When it comes to looking for the right luxury watch to invest in, being interested, passionate, or even liking the brand is fundamental. Deciding to make that leap from a consumer watch to a coveted wrist flex is one thing, but actually buying it is another. Purchasing a luxury watch is an emotional process for many people as it is bound to be worn for decades, mark the start of a collection, or handed on to the next generation.
At the top of the accessories chain when it comes to price points, luxury watches are a universally accepted symbol of status. Before dropping some serious money on a timepiece, here are the essentials you need to know.
The Price Range
Watches come in all shapes, styles, and of course, prices. But at what price range does the term “luxury watch” fall in? What drives factor the most are the materials used, the brand name, the exclusivity of the watch, and the prestige that comes to wearing it. Here’s a quick guide.
- Under $300 – These are fashion or consumer watches which are aesthetic and functional. There’s nothing bad about them, after all, they can do their main function which is to tell time. However, they’re not something you can really call an investment.
- From $300 to $1000 – Expect a good quality watch for this budget. This range offers timepieces made of fine materials and are a cut above consumer watches.
- From $1000 to $10,000 – These are branded luxury watches made from excellent materials and have high-quality craftsmanship. They make for a good investment for their high resale value, but they are often passed on as heirloom watches.
- Over $10,000 – Consider these timepieces the Lamborghinis and the Ferraris of the industry. For many, owning a luxury watch of this caliber is more than an investment but also a status symbol. Also known as “grail watches,” these rare creations are some of the most exquisite and awe-inspiring accessories one can wear.
Prior-Owned Vs. Brand New
Choosing between used and a brand new luxury watch comes down to a matter of value and opinion. Like a brand new car that drops in value for up to 20 percent the moment you drive it out of the showroom, so too do most high-end watches.
The same with cars as well, some would argue that your first high-end watch should be brand new to truly make it yours. Being the first person to wear that particular watch can be a special experience. On a more practical approach, a pre-owned luxury timepiece is still a fantastic item to own and you will be able to save more money going this route.
Both options have pros and cons. If the price difference isn’t too far apart, then choosing the brand new watch seems like a good idea. But if getting a prior-owned will save you several hundred dollars, you may want to consider that factor carefully.
Get To Know The Brands
The industry is full of powerhouses with rich and diverse histories, each with a long-standing devotion to excellence. Take time to look at different brands and learn about their heritage. It’s important to know the different things that inspire them, so you can decide which brand you can relate to the most.
For example, Omega has always been the official timekeeper for the Olympic games. Rolex, on the other hand, has had a long and fascinating history of deep-sea exploration. A household name, Breguet has crafted one of the oldest watches in the history of timekeeping with celebrated clients like Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister Caroline the Queen of Naples, and Louis XVI and his queen Marie-Antoinette.
A Movement That Suits You
The movement is the engine of a watch, also known as a “caliber.” This internal mechanism is what powers the watch. It enables the movement of the hands and other intricate features such as the annual calendar, chronograph, etc. There are various movements that are created by watch manufacturers, however, each of them typically fits into one of two categories – Mechanical or Quartz.
Mechanical – The mainspring, which must be wound to store energy, is the most essential element of a mechanical movement. When it unwinds, it releases energy to move the gears that make the timepiece work. This movement, invented by expert watchmakers, contains a complicated series of tiny components that work together the way every watch did before the age of the battery-powered timepiece.
The mechanical movement is less accurate than its quartz counterpart, but the latest technology has allowed this engine to be far more precise than it ever was before. This category further filters down into manual and automatic.
Traditionalists prefer manual hand-wound movements for their beautiful display that can be seen through the case-back. Meanwhile, automatic movements are trendier because they are self-winding, and they harness energy through the natural motion of your wrist. The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, Panerai Luminor 1950, and Breguet Reine de Naples are some of the most coveted mechanical watches.
Quartz – These watches are battery-powered and have fewer moving parts, which makes them not only popular but also more cost-effective. Easy to maintain, the quartz movement is extremely reliable and loses only a few seconds every month.
While luxury watch enthusiasts still prefer the mechanical type, you may want to consider a quartz watch for its affordability, convenience, and fewer time adjustments. Leading brands do create timepieces with this movement with extremely strict standards. Tag Huer Aquaracer 500 M, Seiko Astron, and Breitling Aerospace Evo are excellent choices.
Every luxury watch is a work of art, made with excellent workmanship and attention to detail. A well-built one can last for several generations. It’s an ideal accessory for those who want to celebrate the long history of making and wearing intricate and stunning timekeeping instruments.