Is a Patek Philippe a Good Investment?

What Watch Brand makes a Good Investment?

Luxury timepieces are an attractive asset to invest in. If you choose right, not only will you have a watch that will stay true to the capital you invest into it, but you’ve also acquired a stylish mechanical masterpiece that could grow in value. The real question is how do you choose which watch to invest into? The WatchAdvisor suggests that there are several key aspects of a watch that you should pay attention to when looking at which one to invest in. Specifically the brand of the watch, the metal casing and most importantly its level of appreciation.

When it comes to watch brands, it can be a misty endeavor as to which timepiece producing manufacturer is right, not only for your investment purposes, but for you. Watch brands like Rolex, Tag Heuer and Breitling that have been analysed by the great watch connoisseurs out there are hardly outlined as exceptional pieces of horology, however, they are desirable watch brands none the less. It is the desire for the luxury image that surrounds them which produces their worth and such is the reason why they can make valuable investments. Timepieces featured in films or associated with great events like the TAG Heuer Monaco, made famous by Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans, add to the watches appreciation, more so than the mechanical complexity of the watch itself. This, however, is not true for all watch brands such as Patek Philippe; a brand in a league of its own.

Patek Philippe is a watch brand that’s appreciation stems from the mechanical complexity and time put into each of their watches. It’s a brand that has built itself up through over a century’s worth of technical innovation and has become somewhat exclusive through its pricing as well as only 45,000 being produced annually (1).

patek-philippe-watch

In short, a Patek Philippe watch is appreciated for the watch, rather than because James Bond wore it that one time, in that scene where that good part happened.

Patek Philippe

There are few high end watches that hold their value against the taxes of time, but when it comes to luxury watches Patek Philippe is a time keeper.

With a reputation for delivering the highest horological standard in subtly stylish timepieces, Patek Philippe is the luxury watch brand that other luxury watch brands aspire to. Patek Philippe offers a more intricate timepiece for the gentlemen’s wrist. When it comes to watch brands, Patek Philippe is one of the more impressive, more subtle choices. Rather than your staple Rolex or Omega watch that seems to decorate the wrist of those looking to exhibit their wealth. The value of the Patek Philippe brand is indisputable since the brand now has its name on the most expensive watch to be sold at auction – The Henry Graves Super Complication.

The origins of Patek Philippe lie in the company Patek, Czapek & Cie, which upon the departure of Czapek and the joining of Philippe in 1851, transformed into Patek Philippe & Cie S A. Since 1851 the brand name Patek Philippe has been appearing on only the most remarkable timepieces and has been a pioneer in horology. From creating the first wrist watch to creating the most complicated pocket watch, the horological achievements of Patek Philippe and Co. are impressive enough to attract the attention of royalty and watch fanatics alike. The complications of their watches are one of the main cogs in the branding machines desirability.

Patek Philippe Prices

Many Patek Philippe timepieces take high positions among the ranks of the world’s most expensive watches and while these particular watches may make terrific investments, they are not financially accessible for most. So which Patek Philippe models would make a good investment?

PATEK PHILIPPE GONDOLO – Estimated Starting Price: approximately £5500 – £6000

First launched in 1993, the name for the model was founded through the relation to the Brazilian retailer Gondolo & Labouriau that Patek Philippe established through manufacturing Chronometro Gondolo watches between 1902 and 1930. Patek Philippe outline it as their modern interpretation of the art deco style.

PATEK PHILIPPE CALATRAVA – Estimated Starting Price: £3000 – £5000

It’s the signature model of Patek Philippe and one outlined by the watch snob from AskMen as ‘the prototypical heirloom watch’. The Patek Philippe Calatrava was first created in 1932 and is said to be a true expression of the brand’s style. In investment terms, it is most certainly one of Patek Philippe’s safer avenues of investment.

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS – Estimated Starting Price: £3000

The Nautilus has established itself as a sports watch that maintains the elegant style of Patek Philippe. The shape of the watch was inspired by the universal porthole found on virtually all maritime vessels.

PATEK PHILIPPE AQUANAUT – Estimated Starting Price: £4000 – £6000

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut was first launched in 1997 and appears as Patek Philippe’s alternative sports watch to the Nautilus. Unlike other Patek Philippe watches, it has the option of a canvas tropical strap.

Starting prices drawn from second hand watches on chrono24.com

Patek Philippe as an Investment

Patek Philippe watches have been outlined by Watchadviser as an asset that is ‘almost guaranteed to appreciate over the next twenty years.’ Overall, Patek Philippe watches hold their value over other watches due to the rarity of the timepieces and whereas a lot of watches lose a lot of their value on purchase, a Patek Philippe retains it due to the brands timeless appeal. The key to selecting a model of Patek Philippe for investment is to go for one of the more classic ranges, such as the Calatrava and ensure that they are in good condition. It is necessary to keep in mind, however, that any area of investment comes with its risks and there is never a guarantee that the watch you have chosen to invest in will retain its value. While it is integral to keep this in mind when investing in a watch, Patek Philippe is a brand that has stood the test of time and is one that has been outlined by many watch experts to be one of the safer luxury watch brands to invest into.

 

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References

(1) http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/2012/1/12/interview-thierry-stern-president-of-patek-philippe.html

About the Author:

Adam is a freelance writer that focuses on luxury asset trends for Borro Private Finance.