The watch, an item that is often argued as the ultimate accessory for men. Own a decent watch and you’ve made it. However like all other investments, the actual process of purchasing the right watch can be a total minefield. Are you looking for vintage or modern? Pre-owned or brand new? There’s a host of options out there, and we don’t think we’re alone when we say that the purchase process can be incredibly confusing. So, we went straight to expert in the form of Lloyd Amsdon, co-founder of pre-owned watch brand, Watchfinder, for some solid advice:
“Not many people realise that a carefully placed watch purchase can also be an investment. There are several key factors at play in making an informed decision: picking the right brand and model; finding something in great and complete condition; and buying pre-owned. Take heed of these three points and you’ll be sure to see your purchase pay dividends.”
“There are a number of brands whose residuals will keep you in good stead, with Rolex being the king. It’s generally understood that super rare, super expensive watches from Patek Philippe fetch big money at auctions, but with Rolex you can make a relatively modest purchase and still see a return. The general rule of thumb is to stick to the stainless steel sports models, such as the Submariner, GMT-Master, Explorer etcetera, the most popular models of the range and starting at around £3,500. With over 750 Rolex available at Watchfinder, there’s plenty to choose from.”
How do I make the most out of the investment?
“If you buy a watch to keep, box and papers aren’t necessarily important, however for investment purposes, they can give you an edge when it comes to resale. Collectors like things complete, and a watch that has all the paraphernalia it came with from new will likely attract top money later on. There will be a slight premium at purchase, but it will reap rewards further down the line.
Condition is obviously important, too—ideally you’d want a watch that has been looked after and had minimal refurbishment, with any servicing done by a competent watchmaker. This is why we’ve invested in a manufacturer certified service centre, to ensure that all our watches meet the standards of the brands.
To make the most of the year-on-year RRP increases, it’s best to buy a pre-owned watch, around two to three years old. Like a car, a watch has a hit of depreciation out of the showroom, but with a few years under its belt, its value settles—then in the case of Rolex, often starts to rise. The ideal time to purchase is at that turning point. The model doesn’t necessarily have to be a recent release—although there are some short term supply-and-demand gains to be had with new, hard-to-find models—it just needs to be over the initial depreciation. It’s as simple as that!”
Required reading: our sister site, Horology Times.
For more information, visit Watchfinder here.