Based on the conventional assumption that rare things are generally expensive, it makes sense that most expensive watches have the greatest potential for growth in value. Of course, this notion is far from being an exact science and it’s always difficult to predict the future. But today (with a few exceptions), the focus of watch collectors is on the time pieces that are the rarest, most exceptional and difficult to obtain.
It's no surprise then that Breguet, Blancpain and Omega, each in a different class to the next, are among the most sought after brands on the secondary market. They each have limited series, in which each watch is numbered. Then there are the historical models and iconic watches that are always in demand. Legendary time pieces in general, such as the Moonwatch, stay popular and maintain or even increase in value. Interest in these watches remains steady from generation to generation and demand for them exceeds limited production quantities.
The major brands mentioned above are likely to see their models increase in value, given that they are produced according to the highest standards, with a guarantee of durability and strict requirements for quality and excellence.
Over time, some watches can turn out to be very good investments. Sometimes they sell for more than the original price only a few years after purchase. But other more accessible brands also do well, such Tissot and Hamilton, which are more mainstream. The extensive ranges these brands offer are good examples of contemporary watchmakers drawing upon vintage models for inspiration.
The watches are brought up to date with high-quality movements that the companies manufacture in-house – the holy grail of watchmaking. These represent more affordable investments for those starting a collection and beginning to invest in their passion. As these models are highly sought-after, the chances are that their value will increase.
As for the Longines range, the vote is unanimous: it's worth investing in. The Heritage collection in particular offers very attractive watches at a reasonable price. There is also the hydroConquest Exclusive, a limited series of only 500 watches.
The same goes for the top end of the Omega Seamaster 300 range, which features a renowned co-axial movement, cutting-edge technological innovations and a remarkable finish. The Seamaster is an amalgamation of all the previous models with their wide range of functional and refined features. Unsurprisingly, as the number and quality of features on a watch increases, so does the price.
The end product may vary but the ingredients remain the same: reputation, high-quality production and limited quantity. It goes without saying that if your watch has a gold or platinum case, a rare finish, a strap made from an exotic skin or titanium, and is part of a very limited series, its value will reflect this.
Whatever the case, and however large your investment, there are a few general rules to follow. To maintain the value of your new watch, you must be able to prove its authenticity. The documentation that comes with a watch is proof of its identity, just like a passport.
The box and packaging materials should all be kept. This is what’s known in the world of watches as a “full set”.
In the long term, it’s important to take your watch to an authorised watchmaker for repair – preferably the one you bought the watch from. This is the only way of guaranteeing that all the parts are properly maintained and that the movement and case aren’t tampered with.