The luxury of time: Vintage watch market grows

Whether you are an aspiring collector or have your heart set on a beautifully designed Richard Mille, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Longines or Omega, vintage watches can be a sound investment.

According to Knight Frank’s “The Wealth Report” published in March 2021; the value of vintage watches grew by 5% in the previous 12 months. The rise in values is not a short-term trend with growth of 89% over the last ten years.*

An engraved stainless steel Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263 owned by actor Paul Newman sold for US$5.5 million at Phillips’ Racing Pulse sale in New York in December.

Investing in vintage watches can be a sound investment beyond the return from an eventual sale. By their very nature, vintage watches are not new and therefore won’t depreciate as soon as you wear them.

A vintage watch has its own place in history – and even if it isn’t rare or been worn on the wrist of an individual of public interest, each stunning timepiece captures and expresses a stylish moment in time.

Here are four considerations when choosing a vintage watch:

1. Do your research

There are many sources available to help you tell your Casio from your Cartier – from trade magazines and podcasts to blogs and websites. Previous auction sales results can provide an understanding of market prices, including which brands are most highly prized.

2. Be aware of the “buyer’s premium”

When buying at auction it is important to be aware of the “buyer’s premium”. This is a fee that the auction house will add to the sale price to cover their costs. It differs between auctioneers and can add over 25% to the final cost. Despite this, many collectors find that buying at auction can still be cheaper than through a dealer.

3. It’s more than an investment opportunity

It is important to pick one watch you will enjoy owning and wearing for years to come. To ensure it holds its value, take the time to care for and protect your watch.

4. Get it valued regularly

If you do decide to make a purchase, it’s vital that you get it valued regularly and insured correctly. Islands Home Insurance offers protection for your home and its valuable contents, providing peace of mind should you decide to invest in a vintage watch or other high-value pieces.

Periodic valuations are important, as their value can change over time and if you don’t make the time to get regular valuations you could find yourself under insured.

For a private and confidential conversation, contact our Private Clients team today.
We offer access to a panel of expert valuers who can, for a fee, provide guidance and valuations.

*Source – Knight Frank Q4 2020 Wealth Report

Jim Purkiss Cert CII
Group Sales, Marketing & Private Clients Director
01534 634400