16.03.2023 - Investment

Which luxury watches appreciate over time?

A luxury watch is often deemed a sound investment but with so many renowned brands around how would you know which to choose if you fancied making money in the future?

With some timepieces – depending on the model and condition –  you can expect to make a tidy profit but just because you pay out a lot for a watch, doesn’t necessarily mean it will hold its value.

Rolex and Patek Philippe are generally considered to be the top most collectable luxury watch brands, and the most likely to hold and even appreciate in value over time due to brand recognition, exclusivity, complications, popularity and craftsmanship. 

Rare offerings

Rare watches generally command more money at re-sale. Think limited watches – there is always a lot of demand for these as many collectors lie waiting for these to crop up. If they are scarce now, they’ll be even harder to find in decades to come.

A white gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ‘Unicorn’ watch, which featured a black dial sold for $5.9 million at a Phillips auction because it was believed to be unique.

So while it’s not in everyone’s budget to afford a one-of-a-kind, these will definitely hold value. Anniversary watches are also considered good choices.

Vintage timepieces

Obviously the older a timepiece, the more likely it’s been scratched or the original parts are not quite as efficient as they once were.

And like most things, watches take a while to accrue value. And we’re not just talking about the diamond-encrusted ones as some steel watches have fetched more than six figures under the gavel.

Like most things that you’d see up for auction, it generally takes at least a few decades for items to accrue value. And it’s just not the diamond-encrusted precious metal offerings that strike up the most worth, as many fine steel watches have achieved six figures at auction.

Generally if a watch has been well looked after, with its original documents and box, it could be a sound investment for selling on at a later date.

Top trends

If you’re  a savvy buyer with your finger on the pulse, that definitely helps when it comes to legendary watches. Take the Omega Seamaster Spectre limited edition – a special edition of a classic watch – and you’ll stand a much higher chance of increasing a steady return if you sell within five years. 

Watch out for sudden changes in models and on brands that have recently grown in popularity. This doesn’t always equate to needing to have a lot of cash outlay.

On the whole, Swiss-made watches are more desirable than other brands, with certain models always in demand, for example, a Rolex Dayona or Submariner.


If a celebrity has owned your potential investment, this is a great sign for appreciation!

Just look at the Rolex Daytona owned by Paul Newman for example. It fetched nearly $18 million at auction in 2017.

Similarly, a diamond Omega owned by Elvis Presley – gifted to him for selling 75 million records – sold for $1.8 million, making it the most expensive Omega watch ever sold at auction. 

Which watches are a good first investment?

With its sporty, robust, durable and timeless design, the Rolex Submariner will always be a sound investment.

The first Rolex diving watch, waterproof to 300 metres, was originally produced in 1953 but newer models have always stayed close to their original.

There are plenty of Rolex fans willing to pay a premium to get their hands on one, which means, if you’re lucky enough to bag one for a reasonable price, you’ll certainly make a pretty penny if you decide to sell it on in the future.

The Rolex Daytona is another model that has always seen good growth in the pre-owned market, A great example (if you’re lucky enough to be able to find one) is the 16520 ‘Inverted 6’, as it has a highly sought-after white face, and a mistake on the dial (hence the ‘Inverted 6’ nickname).

Always a sound buy are Rolex’s GMT-Master and GMT-Master II if they’re in good condition. Designed for pilots, they have distinctive 24-hour hands, rotating 24-hour advanced bezels, and the II lets you keep track of different time zones too.  But with super style and functionality combined, they are definitely worth parting with your cash.

Here to help

If you’re looking to make your first investment, we have a fantastic range of new and vintage watches, so visit our Epping boutique or contact us today for advice. We’d love to help.