Are Watches a Good Investment?

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak - Are watches a good investment

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When you think about investing, stocks and real estate probably spring to mind first. But are watches a good investment? The idea of timepieces as an investment might raise some eyebrows, yet it’s a conversation worth having. With the right knowledge and approach, investing in watches can be both a passion and a profitable venture.

The watch market has seen a significant uptick in investors, drawing parallels to vintage cars and furniture. High-profile auctions and the quest for rare models have fueled this trend. But is it really possible to see a return on investment from a luxury watch? Let’s dive into the world of watch investing and uncover the potential financial gains that can come with time.

Watches as an Investment

When considering investing in watches, it’s key to weigh the unique qualities that make luxury timepieces stand out from more traditional investments. Unlike stocks or real estate, luxury watches offer a tangible asset—you can see, feel, and enjoy your investment on a daily basis. This aspect of investment brings not only a potential financial return but also an intrinsic value through personal enjoyment and style.

Invest in luxury watches with a clear strategy. Much like investing in fine art or vintage cars, a successful investment in luxury watches requires a deep understanding of the market. It’s not just about buying any high-end watch, but rather selecting pieces that have a history of appreciating in value over time. Brands with a long-standing reputation for quality and durability, limited edition models, or watches with a notable previous owner often see the highest returns.

The resilience of luxury watches as an investment also stands out. The market for high-end timepieces has shown remarkable stability even in economic downturns. This is due, in part, to the intrinsic value of the materials from which these watches are made—gold, platinum, and diamonds among others—as well as the craftsmanship involved. However, it’s important to note that while Watches as an Investment can provide significant returns, the market does fluctuate. Hence, timing and knowledge are crucial.

Given the above, embarking on the journey to invest in luxury watches can be both exciting and profitable. You’ll not only own a piece of art on your wrist but might also see your investment grow over time. Yet, as with any investment, it’s important to do your homework. Understand the brands, the models, and the history. Keep an eye on market trends and consult with experts if you’re new to this world. This preparatory work can greatly influence the success of your investment.

The Pre-Owned Watch Market

When considering investing in watches, it’s crucial to understand the dynamics of the pre-owned watch market. This market has been notably affected by global events, such as COVID and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, leading to a ripple effect across the watch industry. These events have introduced slight market dips but also opened opportunities for savvy investors. Watches as an investment in the pre-owned luxury segment is becoming increasingly attractive, especially now that it’s considered a buyer’s market.

For those looking to invest in luxury watches, timing is everything. Given the market fluctuations, acquiring watches at a lower price and holding onto them until their value increases could result in substantial gains. Take, for example, the Patek Philippe models 5711 and 5712. These models, now discontinued, were trading at around $150,000 at their peak. Currently, they are available for about $90,000 and $95,000 respectively, turning them into highly collectible items with potential for value appreciation.

Understanding the factors that influence the returns on luxury watch investments is critical. Factors such as brand reputation, rarity, and condition play significant roles. The luxury watch market has displayed remarkable resilience and growth, outpacing traditional investment options like precious metals by a considerable margin. With returns reaching 12 times that of silver and four times that of gold, luxury watches present an inviting avenue for investment.

For entry-level investors, the market offers options starting from $10,000 to $15,000, making it accessible for those willing to begin their investment journey. Investing in a tangible asset like a luxury watch not only holds the promise of financial return but also the pleasure of ownership and the potential for a unique legacy piece.

Can The Value of a Watch Drop?

When you’re diving into investing in watches, understanding market variability is crucial. Yes, the value of a watch can drop, and several factors contribute to this phenomenon. Luxury watches, much like any investment, are subject to market dynamics, changes in demand, and broader economic conditions.

First, consider the brand and model of the watch. While it’s true that top-tier brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe generally maintain or increase in value over time, not all models from these brands will perform equally. Limited edition pieces or models with historical significance often see a price increase, but others might not capture the same interest.

Moreover, invest in luxury watches with caution and research. The condition of the watch plays a significant role in its resale value. Watches with noticeable wear, damage, or those lacking original parts may see a decrease in value. Collectors value originality and pristine condition, making it imperative to maintain your investment meticulously.

External factors such as economic downturns or shifts in consumer preferences can also impact the value of luxury timepieces. For instance, during the global financial crisis of 2008, the luxury goods market saw a decline, affecting watch prices. Similarly, the recent collapse of the cryptocurrency market and global instability have led to fluctuations in luxury watch prices.

However, not all is bleak in the realm of watches as an investment. Even in fluctuating markets, some watches manage to maintain or increase their value, particularly rare and vintage models. Investing in watches requires a long-term perspective, understanding of the market, and an appreciation for the craftsmanship and history of these luxury items.

5 Great Watches To Look At

When diving into the world of investing in watches, understanding which brands and models make for sound investments is crucial. Luxury watches have long been considered more than just timekeepers—they’re assets that can appreciate over time. Here are some top picks if you’re looking to invest in luxury watches.

Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet stands out for its innovative designs and exceptional craftsmanship. One model that’s particularly investment-worthy is the Royal Oak. Introduced in 1972, this model revolutionized the luxury watch industry with its unique octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet. The Royal Oak is not just a watch; it’s a piece of horological history. Its enduring popularity and limited production numbers make it a desirable asset for any watch investor. The Royal Oak Offshore, especially the 26470OR model, is another solid choice with its robust design and luxury elements, making Audemars Piguet a staple in any investment-focused collection.


Rolex is arguably the most recognizable name in luxury watches, making it a prime candidate for investment. The Submariner, particularly the 16610LV Kermit, is a standout model due to its iconic design and historical significance. Another noteworthy model is the GMT Master II reference 116710LN, which saw a surge in value following its discontinuation in 2019. Rolex’s consistent demand, combined with their watches’ durability and timelessness, ensures that investing in their models is a move that’s likely to pay off.

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe represents the pinnacle of Swiss watchmaking excellence and holds a special place in the heart of collectors and investors alike. The Nautilus, including references such as 3800, 5712, and 5711, stands out as a particularly sound investment. Its scarcity, coupled with Patek Philippe’s storied history and commitment to quality, makes the Nautilus a watch that’s not only a pleasure to own but also a potential gold mine for investors.


Cartier may be more renowned for its jewelry, but it also has a rich history of crafting elegant and timeless watches. The Tank series, with its distinctive rectangular case, has been a symbol of luxury and sophistication since its introduction in 1917. Cartier watches are known for their classic designs that remain relevant and highly sought after, decade after decade. Investing in a Cartier watch is an investment in timeless elegance and a piece of history that continues to evolve while retaining its heritage.

Bottom line: Are watches a good investment?

Deciding to invest in luxury watches like Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, Rolex’s Submariner, Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, or Cartier’s Tank series could be a wise choice. These pieces aren’t just timekeepers; they’re a blend of art, history, and rarity that often appreciates in value. Your investment goes beyond the material, tapping into a legacy of craftsmanship and exclusive design. Remember, the key to a successful watch investment lies in choosing models known for their enduring popularity and scarcity. So if you’ve got an eye for exceptional watches and a passion for horological history, stepping into the world of watch investing might just tick all the right boxes for you.

About Altier Rare Coins

Located in South Florida, Altier Rare Coins has over a decade of experience in buying and selling precious metals, rare coins, currency, jewelry, watches and more!