Watches as an Investment?
Ask the purists and they will always answer this question with "buy what you like" and don't look at watches as an investment. Watch Collectors make emotional connections with their watches. Its used daily, functional, and unlike other asset classes its very portable. Yes watches are far behind traditional luxury hobby asset classes like Art, classic cars, wine, whiskey and diamonds but with the growing amount of investors and hobbyists entering the market in the last few years there is a stronger argument that this is the right time to build up your watch collection. As with any other markets knowing which watches will gain significant value is very difficult, sure everyone has heard of the guy that bought a Paul Newman for peanuts and held on to it. In reality the watch market trends are cyclical and sometime unpredictable. 2018 saw a craze for blue dial steel watches... Lets analyze 2019 best performing watches .....
Why do the value of watches go up?
There are two prices which collectors should be aware of; RRP which is the official recommended price set by the manufacturer and there is the secondary market prices; these are free market prices which follow the basic rules of demand and supply.
The 2018 market value appreciation of sports watches from brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet continued into 2019. .For 2019, lets examine some possible factors that may have contributed to increased demand in 2019
Official RRP Price increase
2019 saw official RRP Price increases by majority of the big Swiss watchmakers. Omega, Audemars Piguet, Patek Phillipe, IWC all upped their prices by between 3-9%. Owning a watch still in production which has been affected with an official price increase automatically values your watch more!
Baselworld which takes place in March is the biggest watch trade fair of the year. Powerhouses like Rolex and Patek Philippe use this to showcase their latest releases which have been worked on over the last few years. The marketing and talk about watches is at its peak in this period. Adverts in magazines, television and digital media is rampant. This in turn ramps up the demand for watches, the peak prices on the secondary market for indemand watches peaked not too long after the fair in 2019
Most people gravitate towards what they cannot have. In the past we’ve seen evidence of discontinued models initially with low demand grow into a highly sought after must have piece by collectors. Such increase in demand transpires to increase in price.
A more recent example was the Rolex GMT master II 116710LN which went up ~50% in value shortly after Rolex decided to discontinue it at Baselworld 2019.
Emerging Precious Metal Trend
Over the last few years, watch collecting has been mainly dominated by the demand for Steel watches. In 2019 confirmed a new emerging trend for precious metal cases, particularly Rose Gold and White Gold.
Social Media Influencing
Social media today plays a big part in trends and consumer demand for watches. With Influencers on YouTube and Instagram "hyping" up watches either intentionally or sharing their personal views. A good example was when International music star and well known watch collector John Mayer showcased his Daytona collection with specific reference to the Rolex Daytona 116508 in an episode of "talking watches" a watch collecting YouTube show. The impact of the episode was instantaneous with prices for the watch going up as much as 50% within a few weeks.
We believe these factors mentioned above have contributed to the increase in value of specific watch models in 2019. Below we highlight some of the clear winners
Best performing watches of 2019
See a selected list of watches who gained significant value of the 2019 calendar year. Please not this list is only for normal production watches, no limited edition or rarer pieces are included in the analysis
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1R
Average Price at Jan 2019 £80,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £127,000 Change %59
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980R
Average Price at Jan 2019 £52,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £78,000 Change %50
Average Price at Jan 2019 £23,800 Average Price at Dec 2019 £35,100 Change %47
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A
Average Price at Jan 2019 £55,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £81,000 Change %47
Average Price at Jan 2019 £21,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £31,000 Change %48
Average Price at Jan 2019 £7,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £10,000 Change %43
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711-1A-011
Average Price at Jan 2019 £35,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £48,000 Change %37
F.P Journe Chronometre Blue
Average Price at Jan 2019 £22,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £30,000 Change %34
Average Price at Jan 2019 £18,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £24,000 Change %33
Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR "Batman"
Average Price at Jan 2019 £8,500 Average Price at Dec 2019 £11,100 Change %31
Average Price at Jan 2019 £26,000 Average Price at Dec 2019 £34,000 Change %31
Not content with a watch that only tells time? Special watches are out there. If you are asking yourself how do I choose a watch like this? What should I pay? Is there value behind the brand and price? You owe it to yourself to look closer into the Watchnerd.com buyer decision making guides. Watchnerd.com shows you your options as a buyer. Our guides are indispensable while trying to decide which brand and model is right for you. Watchnerd.com is ready to help. Our passion is timeless.
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