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What To Know About Investing in Luxury Watches

What To Know About Investing in Luxury Watches

When most people think about investments, they tend to think of the stock market, or major property purchases. Conversely, when you think about collecting things, you might think of a conventional hobby, not a way to make a profit. Yet for multiple reasons, luxury watches can make both solid investments and worthwhile collections (and, of course, a sophisticated way to accessorize). Here’s what you need to know about investing in and collecting luxury watches. 

Why Luxury Watches Are a Good Investment

Designer watches can be excellent (and fun) investments for a few reasons:

  1.    They are a small, relatively low-maintenance, and easy-to-store personal asset (unlike a home, boat, or car). 
  2.    Buying and selling them involves far less paperwork than other high-value transactions.
  3.    Unlike other assets, like luxury cars, these timepieces appreciate in value over time — without you having to lift a wrist, so to speak. Finally, watches are a typically stable investment that aren’t strongly affected by the stock market. In fact, they usually outperform stocks, which means that putting your wealth in this basket may cause you far less stress.


What To Look For in an Investment Piece

However, as with any other kind of investment, there are some important things to know in order to make a worthwhile purchase:

  • Keep top brands in mind. The most famous and reputable brands with superior workmanship will give you the best return on your investment, as their value increases more over time. The most valuable luxury watch brands are Swiss in origin and include Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer, and Audemars Piguet


  • Look for high-quality materials and attributes. Apart from premier brands, seek out pieces made with durable and valuable features, such as gold, titanium, or precious gems (much as you would jewelry). If you’re a leather watch aficionado, be sure that the leather is genuine and of top quality, and that the stitching and general craftsmanship are the very best. This way, your investment will be less prone to damage and more likely to increase in value.


  • Learn to love mechanical movement. There are 3 main types of watch movements: quartz, automatic, and mechanical. The last is the most valuable, and you should virtually always purchase a timepiece with mechanical movement. That’s because these watches are handcrafted with intricate gear systems, are more expensive to maintain, and hold their value best. Brands with exceptionally reliable movements include Omega, Rolex, and Patek Philippe.


  • Make it work for you. To get the most out of your purchase, choose a watch with a style you like, that is comfortable to wear, and that suits your personality and lifestyle. For example, if you’re an outdoorsy or athletic person, you might consider a waterproof piece, or one that has a barometer, a compass, or similar features.


  • There are options for every budget. If the rarest and most coveted brands aren’t comfortably within your means, you can still make solid choices that are. Brand aside, seek out timepieces that are original or hard to find, are in excellent condition, and feature quality workmanship.


Why You Should Consider Purchasing a “Pre-Loved” Timepiece

Before you rush out to snap up the first item in your new profitable collection, take some time to consider another important aspect of your “investment strategy”: where you purchase your watches matters, too. Of course, you could simply take a trip to your favorite jeweler or brand retail store and buy a new item. However, there you’ll pay the full retail price for it, which will eat into your profit margins. 

In addition, because high-end watches appreciate as they age, you’ll have to wait longer for your wrist candy to go up in value. Further, many jewelers have waitlists for new watches, and it can be as long as two or more years between purchasing a new Rolex and receiving the timepiece.

Alternatively, you could visit a reputable antiques dealer for an authentic piece, but you’ll still pay every penny of its current value, which might be quite high.

In order to get the thrill (and, of course, profit) of buying relatively low and selling high, consider doing your shopping at a trusted luxury consignment shop. Look for those that either offer authentication certificates for high-value items or authenticate all of the merchandise they sell. You may well find an affordable treasure in hiding that will keep growing in value for years to come.


Get Authenticated Designer Brands at North Shore Exchange

North Shore Exchange is a nonprofit luxury consignment shop that offers pre-owned and pre-loved designer furniture, clothing, contemporary and vintage watches, and other accessories. Our expert Merchandising team carefully inspects all products to ensure authenticity, so you can shop for discount luxury items with complete confidence. Explore high-quality, timeless watches and other jewelry as well as handbags, clothing, home accessories, and decorative objects!

You can also donate or consign your own luxury items at North Shore Exchange today. Get cash for the luxury goods in your home, and find new ones at great prices—all while giving back to the community. It’s the best of all worlds!