6 Top Watches That Appreciate In Value
Below we explore some of the best watch brands that are most likely to host a range of watches that appreciate in value
There are a number of watches on the market that appreciate in value over time. If you’re looking for an investment, it’s important to know which brands and models offer the best return. In this blog post, we will introduce you to six of the top watches that hold their value well. We’ll also explain why each brand is so popular among collectors and investors. Each of the brands that we are about to discuss, all have a rich heritage and still produce some of the best timepieces on the market today.
Of course you can never be too sure which specific watch reference will grow in value faster and higher than others, but you can effectively gauge the estimated future value and worth of each watch based on certain features. These features can include: Heritage of the brand, functionality purpose, notable wearers, key designers and of course the build quality of the watch itself. As well as the features highlighted, there are also artificial ways of ensuring you select a watch that appreciates in value, and that would be by buying limited edition timepieces that the manufacturer releases, from time to time, usually paying homage to an earlier reference that got discontinued.
However, you need to be careful when selecting these timepieces because these too can be susceptible to loss of returns, as some watch brands will over saturate the market with limited edition models, such as Hublot and Tag Heuer with their Monaco edition.
Now without further ado, lets get into the most promising brands you should be looking at when finding watches that appreciate in value.
Breitling is a Swiss watch brand that has, over the recent years, taken the identity as the go-to choice of watch for keen explorers. They initially made their mark in the world of horology in 1915 and then again in 1923 with their contributions towards the early development of the chronograph function that we recognise today, by adding a push-piece at 2 o’clock and then later a second piece at 4 o’clock to reset the chronograph timer. This innovation was thanks to Léon Breitling’s obsession with aviation and in his efforts to allow an easier method for pilots to use the timer function while in the sky.
This obsession did not stop there, Breitling led the charge on aeronautic instruments that proved detrimental to pilots fighting in World War II – Even when the Nazis were closing in all exports from Switerland, Breitling would find new ways to get their products out of the country.
It was not until 1952, when Breitling produced one of the most iconic aviation timepieces in the world – the Breitling Navitimer. This watch allowed pilots to make sophisticated measurements in the air, for important inflight calculations, using the watch’s slide rule bezel. Probably one of the most likely watches to appreciate in value in the Breilting collection has to be the Navitimer, especially when you source one close to the original 1952 model, such as their special edition, the Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the most prolific watch brands when it comes to horological complications and innovations. They have over 1200 different calibres in their repertoire and hold a total of 400 patents – pretty impressive for a brand that has been around since 1833.
One such complication would be the world’s smallest calibre, the calibre 101, which was first produced in 1929 and is still used in some of their watches today. Jaeger-LeCoultre have been known to supply movements in the past to other high-end watch brands, such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and even Cartier.
The Reverso is one of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s most iconic timepieces, first released in 1931 and designed for the British Army officers stationed in India, who were playing polo – The reversible case meant that the officers could protect the delicate dial from any damage that might occur during the game. The Reverso DuoFace is a more recent take on the original, with a second time zone and day/night indicator displayed on the reverse of the watch.
Other watches in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s collection that are sure to appreciate in value are the Master Calendar, which was first released in 1945 and the Master Ultra Thin, which was first introduced in 1907.
Omega is a Swiss watch brand that has been around since 1848 and is currently under the Swatch Group. They are the official timekeepers of the Olympic Games, have sent watches to the moon with both Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wearing their Speedmaster watches on their wrists and were even featured in James Bond films with their other notable collection in their portfolio; the Seamaster dive watch.
The Omega Speedmaster is probably the most iconic watch in their collection, first introduced in 1957 as a racing and chronograph sports watch. However it did not receive as much attention compared it its rivals such as the Rolex Daytona and zenith el primero, it wasn’t until 1965 that the Speedmaster really sealed its name in history. The Speedmaster became the first official watch that Nasa would use for its astronauts in space – with it being the only one to pass the rigorous testing needed to ensure its functionality in the depths of space. The model was made famous by Buzz Aldrin, as it was pictured on his wrist as he became the first man to walk on the moon – with the Omega Speedmaster that is.
Interestingly the watch earned the silver snoopy award – a Nasa award given to employees and contractors for outstanding achievements related to mission success – due to the important role it played in helping the Apollo 13 astronauts safely being returned home when their equipment malfunctioned. The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is the closest watch that you can get to the original model that was worn on the moon.
Other watches in Omega’s collection that are worth investing in are the Seamaster, which was first introduced in 1948 as a diving watch and is now one of their most popular models. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean is a modern take on the original, with larger case size and updated movements.
The Speedmaster, Seamaster and its less known counterpart, the Railmaster, are most likely the types of watches that appreciate in value within the future within the Omega brand.
Rolex needs no introduction, as it is one of – if not the most, popular watch brand in the world. The company was founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in 1905 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Rolex watches are known for their quality, durability and reliability – with many of their watches able to withstand a lifetime of wear.
As I am sure you probably know by now how the story goes… but if not here is a gentle reminder. Wilsdorf had been creating watches for decades before he gained proper attention for his work, by creating a new type of watch called the Rolex oyster case, which was released in 1926, that became known as the worlds first water proof watch.
He created the watch using special tools and unique design to seal the watch, making it air-tight, Wilsdorf was actually so confident in the watch he ended up commissioning the famous channel swimmer, Mercedes Gleitze, to wear it around her neck as she crossed the English channel. Rolex went on to receive great attention and world acclaim for the success of the stunt – proving the prowess of the watch that still performed admirably having been submerged in water for over 10 hours.
Following the release of the Rolex perpetual, which housed one of the greatest self-winding mechanisms at the time, with the next 50 years Rolex would go on to become known for producing the most effective watches, in whatever category they ventured into – whether that be diving to the depths of the ocean, with their submariner or their even more advanced Deepsea range or scaling mountains with their explorer, to participating in highly risky motorsport with their Rolex Daytona.
The value of a Rolex watch will never depreciate significantly, as there is always a high demand for the watches – especially the vintage watches that are now highly coveted by collectors. The most popular and valuable Rolex watches include: Rolex Daytona, Rolex Submariner, Rolex Explorer, Rolex GMT Master II and Rolex Datejust.
From a farmhouse to one of the biggest family-owned watch manufacturers in Switzerland, Audemars Piguet is a Swiss watch manufacturer that was founded in 1875 by Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet. Interestingly, the company is still owned and run by the descendants of its original founders and is based in the Vallée de Joux, Switzerland, where the company became all those years ago, in the farmhouse of the harsh winter months.
The watches produced by Audemars Piguet today are some of the most complicated and sought-after watches in the world. The company produces around 40,000 watches per year, with each one made entirely by hand.
One of Audemars Piguet’s most iconic watches in their collection is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, which was initially released in 1972, designed by the famous Gerald Genta, who was known to have produced many iconic timepieces we still know to this day including the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Omega Constellation.
The Royal Oak marked a new time in Audemars Piguet’s watchmaking history, having been hit hard by the quartz crisis, they decided to create a luxury sports watch that not only housed a quartz movement with integrated links, and finished with an octagon bezel but also out of stainless steel – one of the first to introduce this material into a luxury sports watch at the time. This model could be linked to saving the brand from mere annihilation, but also created a new category of watch that exploded in the years after – the stainless steel luxury sports watch. The stainless steel luxury sports are a category of watches that appreciate in value in the past years, and will probably continue to do so in the future years to come.
Other popular and valuable Audemars Piguet watches include: Royal Oak, Millenary, Jules Audemars and Offshore.
Patek Philippe is a Swiss watch manufacturer that was founded in 1851, by Antoni Patek and Franciszek Czapek. The company is known for producing some of the most complicated watches in the world and is considered to be one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers. Patek Philippe watches are often passed down through generations and are known to be heirloom watches.
The most popular and valuable Patek Philippe watches include: the Calatrava, the Nautilus, the Sky Moon Tourbillon, and the Grandmaster Chime. The Calatrava is Patek Philippe’s signature watch and is a simple yet elegant timepiece that is perfect for any occasion.
Before highlighting other noteworthy models in the Patek Philippe collection, a focus has to be on the Nautilus, which was another stainless steel sports watch designed by Gerald Genta, but instead of being octagon shaped, this watch design was inspired by a submarine’s porthole – making it a required taste. However, in 2020 the value of this watch price jumped achieving over 100% price rise within the preowned market, rewarding massive returns on investment to holders of the timepiece.
The Brand was also recognised for creating watches with amazing complexity including models such as the Sky Moon celestial, made even more famous by its wearers of the pocket watch variation that includes American banker, Henry Graves, Jr., and American automobile manufacturer James Ward Packard. And we cannot forget to mention one of the most complicated watches Patek Philippe has ever created is the Grandmaster Chime which houses twenty complications within. Also one of our personal favourites and an often associated image of Patek Philippes is their Perpetual Calendar Chronograph which had a relatively short production run making it one of the top watches that appreciate in value.