Like any financial advice, also this one should come with a disclaimer, as there are no certainties as it remains very hard to predict which watches will actually increase in value. There is however common sense, which can give you a general direction on what to look for, and what to buy.
A case of desirable rarity
When it comes to watches and increasing value, you need to look out for those that possess (or will possess) a desirable rarity. The word desirable is very important in this. There are quite a few brands that sell very diamond set men’s watches in extremely limited qualities. However, as they age the desirability of many of them is not enough to ensure increasing prices. A great example of watches that do have this combination is the Pour le Mérite collection by A. Lange & Söhne. Although many of these models are only a few years old, their prices have already spiked, and the same will most likely be the case for the new Tourbograph Perpetual.
In many cases, it is still the vintage watches that are most likely to show an increase in value. Also here desirable rarity plays an important part. The Patek Philippe Ref.1518 that we featured yesterday is the perfect example of this. This watch is already a landmark watch in the history of Patek Philippe, being their first perpetual calendar chronograph, but this is one with a pink gold case, which is rarer than the yellow gold, hence making it a better investment. This one also came with a pink dial, which makes it even rarer, and then it was fitted with an original special order pink gold bracelet, which makes it unique. Watches like these often show the highest investment potential.
Get a Safety Deposit Box
Although I feel that watches, just like cars for that matter, should be enjoyed and therefore worn, this doesn’t apply when you buy them as an investment. Originality rules, and with the exception of tropic dials, it most certainly pays to keep the watches as crisp and close to their original condition as when they were first sold as possible. That makes a safety deposit box the only sensible place to keep this kind of watches.
Then comes the most tricky part, as it is an investment, when to sell? For that, the same strategy works as all your other investments: keep track of the market, and events that might impact them.