Let's see a clear example of appreciation by simply looking at the price of some of the popular watch models. For example, this graph produced by “A Blog to Watch” indicates that the price of the Rolex Submariner has shot up over the years compared to inflation (not including changes in purchasing power, fluctuation in the cost of materials or advancements in the technology used in the watch).
Recent auctions also reflect the recent demand for watches.
Case in point, a one-of-a-kind 1944 Patek Philippe fetched $5.7 million (£3.4 million) at a Christie’s auction in 2010, making it the world’s most expensive yellow-gold wristwatch. The 18-karat gold chronograph was adorned with a calendar that adjusts for leap years and shows the phases of the moon.
Of course, not every watch can sell for a record-breaking amount, but there are plenty of instances in recent years where watches put to auction have secured noteworthy prices.
For example, luxury watches attracted high sums at a Dreweatts & Bloomsbury auction held in March 2014, with many timepieces selling well over their estimated value.
Popular brands, such as Rolex and Cartier, attracted great interest from buyers. A pre-owned 2008 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date gentleman’s 18-karat gold watch with a diamond dot and baguette numerals on the dial sold for £12,400 (US$17,690).
You can find it pictured below:
This pre-owned 2008 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day- Date gentleman’s 18-karat gold watch with a diamond dot and baguette numerals on the dial sold for £12,400 (US$17,690) at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury auction in 2014.
That watch was the highlight of the 19 Rolex pieces up for auction, including a very rare 1940s Rolex Chronograph wristwatch with 17 jewel Rolex chronograph Valjoux movement. The watch achieved £9,300 (US$13,267).
A Frank Müller lady’s 18-karat gold and diamond Classic Long Island wristwatch from 2000 also attracted substantial interest pre-sale. The Art Deco-inspired watch sold for £5,580 (US$7,960).
A Jaeger-Le Coultre Master Compressor, stainless steel chronograph wristwatch, part of the Master Extreme line, sold for £6,820 (US$9,728), while an 18-karat gold Master Control from 2000 sold for £5,952 (US$8,490).
Five Vacheron Constantin timepieces also did well, with the 18-karat gold chronograph from 2000 being the most popular — it sold for £4,800 (US$6,846). These watches represented excellent value for buyers.
A 2005 IWC Portuguese Chronograph in stainless steel also sold for £3,720 (US$5,306).
And this is just a small sampling of the recent watches that have shown themselves to be solid investments.
When the time comes to sell your own pieces, keep in mind that companies such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury’s and Antiquorum still dominate when it comes to getting top dollar for the world’s most valuable timepieces.
With that in mind, let’s get you started in the world of watch collecting…
* Submariner Rolex chart courtesy of A Blog to Watch
** Watch this space for my next Blog on How to Get you started...