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Are watches a good investment?

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It is common for people to say that they are "investing" in a new gadget, tv, or really

anything else technology related. According to a Times Money article from November,

"anything with a technological expiration date is a bad financial investment." New and

improved versions come out almost twice a year and render the old ones outdated.

Another interesting point brought up in the Times was, "...what about mechanical watches?

You know, the ones that don’t use electricity and are technologically static, immune from

cutting-edge developments? People don’t buy mechanical watches for hi-tech features, so

they’re not at risk of becoming obsolete." That's a valid question. What is considered

investment worthy these days?

When buying a timepiece as an investment, it's important to consider one that has the best

chance of keeping its value over time - and of course, one that can potentially increase in

value. Unfortunately in the watch industry, there are only a handful of brands that have a good

reputation for turning a profit - Patek Philippe and Rolex are two of those brands.

Patek Philippe are known for their incredible re-sale value, making it a more than

investment worthy item. In an article posted on Christie's website this past summer, they

have argueably the best re-sale value of all watch brands. A Patek Calatrava bought for

$300 in the 1950's was said to be easily sold for over $20,000 in today's market. Another

model that was mentioned was the perpetual chronograph (2499/100 fourth series) that

skyrocketed in value throughout the years. This watch retailed for under $20,000 in the

1980s, and is now valued at over $400,000. Patek Philippe are definitely not known for

their affordability, but if someone was in the market for one it would be considered a very

smart buy.

On the other hand, Rolex - the more affordable investment of the two - has its good days

too. Made famous by many hollywood movies, Rolexes have become an ultimate icon in

todays watch industry. One that won't be giving up its title anytime soon. It is important to

understand that while Patek Philippe is known for their re-sale values, Rolex is known for

their ability to keep their initial value. It isn't a watch that will make you money very easily,

unless you know what you're doing.

In an article on Western Daily Press, a list of seven vintage Rolex's from 1969 were

compared - the 1019 Milgauss, Oyster Perpetual stainless steel, 5512 Submariner, 1016

Explorer, and three different Datejusts. Five of the watches had increased in value since

that year and were selling now for well over their retail cost. Most of the time, these

watches will hold their value, and in some cases will make you money, on the condition

that they are kept in excellent exterior condition, as well as interior.

Above all, when purchasing a watch an an investment, you have to love what you're

buying. You should want to wear it, rather than have it sit somewhere accumulating dust -

but maybe that's just us.

If you desire advice regarding your next watch purchase, please call us at 718-698-6373 for assistance.


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