The world of watch collecting has become vastly different than it was ten years ago. Some pieces have become so unaffordable that it is almost impossible to find a reasonably priced stainless steel Rolex sports watch. In fact, a Patek Phillippe Nautilus or Audemars Piguet Royal Oak will cost you as much as a house. Although the steep rise in prices for these iconic pieces has halted over the past couple of months, the current market prices are still sky-high.

With this in mind, luxury watch experts at Chrono24 discuss three cheaper ways to start investing in watches that may increase in value over time. Each tip comes with suggestions of watch models to start your collection

  1. Start collecting tomorrow’s watch icons

One surefire way to make money on a watch investment is to find a Rolex that has gone up in price but is still obtainable to your budget. Everyone knows that Rolex is hot property. Many hidden gems of the brand have increased in price and are still attainable to a new collector. A perfect example of this is the Rolex Submariner ref. 14060. While prices for this watch have certainly risen, you still might be able to find one at around the $10,000 mark. If found at this price point the watch will hold its value at the very least and will most likely increase in value. Keep an eye out for Rolex models that sit between the latest generations and iconic vintage pieces.

Another practical approach to this tip is strategically investing in a modern version of a past classic. A great example of this is the Omega Seamaster Ploprof. The original version was released in 1970 and has become one of the industry’s most iconic diving watches. In 2009 a modern version of the classic was released, the Omega Seamaster Professional Ploprof 1200M, a new and improved reissue. Although the newer watch’s design, movement, materials, and overall quality beat the original, the piece was discontinued in 2019. The price for this piece will continue to increase as watch enthusiasts worldwide recognize the quality.

  1. Start collecting watches from independent brands

A growing appreciation for small independent watch brands has grown recently. Whether it’s a niche high-end brand that is hot property, or a small affordable brand that has conquered the hearts of watch enthusiasts, small brands are popular across the board. The key to their success is that people are always looking for the latest and greatest thing out there. A watch offers the perfect way to distinguish yourself from the masses of people who wear established brands. Smaller brands almost always produce watches in small or limited numbers, so you always buy something exclusive. If your exclusive watch becomes sought-after, you are potentially sitting on a significant investment. Good examples of some smaller independent high-end brands that have gained popularity include F.P. Journe, Laurent Ferrier, Czapek Genève, and H. Moser & Cie. All of these brands produce incredible Haute Horlogerie timepieces that stand out in terms of watchmaking craftsmanship, design, materials, and finishing. Models like the F.P. Journe Elegante and the Czapek Antarctique have had massive price rises due to increased popularity.

If you are looking for something slightly more affordable, there are many new, young and exciting brands to keep an eye on. Laventure and MING are two great brands with a price bracket of up to $5,000.

  1. Start collecting full gold or steel and gold watches

The final tip for collecting watches and getting a return on your investment is to purchase gold or two-tone steel and gold watches. Rolex’s iconic vintage full gold Day-Date models have been going for much less money than their stainless-steel sports counterparts. Prices for the gold Rolex Day date are currently around $21,000 for some vintage and neo-vintage pieces. Although this model has recently increased prices, it is nowhere near as expensive as the stainless-steel Rolex models.

There has also been a rise in the popularity of the two-tone timepieces. The Rolex Datejust, Rolex GMT-Master Root Beer, and the Tissot two-toned version of their popular PRX model have all seen a recent appreciation.  

A spokesperson from Chrono24  commented:

“When it comes to collecting and making money from watches, it takes time. There is no such thing as a quick win in the world of watches, so search for those unique timepieces and find out what makes them so special. When you enjoy wearing and investing in watches, it makes the process all the more enjoyable.”

Please credit, which conducted the research. 

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