They say variety is the spice of life, and it certainly ensures that Jack doesn’t stay a dull boy. So it follows that diversification is the key to a good investment portfolio. For those seeking alternative investments, watches often present an attractive proposition. And while it’s not an exact science, if you do your research, adding a great timepiece to your collection could be another way to shore up your portfolio. We’ve scouted around to find the best watch brands for investment purposes.
The first thing any potential watch investor should know is this: not all luxury watches are created equal. If you’re looking for a timepiece that will hold its value over time – or even better, appreciate – you’ll need to make sure you’re picking the correct brand and model.
There are three things to consider when it comes to watch investment: brand recognition, demand and rarity. When the holy trinity of a good brand name, high demand and rare models comes together, you may have just found a good investment watch.
Another thing to know: new watches are not necessarily the best investment, especially if they’re new models of established timepieces, or extremely tech-forward (sorry, that first-gen Apple Watch isn’t going to add any zeros to your bank account). Instead, if you can find a pre-owned luxury watch in pristine condition – and you can verify its provenance and seller – you’ll minimize your capital outlay and maximize the investment.
With those caveats in mind, here are some of the best performing watch brands that you should consider for your next investment.
Consider this your one-to-watch investment brand. Omega’s discontinued watches are doing well on the vintage market, and experts say this brand’s resale value is the fasted growing in the industry. For a really good investment, seek out the Seamaster 300M. Not only is this James Bond’s watch of choice, but the quartz version is being phased out so it’ll appreciate in value very quickly.
Considered the jewel of any watch aficionado’s collection, Patek Philippe has built its brand on the idea of creating a legacy. So much so, in fact, that its marketing strategy revolves around the phrase: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” As long as you keep it in good condition, these Swiss-made watches will retain their value very well. Rare models can go for as much as a million dollars on the auction block, but even more affordable models can be passed on, loaned against, or quickly sold in a pinch.
It’s a no-brainer that Rolex pieces are considered a good investment when it comes to watches. James Bond’s previous watch of choice is well-known and always in demand, leading savants to call this a surefire investment. Any steel sports Rolex watch over two or three years old will at least retain its value, but if you want to go the whole hog, buy the classic Submariner. It’s called the most successful diver’s watch in history for good reason.
Another well-known luxury Swiss brand, Audemars Piguet‘s timepieces are generally considered good investment watches. Historically, most models do well on the resale market, so you should get a decent ROI should you ever decide to call in your investment.
One of the rare watch brands to bridge the gap between investment value, fashion and function, French-made Cartier is another brand to consider investing in. The classic watches come with a lot of history and are consistently in demand. If you can get your mitts on discontinued models – like the Must de Cartier or Roadster – or even vintage versions of the Tank, you could be on to a winner.
Another name prized by watch collectors the world over, Vacheron Constantin represents good value for a number of reasons. The brand has a history of producing some of the world’s most complicated watches, which it pairs with a strong focus on design. As one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world, the brand’s watches have been worn by everyone from the kings of Thailand to the Wright Brothers and former President Harry S Truman, so the brand has serious legacy.
For more Watch inspiration, check out our Collectables section here.