Watches as Collectors’ Items: Five Things to Look For

The market for collectible watches has been increasing in recent years with classic styles and watch brands lasting the test of time to offer a valuable mode of investment for the passionate watch lover. Prices have been soaring on rare, awe-inspiring and expertly crafted timepieces from the most famous and respected watch makers around.

If you are a watch enthusiast and wish to purchase a watch as an heirloom or investment piece rather than for everyday use it is a decision which requires a great deal of consideration. But with so many brands and models around, how do you know what to look for?


Here are five tips on what to look for when purchasing wrist wear as a collectors’ item.

1. Metal Matters

You may have a preference for a particular type of metal in keeping with the rest of your jewellery or style, but in order to get the most from your investment, consider the value of the metal used in the timepiece. Normally, the hierarchy of metals in terms of their value starts with platinum and decreases in value to include white gold, rose gold, yellow gold respectively to finally stainless steel as the least valuable. With this in mind, a watch made of an entirely precious metal will be much more expensive to purchase but in the long run, much more valuable.

2.  The Advantage of Vintage

A beautifully made vintage watch will normally last the test of time against modern mass produced models. A classic vintage watch does not comply with the values of precious metals- some steel chronographs made in the 1940s are very rare and therefore very valuable. If looking for an older watch, it is also worth keeping previous ownership in mind. Investing in watches belonging to private watch collections of avid watch collectors and world-renowned celebrities will hold their value. Obviously condition is the most important aspect to consider when buying an older model.

3. Take an Interest in Innovation

Luxury watch brands like to push the boundaries when it comes to innovation and the most prestigious watchmakers will spend a lot of time mastering the art of innovative watch movements. Designers, manufacturers and testers are dedicated to producing innovative timepieces, so look for unusual features that aren’t commonly found at the time of purchase.

4. Brands with Staying Power

More than likely brand will be top of your things to consider. A smart and safe buy will most likely be one which is a brand or model which has retained value over time. Patek Philippe remains a brand in high demand, standing out for its rare and collectible watches coveted for their craftsmanship and sophisticated mechanical movements. Rolex is another name that comes to many people’s minds when for a watch which matters. Other vintage watches to look out for are the brands Omega, Vacheron & Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Longines, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier, Tissot, Breitling and TAG Heuer.

5.  Look for Limited Editions

Today luxury watches are made in smaller quantities meaning that they are made of much superior products than less expensive watches. It takes skilled professionals many man hours to craft a single luxury watch, meaning that what you get is of the upmost quality. The limited edition element also ensures that your timepiece is rare, and when doing this high-end brands will number and mark their items. If you are looking to sell in the future, make sure that you hang on to all of the paperwork and documentation that shows your watch is the real thing.

Diving into the world of luxury timepieces is not just about the brands, terminology, and the watch’s history, there are many important factors to think about. The next time you consider purchasing a classic watch, consider our five tips to set you on your way to finding your perfect piece of investment wrist wear. Do you have any further tips to share?

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