Collaborative Post | With COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine creating a succession of upheavals in recent years, and the potential for greater shocks ahead, it appears that the trend of economic uncertainty is unlikely to abate anytime soon.
In these inflationary and precarious times (which are affecting countries globally), it is understandable that people want to make the best decisions for their money as possible - and for most of us, our instinct is to reign in any seemingly “frivolous” spending. But is this always the right path for sensible money management?
It can be easy to assume that actions like splashing out on an expensive watch are the opposite of good fiscal sense, but it can actually be a surprisingly savvy financial move. While markets and share prices were rocked during the worst of the pandemic (and the value of gold, perhaps predictably, rose by a third) the price of luxury watches failed to fall as some predicted, suggesting that this real-world, tangible asset represents a secure investment in troubled times.
What defines a luxury watch?
Not all watches are created equal, even in the higher price ranges, but what constitutes a genuine “luxury” watch is something of a grey area. Of course, luxury as a concept means different things to different people - for some, the latest sporty number from one of the world’s most well-known brands is the epitome of opulence, while for others nothing but a delicate antique timepiece will do.
Notwithstanding personal taste and circumstances, some indicators of quality that are common across all luxury watches include:
When considering making an investment in a watch, it can also be helpful to know which brand names to watch out for, and a little of their history. Although by no means an exhaustive list, here are some of the most well-regarded luxury watch brands:
Why watches are often a safe investment
For many of us, watches are a sentimental item in which we invest a great deal of emotional worth. While being functional, they often also act as a rite of passage - something a parent might buy on a special coming-of-age birthday, or that a wife might get for her husband on a big anniversary. In that way, they play a similar role to pieces of fine jewellery.
If we are to look at watches purely dispassionately, however, they can also be a means to make a worthwhile investment. While few watches will reach the giddy heights of those made for and owned by celebrities (such as Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona, which sold for 17.75 million USD in 2017) or timepieces with a compelling story (like the historic Omega Speedmaster ‘Moonwatch’), watches made by classic brands are a reassuringly safe way to spend your money.
This is because luxury watches tend to, at the very least, steadily increase in value over time. Some purchases, however, can see big returns, like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak which failed to make a splash on its release in 1972 but has seen steep price rises in the intervening years. By doing your research into the market, you can make informed decisions about which watch is likely to accrue the most value.
You can also attempt to spot a future classic in the most renowned brands' new lines, looking at what’s done well in the past to guide you on what might be the next big thing going forward. When buying luxury watches, even if they are new and untested in the market, there is security in the fact that the very worst-case scenario is that you make a small loss - but in taking this small risk, the rewards can be well worth it.
The important thing to remember is that the best luxury watches from the world’s most prestigious brands rarely go down in value, so if you are looking for a safe way to invest your money (and one which may bear fruit in the future), watches are a pretty sure bet.
This post was written by the family-run team at St James’ Safe Deposit, who provide boxes for safe deposit in Manchester and Leeds of luxury items and valuables.
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