Calling all watch lovers and timepiece enthusiasts…
Can you spot the difference between authentic and luxury timepieces, and those which are made for the mass market?
Does the craftsmanship of a refined luxury watch shine at you from the wrist of a wearer, or are you someone whose practical appreciation for the features of a watch overshadow the design?
The luxury watch market is one which is steeped in both history and creativity, with the high level craftsmanship evident in the aesthetics and intricate workings of each watch.
Whether you’re drawn towards the status of the Rolex name or taken by the top tier price tag linked with an authentic Audemars Piguet watch, to call yourself a luxury watch collector is to bridge the gap between an accessory which is beautiful and one which is refined in its user experience.
With that said, where do you start when looking for a luxury timepiece to call your own, and what puts the top designer brands at the very height of their industry?
What makes a luxury timepiece so high in value?
There are a number of factors which contribute towards the high price tag of an authentic luxury timepiece – the first of which is the value of the materials used to construct each watch.
From precious metal cases to the addition of gemstones and other materials which contribute towards the design flair and function of each individual model, collectors and avid buyers will know that the price tag of a luxury watch can vary hugely depending on what’s used to bring each component of the watch to life.
And that’s before you consider the exclusivity of each release and how every collection is built on the foundation of high demand and low supply.
Many of the top luxury brands out there, from Rolex to Richard Mille and more, operate on the simple concept of limited supply release – creating a huge buzz through waitlists and auctions.
Pieces which are fully authenticated with all the right documentation and evidence of their authenticity can collect huge prices at auction as the second hand market propels investment pieces forwards – all contributing towards the incredible interest that comes with each release.
Finally, as only the most committed of watch collectors will know, owning a timepiece from one of the top watch brands is so much more than simply buying a watch.
These collections pride themselves on the development of concepts which combine perfect aesthetics with innovative mechanisms and intricacies which render each timepiece suitable for a new pool of buyers and a new corner of the market.
While Rolex spent years developing the Submariner watch for deep water diving, Patek Philippe strived to deliver the perfect balance of style and function on the wearer’s wrist, and Audemars Piguet set about bringing to life sleek and streamlined sports watches.
With that said, what are the best brands to focus on if collecting luxury watches is your passion – and where should you focus for the next purchase?
The best brands for luxury watch collectors to familiarise themselves with
There are a handful of brands that are considered to be at the top of the market in terms of luxury timepieces and watches, including the following:
- Rolex, a symbol of status that’s recognised by watch collectors, style enthusiasts, and everyday buyers alike.
- Audemars Piguet, revolutionary in the design and creation of wristwatches.
- Richard Mille, Swiss watchmaking prowess paired with distinctly contemporary designs for the modern buyer.
- Patek Philippe, rich history and impeccable execution make these among the most valuable watches in the market, surpassing their retail value at an astounding rate.
A watch from any one of these brands can range in price from a few thousands right up into the hundreds of thousands depending on the materials used and the finishes – not to mention the integrated features which render these pieces waterproof, functional on the sports field, and perfectly refined at a black tie event.
More than that though, going beyond the features and design touches, timepieces from these brands form a part of the history of an industry which is steeped in intricate detailing – leaning on concepts which have existed for decades, but which have been further explored and enhanced in the years since their release.