Sunday, 18 May 2014

Watches as a financial investment? Not recomended!

Rotherham 19J Keyless 1907
I have been asked several times recently for advice on watches as an investment so I thought it might be useful to post one of my replies here:

I do not advise buying functioning, serviced watches as a financial investment. Yes the price of watches is going up and I suspect that the rate of increase will increase, given the current shortage of supply particularly of  good English three-quarter plates and other high grade watches.

Update, October 2016: Watches are now in even shorter supply and prices of unrestored watches have definitely risen very significantly and continue to do so!
The problem is if you are buying from me or some other dealers you are buying a serviced  / restored watch with a guarantee, when you come to sell it will be without either. For a cheaper watch the cost of a full (not just an "oil") service will be a significant part of the value of the watch so a dealer will not be able to offer a lot for it and even on a more expensive watch he will have to factor in the cost of a service, a risk premium in case there is a hidden problem with the watch, overheads and a profit margin. 
If you sell at auction it will probably sell at well below the current retail selling price for essentially the same reasons and will attract fees and in many cases a buyers premium of 20% which will further depress the price.
Buy for utility, to preserve for future generations and to enjoy, not for short term financial gain - but you might be lucky in the long term. 

1 comment:

  1. Buy because they're superbly made, because you enjoy the craftsmanship and sense of history. My watches are elderly rather than antique - around 50 years old, which is nothing compared with a real vintage watch. They've got old with me.... but I bought them to wear, and use, and appreciate. If I can ever afford a really old watch, I'll buy it for the same reason.