NOV, 24

The Top Watch Brands That Retain Their Value


A luxury watch from a top brand is on many wishlists. And they don’t always have to be new. A prized timepiece is as equally desirable whether it is newly packaged or secondhand – as long as it’s the right watch at the right price. The owner may simply want their watch to be one of the best they can afford or they may be a watch enthusiast.

There are two types of watch collectors; ones that simply buy the watches that they like and that match their style and aesthetic, and then those who buy limited editions and what might be good investment pieces.

There is a thriving market for secondhand and pre-owned luxury watches and savvy watch collectors will always keep in mind factors like exclusivity, watchmaker history, and most importantly for many, resale value.

Essentially, if you can curate several Swiss watches, sports watches, mechanical watches, and dive watches, then you achieve the double feat of having a high-end watch collection that you can enjoy to the fullest in the present, while also having a degree of financial security in terms of investment watches for the future watch market.

Retail price is one thing, but the resale price for a sought-after wristwatch can be something entirely different and much more exciting when you know which brands will appreciate and which aren’t going to depreciate too quickly.

Here is a list of some of the top luxury watch brands that not only hold value but also even rise in value depending on the special qualities or reputation of the particular timepiece.

Which Watch Brands Hold Their Value The Best?

Gents Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Oyster Perpetual Daydate Watch 118348.

The best watches for maintaining and even increasing value over time include:

  • Rolex watches (notably the Rolex Submariner, Rolex Daytona, and GMT Master)
  • Patek Philippe watches (notably the Nautilus)
  • Omega (notably the Omega Seamaster and Omega Speedmaster Professional)
  • Jaeger-Le Coultre (notably the Reverso)
  • Breitling
  • TAG Heuer (notably Monaco and the Carrera)
  • Hublot
  • Audemars Piguet (notably the Royal Oak)
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Cartier
  • A. Lange & Söhne
  • Tudor
  • Seiko
  • Richard Mille

The most reliable brands for value are Rolex and Patek Philippe. Even the most basic wristwatches and chronographs usually have a decent resale value and for novice collectors, are a good place to start.

Why Do Only A Few Brands Hold Their Value?

Not all watch brands hold or increase their value over time, so what is it that marks out specific brands for that particular honor?

Most watches are very much like most sports cars or high fashion garments in the sense that they will start depreciating almost immediately after purchasing them. There are, however, several different factors that influence why a particular watch might hold its value better than others. These include:


If the luxury timepiece in question was not mass-produced, or there are not that many examples in good condition available on the second-hand market, then it will potentially command a higher price. The collecting game is all about having what others don’t, so the price for a rare or uncommon watch is going to reflect the demand for it.

    Unique Design

Something that can make a watch more valuable is if it features certain design elements that are unique and interesting. This supports the idea that collectors want watches that are different from the general ones owned by everybody else, so limited edition and unique-style watches are always likely to be better at holding value.


Certain brands are always going to hold their value better than others. It applies to the most coveted and luxury items. If you have a Chippendale sofa, a Tiffany lamp, or a Ming vase, you know you have something of value. The same applies to watches and if you’re lucky enough to have something like a Rolex, Omega, Hublot, or Cartier, then you have something that will command a certain price even as preowned.

    Celebrity/Movie Links

And then to go a step further, particular models within those particular brands gain cult followings and become more valuable than all of the others. Whether the watch has been worn by James Bond in a movie, or it has been seen on the wrist of one of the world’s leading high-profile figures, this kind of publicity always increases the reputation and therefore the value.

Why Is It Important To Hold Value?

Gents Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II Watch.  116718.

Something that is obvious to watch collectors but may seem counterintuitive to those outside of the enthusiast community is that these expensive watches aren’t just to be worn and enjoyed, but also be painstakingly protected as investment pieces. A lot of enthusiasts will choose timepieces that they know are going to hold value over timepieces that they prefer the look of.

To build a collection of luxury watches worthy in terms of both interest and value, keep the right models and brands in mind. It makes sense to keep future value in mind if you are looking to make a future profit from your purchases or if you intend to leave it as an inheritance for someone.

Just like the stock market or weather forecasting, the people that claim they can do it without mistakes are simply lying. Predicting the luxury watch market is an incredibly hard thing that will always throw up a few surprises. The best that you can do is keep track of trends and stick to the ‘safer’ bets in terms of brands and models that are universally sought after.

Patience Is Key

Gents Rolex 18k Yellow Gold Oyster Perpetual Daydate Watch. 18238.

No matter at which level of the watch-buying market you choose to enter, the most important thing is that you stay patient and don’t make any drastic decisions. Buying and selling luxury watches is a very delicate balancing act between making smart decisions and taking a few risks to get ahead. Keep track of the market trends and choose your moments carefully in terms of when you decide to buy or put certain brands and models on the market. Be as vigilant and on top of things as you can so that you can make as much money as possible at the most appropriate times.

Hopefully, this article has given you a good idea of where to start when it comes to building a high-quality watch collection. If you’re interested in selling secondhand watches, choose a trustworthy and reputable marketplace like Sell Me Watch which have been buying and selling quality watches for more than 25 years. We guarantee fair prices and personable customer service.


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