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Beginner’s Guide to Buying Investment Watches: Pre-Owned vs. New

Beginner’s Guide to Buying Investment Watches: Pre-Owned vs. New

When considering wise financial investments, a watch is not the first thing that comes to most people’s minds. However, a basic timepiece differs from a luxury watch. Many high-end watches offer you an excellent return on investment, especially as years pass.

Today, TheRelux.com is sharing some key features to consider before you buy an investment watch. Let’s get started.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Buying Luxury Watches

First thing’s first–when it comes to investment watches, the brand matters. The manufacturer determines a watch’s quality, demand, and resale value. As you may already know, some of the best-selling timepieces of all time come from world-renowned brands. Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex, to be specific, are some of the best investment watch brands today. 

Whether you are a seasoned or aspiring watch collector, we recommend keeping a close eye on these brands’ latest releases. You can also look for luxury vintage watches, as many of them are already valuable at present and will continue to rise in demand over time.

Buying Pre-Owned Luxury Watches vs. New Ones

Many investors internally battle with the new versus used dilemma when purchasing investment watches. If you are new to collecting watches, it is normal to consider buying a brand new watch first. Our piece of advice, however, is that you should not let the words “used” and “second hand” drive your investment decisions.

Many used timepieces are extremely valuable, evident in the most expensive watches ever sold. Aside from the brand name, an investment watch’s value also skyrockets if it has a fascinating past or story to tell. For instance, if a watch once belonged to a high-profile personality, it can fetch a high price. Paul Newman’s 1968 Rolex Daytona is a prime example, which sold for $17.8 million at an auction in New York.

Of course, we are not suggesting solely going for such one-of-a-kind pieces (they are rare finds, after all, and Rolex no longer produces the 1968 Daytona). Other timepieces from Rolex, such as the Explorer II, Submariner, Oyster Perpetual, Day-Date President, Sea-Dweller, and Datejust are also worthy investment watches that command high prices in the second-hand luxury market.

Important Numbers to Note 

Some of the numerical figures you should review before buying an investment watch include:

  1. Total number of watches in production

As with most products, limited edition watches are more popular, especially among collectors, socialites, celebrities, and elites with money to spare. Rarity is a commanding factor in a limited edition luxury watch’s higher value over time. The Tiffany & Co. and Patek Philippe collaboration is a leading example of the power of a limited edition timepiece. The first watch sold for almost 120 times (yes, 120 times!) its original price, selling for an outstanding $6.5 million. Tiffany and Patek Philippe plan to produce only 170 watches of this make and model, which means not only will these watches sell fast, but their prices will also continue to increase.

  1. Current Market Value and Demand

Before you purchase a second-hand watch, determine its current market value. Not all vintage or antique watches are in demand, and demand is one of the most important factors when making a good financial investment. The higher the demand for a specific watch is, the higher the price you will fetch once you decide to sell. Therefore, remember to review real-time figures (use this research tool by WatchCharts) in the market before you finalize your purchase.

Even if you plan on buying a brand new watch, research the total number of pieces the company intends to manufacture, find out if the watch is generating word-of-mouth in the market, and try to look for its expected appraisal rates. Some watches, including ones from high-end brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, are not always good long-term investments, although they may make for excellent quick-flip buys.

Where to Buy Authentic Pre-Owned Watches

Only trust reputable sellers like TheRelux.com to avoid being scammed. Many dealers on social media platforms or on the internet, in general, will do their best to make a quick sale and scam you for thousands of dollars.

In most cases, the actual product a scammer will sell is not as shown in the pictures. Even if the seller does show “real” photos of the item you intend to purchase, you may find out later on that the components inside the timepiece are fake or not of the model you wanted.

Sadly, unless you pursue legal actions (which can be tedious and lengthy), you may not get your money back because most scammers disappear from the internet as soon as they complete a transaction. That said, ensure to conduct ample research before you make a purchase.

Final Recommendations

Investing in luxury watches can be quite a controversial topic. Even the term “investment watch” may summon images of flippers whose only intention is to make a quick buck, but have no real passion for watches. However, if you keep your focus on that aspect, you will miss out on the bigger picture and the true value of investment watches. The truth is that many luxury watches are incredibly valuable, and that value will rise through the years (evident in the many examples mentioned earlier). Still, that does not mean a watch enthusiast cannot be passionate about the beauty of watchmaking and invest in the watch emotionally whilst appreciating the investment potential. In many cases, watch enthusiasts are all of the above.

We hope this guide to investment watches has taught you about the financial benefits of watch collecting and assist you in making informed decisions when buying a pre-owned designer watch.


Add a Stunning Watch to Your Collection

Buying a luxury watch is the ultimate expression of status, prestige, and class. It is a significant investment with unparalleled value in quality, function, and design.  If you are looking to invest in a luxury watch today, TheRelux.com is a trusted online showroom that guarantees authenticity with every purchase. From Breitling and Baume & Mercier to Omega and Movado, browse and shop our investment-worthy collectibles now.

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