When purchasing a high quality timepiece, you get more than just reliability and style; many watches from renowned brands will actually gain value as time ticks on. A variety of factors determine whether a watch will appreciate or depreciate in sale value. Things such as brand name and quality are unsurprisingly amongst these key factors. Historical significance can also play a huge part; the added value can be huge.
Some of the most expensive watches ever sold at auction have come with a story attached. Here are some of things in a timepiece's history which can set it apart from others:
A watch worn by a celebrity can be highly coveted by dealers and fans alike. The popularity of the star in question and whether they are alive or dead can have a huge impact. Elvis’s Omega watch was sold for £320,000, a huge increase on its retail price. Watches worn in films are also massively popular. The watch worn by Steve McQueen on screen in the film Le Mans was sold at auction for more than half a million Pounds.
Watches which were worn during a certain period are often worth more money when sold. A good example of this are watches worn by soldiers during the First and Second World War. In practice, stories such as these have been seen to double a watch’s value.
The history of the company the watch was made by can be as important as the history of the watch itself. Patek Philippe watches consistently sell for some of the highest prices. This is because the company has been producing timepieces since 1868. They have built up a reputation for quality. Small production numbers do not hurt their values either.
Limited or first editions
Many manufacturers produce their watches in very small numbers. This scarcity often pushes prices up as time passes. Over time, some watches will break, some will be lost or forgotten about. This increases the value of those that remain in circulation. The first examples of features such as minute repeaters or chronographs will also add value.
Wear and tear
Despite what you may hear, wear and tear can actually add to a watch’s value. It can add a unique aspect to the watch and increase its vintage feel. The replacement of leather straps will also not hurt the value as they are not expected to last a long time. Even damaged or broken watches can command a high price if their historical significance is high enough.
Would you pay more for a timepiece with history? Have you come across any watches with an interesting past yourself? Leave a comment below and let us know; we would love to hear from you.
This piece was written by Jennifer Smith, a writer for The Cheshire Watch Company, retailers of high quality watches.