Value Gain of Watches

Opportunity for investors seeking to invest in watches

Interest rates have now been at a historically low level for years and manufacturers are increasingly raising their prices. Even crises in which buyers react more cautiously seem to have little effect on the market value. Thus, even in the COVID-19 crisis, the market prices of very popular models such as the Rolex Daytona have continued to rise. At the same time, the Internet offers a large selection of pre-owned watches, i.e. used watches that are an excellent investment.
TimeRating offers the performance of a large selection of popular and sought-after luxury watches from renowned manufacturers. From historical price increases over up to 22 years to geographical trend developments, you will find all the important data for your luxury watch to help you decide on a sound investment. We deliberately focus on non-limited models up to a price of 20.000€, because in this segment extremely worthwhile investments can be found and prices can be compared over a longer period of time.

Only about 20% of luxury watch models are eligible for an investment.

Even if, according to experts, most mechanical watches are not suitable for profitable investments, many offer a solid stability of value, which is becoming increasingly important, especially in economic crises. Even though we had devastating economical crises over the past 40 years, watch expert George Somlo states on CNBC that vintage watches have always have been a solid investment. However, it is not possible to make a general statement that a relatively expensive luxury watch is automatically suitable as an investment. Here, high demand compared to limited supply plays a decisive role. The Rolex brand has made this dependence its own with its popular steel models. The following two points briefly address the supply and demand for watches.

additional information on the performance of watches

The brand of the watch must be attractive and in demand.

These brands include in particular: Patek Philippe, Rolex, A. Lange & Söhne, IWC, Audemars Piguet and popular models from Omega, Tag Heuer, Jaeger-LeCoultre or from Nomos Glashütte. For comparison, we have included other popular luxury brands such as Hublot or in the low price segment with Junghans. For example, CNN presents a selection of 10 highly promising second-hand vintage watches, for auctions from the brands Rolex, Breitling, Omega and Patek Philippe. Important for the increase in value of a watch is its popularity. For example, a very extravagant model with colorful stones will usually not appeal to the taste of the general public and thus will not find high demand in the market for used watches. Thus, a watch model made of stainless steel can be much stronger in the increase in value than the same model made of gold. The demand is therefore a decisive factor.

The price trend of the watch model should point upwards.

A price increase can usually only be pushed through in the market if the watch model meets enough demand or is only available in limited quantities. If the demand is not high enough at a manufacturer’s recommended price and availability, the retailer will usually offer a discount on the RSP (recommended retail price). If availability is very scarce in relation to demand, the market price will even rise above the RSP. This is a strong indicator of a future increase in the value of the watch and can be seen more and more often in very popular models such as Rolex or Audemars Piguet. The growing demand in the luxury watch segment could be additionally fuelled in the future by the increased transparency and demand of the internet business. Online purchases are strongly prospering. Forbes emphasises a rising demand coming from China and Arabian countries. For example, German watch brands are highly desired in China.

Some of the top watches by value gain

The price development of many watches in our selection is one of the top average growth rates over the last 5 years. We focus on luxury watches with a price of less than 20.000€, because independent of limited collector’s items or higher priced watches, a very good increase in value can be achieved in this segment as well. The price development is an indicator for the value gain of a watch, as manufacturers can only realize their price in the market if there is sufficient demand. We also show the trend development and the used value of each watch.

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The price development of this selection of watches is among the top average growth rates over the last 5 years. We focus on luxury watches under 20.000€, because independent of limited collector’s items or higher priced watches, a very good increase in value can be achieved in this segment as well. The price increases serve us as an indicator for the value development of a watch, since manufacturers can only realize their price in the market if it meets sufficient demand.

A very concise and well-known example is the value development of the Rolex Daytona. On our site you will find the prices and price increases of Daytona over the last 23 years, according to the Rolex price lists.

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The graph shows the worldwide Google search interest over the last 5 years of the most searched luxury watch brands. Rolex and Omega have been excluded here because Rolex has a much higher search interest than other brands and the name Omega is used for different terms.

It is striking that the brands Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Hublot have clearly gained search interest over the last 5 years. However, Breitling and IWC have not seen any growth in interest. These developments can have various causes and are not necessarily linked to the popularity of a brand. For example, marketing expenditure or a changed Internet presence can influence search interest. At the beginning of 2020, all brands are facing a sharp decline, probably caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Go to the most popular luxury watches by trend develpopment


We are constantly expanding our portfolio of rated luxury watches. Here you can see the watches we have recently put online.

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Q & A Luxury Watches



What defines a luxury watch and how does it differentiate from other watches?

There is no official definition for what is considered a luxury watch. In general, manually manufactured watches of extraordinarily high quality and with a premium price are classified as luxury watches. For our portfolio we chose exclusively mechanical luxury watches. Unlike quartz watches, mechanical watches are not powered by a battery. Instead they are powered by a manual winding or self-winding (automatic) movement. At least parts of the movement are handmade and signify a much higher expenditure in production than industrially manufactured quartz watches.



Why are luxury watches expensive and what makes a luxury watch expensive?

Luxury watches are manufactured with a significantly higher and usually a manual effort. Watch productions in Europe and Switzerland lead necessarily to much higher costs than for a watch produced in Asia. Furthermore, precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) and jewels (rubies, diamonds, etc.) guarantee a more valuable quality and significantly increase the price of a luxury watch. Last but not least, manufacturers limit production volumes to create a scarcity on the market, which is an important factor in achieving the premium price. Therefore, very popular and second-hand models, which are no longer produced today, reach market prices that are significantly above the original purchase price.



Where to buy luxury watches with a discount?

Since the Internet has become more transparent and safe for the online purchase of luxury watches, you are able to buy your watch with significantly higher discount on certified retailer websites than in stationary jewelry stores. Even second-hand watches with original papers and box can be safely purchased online. For example, eBay is the platform with the highest trading volume of second-hand luxury watches.

Go to Q&A for Luxury Watches