Buying a watch as an investment

A new watch generally tends to depreciate in value the moment you put it on your wrist. There are exceptions to this rule, however, with some brands rising in value as they advance with age. If you're looking to buy a watch as an investment, what factors should you consider, and which brands tend to hold their value most?

New versus vintage

Whether you decide to buy a new or older watch as an investment depends on a number of factors. With a new watch, it may take some time to realise its increase in value, if at all. With vintage watches, you can, at least, compare how its values have fared over time. A lot depends on the brand you choose, too; whether you buy a new or old model of watch, iconic brands such as Rolex tend to keep their value no matter what.

If you buy a vintage watch as an investment, it's imperative that it's in good condition, authentic and with all of its original components. If an iconic brand of watch has had its dial, hands or movement swapped, it will seriously compromise its worth, so always carefully check the watch before buying it and make sure it comes with relevant paperwork and box proving its authenticity.

Limited edition

Models of watches that are limited editions, discontinued or rare may hold their value much better than regular models, so if you are looking to buy a watch as an investment, these are key factors to consider. Compare prices of past models of watches with current values to get an indicator of whether you would be making a sound investment. Buying a really rare watch might seem like a tempting proposition, but if it is extremely rare, it can be hard to know exactly what its real value is.

Low production watches

Watches that have been made in small batches may attract greater demand by watch collectors over the years, which could see values soar. Much will depend on the model and brand, however, if you do buy one of these with the intention of selling it in the future, be aware that your target audience might be limited, which could make it harder to sell.


Do your research when it comes to finding out how much a watch is worth, whether it would make a good investment and the levels of demand and supply. Whilst buying a cheap watch is not a sound investment, you don't necessarily need to be super rich to get your hands on an esteemed brand that will increase in value, especially if you buy a pre-owned watch from a reputable jeweller, such as Albone Often, it's about buying at the right moment, at the right price. If you intend to sell the watch further down the line, ensure it will appeal to others, and not just yourself.

Which brands are likely to increase in value?

Armed with the knowledge of what to consider when buying an investment watch, here are some of the top brands least likely to suffer from depreciation in value.


Rolex has established a winning formula of respected heritage, quality of craftsmanship, status value and high demand that ensures it enjoys rising values of its watches. The steel sports watches, such as the Rolex Submariner, are a good choice for investors, whilst the Daytona enjoys long-lasting appeal, so is likely to continue to hold its value well over time. The Deepsea Sea-Dweller model is also one to own, now costing more pre-owned compared to its original price tag.

Patek Philippe

Highly respected and in demand, Patek Philippe watches tend to make a great investment, no matter what model you opt for. The Nautilus model is a good one to take a bet on for lasting values, whilst the Calatrava is also steadily picking up the pace in resale worth.


A top brand for profitable returns, Panerai enjoys enduring appeal and is often seen as a more affordable option, compared to brands such as Patek Philippe. The Luminor Marina boasts vintage good looks and quality workmanship, which should bode well for those seeking a watch that gains value over time.


Much sought-after, the Omega brand is no stranger when it comes to its investment worth. In particular, the discontinued quartz version of the Seamaster is one to watch for soaring values, and will fast become a must-have for any watch collector. The Speedmaster is also one to invest in for a good chance of a healthy financial return.

TAG Heuer

The TAG Heuer brand is highly respected for its chronograph capabilities, and no better model to invest in than the classic Carrera Tachymetre. It has already proven to hold its value well, and this looks set to continue. Many watch experts also predict that the Silverstone model is one to keep an eye on in terms of rising values in the future.


Vintage Breitling models are tipped as being a must-have amongst watch collectors, especially those makes that are no longer being produced. The Breitling Navitimer 01, for instance, is one of the brand's discontinued versions, with interest to buy amongst watch collectors soaring, shooting its price tag upwards.

Audemars Piguet

The Royal Oak model is deemed as the first bespoke steel sports watch, and having earned iconic status, it continues to retain financial value. The Royal Oak Offshore is also one to watch when it comes to rising worth, especially the Forged Carbon edition, which is made exclusively at Audemars Piguet. As an exclusive model, it's likely to gain rarity status in the future, which will make it a watch worth having in your investment collection.


Although Hublot has released several limited editions, it's the original Big Bang design circa 2004 that experts believe will hold enduring value. With an eye-catching, modern design that enjoys classic appeal, this original version is likely to stand the test of time when it comes to investment worth.