believe the value of luxury watches will only appreciate in years to come.


“Rolex has always been number one and always will be, but if you buy correctly you’ll always do well,” says Watchtrader & Co.


“The pandemic has definitely impacted the luxury watch market, mainly due to the fact that production had stopped and people were no longer spending their money on other things like holidays.


“We have had a record 12 months and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. We are finding more and more that clients prefer to accumulate
assets as opposed to having cash in the bank.


“If you’re interested in finding out the current market value of your collection, reach out to the team at SWM for a direct introduction.”


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