Question: In investment terms is it better to buy a Rolex than another luxury watch brand?
All watches, from a £10 watch at Victoria station to a Patek Phillipe have their relative benefits (affordability being the obvious one in this case). So it depends what your objectives are for owning a watch. If it is about the value you will get when selling your watch, then as with many products, recognition combined with uniqueness and thus value goes a long way. And perhaps what is most important is that Rolex watches obviously have great recognition in many markets outside the main watch market’s inner circle.
Many experts would argue that Rolex watches are not great masterpieces nor are they hugely valuable within the serious watch investor. In the list below of the Top Ten most expensive watches that you can buy now, as described by Businessinsider Rolex do not position once. But neither do Tag Heur or Breitling. Patek Phillipe is the most expensive luxury watch in this list, but it is surprising that they feature only once (even if it is the number 1 spot).
Top Ten Most Expensive Watches
- 10 $105k — The Hublot Tourbillon Solo Bang
- 9 $141,600 — Daniel Roth Ellipsocurvex Tourbillon
- 8 $155,000 — Parmigiani Kalpa XL Tourbillon
- 7 $240k — The IWC Grande Complication Perpetual
- 6 $387,200 — Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers
- 5 $404k — The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon
- 4 $420k – Girard Perregaux Opera Three Musical Hours Watch
- 3 $580k — A Lange & Sohne Tourbograph
- 2 $655k — Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Complication
- 1 $1.5 million — the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon 5002 P
(as of 2011)
Is Rolex THE luxury watch brand?
If you were to do a list of the most recognisable watch brands, or the most iconic watches then Rolex would be there well above the Hublot, Daniel Roth Girard Perregaux notwithstanding any quality arguments. (So too may Tag Heure and Breitling). However when asking the question how much is my Rolex watch worth, you have to consider how much of the ‘value’ of a luxury watch brand is down to marketing guff. An attractive motor racing driver may wear a Zenith but does that make the watch more valuable? Well maybe in the short-term. Other watch companies simply put huge prices on the value of their watches aiming their brand at the top-end, but is this a recommended long term business model for a luxury watch brand?
The Watch Snob in Ask Men says: “There are plenty of brands that most people consider “high-end” that, while I respect, simply aren’t superlative in any way: IWC, Vacheron, Piaget, and Zenith all make nice watches, but they are meaningless.”
A Rolex watch as an Investment
A watch can be a good investment. But so could a car, if you choose the right type of car of course as almost all new-ones depreciate the moment you drive out of the forecourt.
A Rolex could be a better investment than many other luxury brands because quite simply people care about Rolexes. This could be partly due to them holding their prices quite well through the years and vice versa, meaning that they hold their prices because people care about them. There are many Rolex forums, single product events, entire coffee-table books about Rolexes, fan clubs, plus they are probably mimicked more than any other watch. So if you have a real Rolex more non-experts are likely to comment on it than if you had a $400,000 Girard Perregaux. So therefore the market is more aware of Rolexes than most other brands.
Myths about Rolex watches
Due to its global recognition Rolex has managed to inspire a lot of myths from all of us. I remember at School that a friend used to tell me that a Rolex was the most accurate in the world. Surely it depends who has set the time?
In this excellent website chronocentric.com they give a superb Beginner’s guide to Major Watch Brands and dispel some myths about Rolex Watches here are their Roles Myths, with paraphrasing:
- MYTH: Rolex are individually handmade watches — Maybe some but most are Rolex watches are mass-produced by highly efficient factory machines
- MYTH: Rolex are the most accurate watches in the world –Completely untrue. A $25 Casio will tell time just as well if not better
- MYTH: A Rolex watch takes a year to make — Rolex make 1million watches every year. This would simply not add up.
- MYTH: Rolex watches are a good buy because they have a high resale value — While they do sell used at a higher percentage of their original retail price than many other brands, that does not mean they are always good investments or safer purchases than other watches. You WILL lose money on almost any watch–Rolex or otherwise–you purchase new and later resell.
If you are interested to find out more about luxury watch brands visit this site – in-depth and seemingly independent advice:
If you would like your Rolex or any other luxury branded watch valued then please give us a call.