Watch collecting can be undertaken as a hobby or a business. You can curate a watch collection purely for the love of luxury timepieces and vintage watches or you can gather beautiful watches with the intention of trading them at a later date for profit. Whether for passion or profit, watch collecting is enjoyed by many all around the globe, all showing their appreciation of timeless design and aesthetic appeal.
The popularity means there is an amazing market for new and preowned luxury and vintage watches that can be accessed by anyone. This incredible marketplace can feel over-saturated at times, particularly for newcomers and if you don’t know one Swiss watchmaker from the next, it can be tough to navigate, especially in the matter of knowing which watches are going to make the best investment pieces.
Everybody loves the idea of amassing a great luxury watch collection with a view that there will be a profit later down the line but this dream can only become a reality if you know which high-end timepieces have the potential to be in-demand timepieces now and in the future.
Although in the world of economics, everything finds its level thanks to market forces, discerning future values is always going to be a guessing game. Despite this, experts have a pretty good idea which expensive watches are going to outstrip their original price tag and be truly valuable, investment watches.
If you are truly going to get wet in the secondhand market, you’ll need to be prepared to dive into watch history and the science and art of watchmaking. With hundreds of thousands making up the luxury watch market you’ll need general knowledge about what makes a high-end watch, limited editions, vintage models, iconic watches, and why popular models are popular. All this will help you make decisions when you find an affordable watch that has the potential to appreciate in value.
Here are some of the brands and models that are almost certainly going to command a high selling price on the secondhand market and online market should you ever desire to cash in and see what the collector market holds in store for you.
The most well-known and iconic luxury watch brand is Rolex. Its reputation by far eclipses other watch brands and it is extremely recognizable among all global consumer brands. Most people automatically think of Rolex when asked to consider luxury watches and for good reason!
Over the years they have truly built a name for themselves as one of the leading lights in the luxury watch world, and this respect and admiration translates into almost all of their models being sought after and valuable long after opportunities to buy at initial retail price have passed. The fact is that no other watch brand in the world holds its value and sells as well on the secondary market as the entire Rolex range. Many watch wearers and collectors covet a rare Rolex.
Some of the model names to look out for when it comes to Rolex include:
- Rolex Submariner Date
- Rolex Submariner Date Green
- Rolex GMT Master II
- Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
There is a saying that you never actually own a Patek Philippe watch, you merely keep hold of it until it is passed down to the next generation, and this is a testament to just how precious and revered the brand is!
The company was founded in 1839 and it has stood the test of time to be considered one of the very best in the business generation after generation. There are not many watch brands out there where you can pick up a model that is over 150 years old and it still be in great condition. Of course, you have to be willing to pay the big bucks!
Patek Philippe’s reputation is thoroughly deserved and warranted, and any avid collector should dream of having at least one example of the brand in their collection.
Some of the model names to look out for when it comes to Patek Philippe include:
- Patek Philippe Nautilus Steel
- Patek Philippe Aquanaut
- Nautilus Chronograph
Audemars Piguet is the third name in what the cognoscenti call the holy trinity of brands, with the aforementioned Rolex and Patek Philippe completing the trio (just a side note of interest – Rolex is the youngest of the brands, having been formed in 1905).
In operation since 1875, this is a brand that has consistently brought quality, innovative timepieces to the global stage, including the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar watch back in 2019.
This brand is about as prestigious as it gets, and it has long been a favorite of business owners and executives to display their wealth and taste in the boardroom and beyond. Being extremely well crafted and well built, not to mention comfortable, it is no surprise to learn that Audemars Piguet watches hold their value incredibly well.
Some of the model names to look out for when it comes to Audemars Piguet include:
- Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding
- Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Blue
- Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Open Worked Pink Gold
Omega really hits the sweet spot for most collectors thanks to the fact that the brand provides incredible value for money. It is the second most popular Swiss watch brand by sales alone in the United States, with only Rolex having a higher dollar value when switching hands.
Whilst Omega doesn’t quite match up to Rolex in terms of prestige and historical reverence, the best examples of this brand still fetch great figures on the pre-owned market.
Collectors who are just starting out with their luxury watch journey would do well to hunt for Omega watches.
Some of the model names to look out for when it comes to Omega include:
- Seamaster 300M White Dial
- Speedmaster Professional Hesalite on Bracelet
- Seamaster Planet Ocean 43.5mm White Dial/Orange Bezel
A name not particularly familiar outside the watch world, Panerai is arguably the most well known Italian brand when it comes to the world of luxury timepieces. Their history (since 1860) is a long and storied one that features highlights such as making watches of members of the Italian Armed Forces to bouncing back from a reputation blip when they decided to start making their watches in Switzerland instead. One thing that has never wavered is just how impressive the watches are.
There is no mistaking a Panerai watch. They boast an iconic look that is instantly recognizable and for this reason, they tend to fetch big sums on the second-hand market. The brand is so beloved that their most dedicated fans even have a nickname, the Paneristi!
Some of the model names to look out for when it comes to Panerai include:
- Panerai Luminor Due GMT Power Reserve 45mm
- Submersible Azzurro
- Radiomir Black Seal Logo 45mm
If your enthusiasm for building a quality watch collection of your own has been sparked by this list, then a great place to start your search is Sell Me Watch. We have a wide range of pre-owned luxury watches to browse and examine, we can confident that you will find something you’ll love. If you are looking for a true status symbol and a choice from plenty of iconic flagship models, then head to Sell Me Watch and you will not be disappointed with the items on offer. No elitist waiting lists needed!