Beginner’s Guide – The Best Watches To Invest In

Beginner’s Guide – The Best Watches To Invest In

Luxury watch collectors often refer to the watches they buy as an investment. But how much of an investment can luxury watches be?

Thankfully, Global Boutique can help. This article will explore the benefits of buying an investment watch and the best watch brands to look for.

Keep reading to learn how to start investing in luxury watches and discover our top 5 watches to get you started.

Why Invest In Luxury Watches

Choosing how to invest money can be challenging. Investing in property or the stock market can yield impressive results, but there is a significant risk factor.

An investment in a luxury watch is much less risky. It is closer to an investment in raw materials like gold or other precious metals. Not only is the watch typically made from these precious materials, but it often holds its value. This can rise at a higher rate than the raw materials themselves.

Like investing in whisky, watch investments give the owner a tangible asset. The value of this can increase over time due to rarity or reputation.

The price development of an investment watch will be dependent on the condition of the watch and how many were made.

Watches (in the UK) are also exempt from the capital gains tax. The tax-free aspect of luxury watch investments is particularly appealing.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak stainless steel with a diamond bezel

Watches can be a great way to diversify an investment portfolio. You won’t have all your eggs in one basket and the saleability of some luxury watch brands makes this a more liquid asset.

Finally, a tangible asset like a luxury watch is akin to investing in fine art. You will appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into creating them and they won’t deteriorate when properly looked after. A watch that has matured with age can be a fine asset to pass down the family line.

The Pre-Owned Watch Market

The pre-owned watch market has steadily grown over time. This is because reputable sellers provide collectors with a safe way to invest in discontinued or rare pre-owned luxury watches.

Significant global events including COVID and the war in Ukraine have had a significant impact on the watch market as a whole. This has had a knock-on effect on the pre-owned watch market.

As with any market, there will be fluctuations. The impact of trade limitations in Eastern Europe and production and distribution issues due to COVID have seen a slight dip in the market. However, this could be good news for those looking to invest.

Is now a good time to invest in a luxury watch?

Knowing when to buy and sell is key to a good investment and the pre-owned luxury watch market is currently a buyers’ market.

For example, the 5711 and 5712 Patek Philippe was trading for around £150k at their peak. These models (at the time of writing) are available for just £90k and £95k.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 and 5712

Because the model has now been discontinued, it is a collectible item that is likely to rise in value in the future.

How High Is The Expected Return When Investing In Luxury Watches?

Investing in a tangible asset like a watch can yield greater returns than the precious metals they are made from.

While gold and silver are steady investments, the luxury watch market has seen returns that reach 12 times that of silver and four times that of gold.

The key factors that will influence returns on luxury watch investments include:

  • Luxury watch brand reputation
  • Brand collaborations
  • Rarity
  • Condition
  • Maintenance
  • Documentation
  • Materials
  • Current market demand
  • Historical performance
  • Economic factors

What Initial Investment Should You Expect?

Initial investments will be dependent on the available budget and the type of watch people want to invest in.

Different luxury brands and models will have vastly differing price points. However, it is possible to find excellent starter watches from £10k – £15k.

How To Start Investing In Luxury Watches?

The following tips should help you find the best investment watches and ensure you are able to sell them at a profit.

1. Research luxury brands and models

Start by thoroughly researching the pre-owned luxury watch market. Explore the most popular brands, models, and materials to identify potential in newer models.

2. Make a list of watches and models you are interested in

Create a list of brands and models based on your research. This will help you focus on investment opportunities that align with your goals.

3. Find trustworthy resellers

It is essential that you identify trustworthy and reliable resellers. Reputable dealers, authorized resellers, and auction houses will ensure you invest in genuine luxury watches with the proper documentation.

4. Monitor the market for the right watches

By researching the market thoroughly at the start of your investment journey, you will be able to properly monitor it. This will allow you to identify trends, demand, and accurate pricing.

This information will make it easier for you to identify potential investment opportunities. You will then be able to make an informed decision as to whether the investment is right for you.

5. Make a purchase – online or in-store

After you have identified a model that fits your criteria, you should make your purchase. Take the time to research the seller and decide whether you want to buy online or in-store.

In-store buying lets you check the watch in person. However, there are often great online watch investment opportunities. Online buying is a convenient way to secure a luxury watch as long as you buy from a trusted source.

Ask questions to determine the condition, maintenance history, and documentation the watch comes with.

6. Monitor the price for development

After purchasing a luxury watch you should continue to monitor the market. This will help you keep up-to-date with its price development.

Monitor the model’s performance by tracking resale values, auction results, and market trends.

It is important that you monitor your investment performance over time to determine the best time to sell it.

7. Sell your watch at the right time

By monitoring the market you will see trends and patterns over time. You can discuss your investment with experts and use the data you collate to determine the best time to sell your luxury watch.

Richard Mille Rafael Nadal RM35-02 with skeleton dial and carbon black rubber strap

My Advice When Starting to Invest In Luxury Watches

There are lots of things to consider when investing in luxury watches and it can seem overwhelming. The tips above are a great way to break things down, but here’s some more advice that will help you make a successful investment.

When it comes to finding luxury watches that are likely to appreciate in value, limited edition or low-run models are typically a good choice.

Small production sizes create scarcity and rare models often become highly sought after.

When looking at limited edition watch models you should consider:

  • The size of the production run
  • The brand’s reputation
  • The design and features of the model

Choosing between new and pre-owned models will also be a consideration for your investment.

You will often find great bargains in the pre-owned watch market. However, you must be sure of the seller’s reputation and ensure the condition of the watch meets your expectations.

New watches will come with the box and documentation which will both affect resale value. If you are buying a pre-owned model you must check what documentation comes with it. The price you pay should reflect the condition and documentation. At Global Boutique, nearly all pre-owned watches come with original documentation and box.

Rolex Daytona in yellow gold with meteorite dial

You should also research the brand’s resale value. For example, Rolex watches are known to hold their value well in the new and pre-owned markets. This may not be the case for all brands.

Brands and models that are known to have impressive resale values include:

  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
  • Patek Philippe Nautilus
  • Patek Philippe Calatrava
  • Richard Mille
  • Rolex Submariner
  • Rolex Daytona
  • Rolex GMT-Master

These are just some examples worth exploring when making a luxury watch investment.

Some other top tips that will help you make the best luxury watch investment include looking for discontinued models or those that are to be discontinued soon.

Speaking with an expert can often help you identify this potential. If a model is discontinued, investors will mostly concern themselves with the price development of the model.

They will also keep a close eye on whether the new model that is being launched will be a good investment.

Potential investors that want to study the market should look at auction sites. Sotheby’s and Phillips are great options. This will give you a better understanding of price and performance.

The last tip has been mentioned before but is well worth mentioning again: Find a reputable dealer that you trust. Having peace of mind when making an investment is worth the time and effort of finding a good watch dealer.

You may even discuss buy-back guarantees that provide additional safety to the buyer.

5 Great Watches To Start Investing

To help you get a better idea of what kind of watches will make a good investment, take a look below for our top 5 models to get you started.

The Rolex Daytona Green Dial 116508

The Rolex Daytona Green Dial 116508

Rolex is the most famous luxury watch brand and for good reason. Their long history of producing high-quality, highly desirable luxury watches is well documented.

The distinctive green dial of the recently discontinued Rolex Daytona Green Dial 116508 is one of its most enduring features. The 40mm case is made from 18k yellow gold and the gold hands and hour markers stand out beautifully.

An 18k yellow gold Oyster bracelet tops off this stunning design. Take a look at our recently sold Daytona Green Dial 116508 or contact our sourcing service to find one.

Rolex Daytona 116500LN Panda

Rolex Daytona 116500LN Panda

The Rolex Daytona 116500LN Panda is a recently discontinued model. It boasts a contrasting white dial with black sub-dials, hence the “Panda” name.

The 40mm steel case features a black ceramic bezel and offers watch enthusiasts a sporty and stylish aesthetic.

Anniversary Rolex DayDate in rose gold with olive green dial

Anniversary Rolex DayDate in rose gold with olive green dial

The Anniversary Rolex DayDate in rose gold with an olive green dial is a special edition Rolex watch with a 36mm case. The elegant and sophisticated design is crafted in 18k rose gold. It provides an excellent investment opportunity.

Current prices of around £45k are at a low point. With sales reaching £70k in the past, this could be a great chance to invest in a high-quality luxury time-piece while its valuation is at its lowest point.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 with blue dial

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 with blue dial

The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 with a blue dial is a beautiful example of Patek Philippe’s exquisite craftsmanship.

The 40mm octagonal-shaped stainless steel case is a sophisticated yet sporty design. Contrasting luminous hands and hour markers stand out from the vibrant blue dial. The self-winding mechanism guarantees a precise timepiece.

This is a popular model that sells quickly. Our sourcing service is the perfect way to track down hard-to-find watches.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712 with blue and black dial

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712 with blue and black dial

The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712 with blue and black dial is another popular Patek Philippe model. The 40mm stainless steel case is similar to the 5711 in shape and the dial’s blue and black colouring provides a sophisticated aesthetic.

The incredible craftsmanship and features make this a sought-after model. It will be a great addition to any investment portfolio.


Can I wear an investment watch?

The condition of a watch will play a significant role in its value. Many pre-owned, worn watches can rise in value if they are well looked after.

If you are buying a luxury watch purely for investment purposes, you should ensure the condition remains as good as possible. These should remain preferably unworn.

Do I need a box and documentation when investing in a watch?

The documentation of a pre-owned watch helps to prove its authenticity. A watch without its papers or a box will be worth significantly less.

Are Rolex and Patek Phillipe the best luxury watch brands to invest in?

Our top picks include Rolex and Patek Philippe, but there are other luxury watch brands that can make worthy investments.

Researching the market will help you determine the best investment watches to suit your needs.


Choosing an investment watch is never easy. You need a good understanding of the market and brands to accurately judge which models you should buy and when.

Our guide should help you find the perfect investment watch. Our great selection of watches and our watch-sourcing service will help you to buy them. If you have any questions, reach out to our friendly team in-store or online – we are happy to be of assistance.

Mayfair’s finest collectable jewellery and watch retailer - Book an appointment

Free Worldwide Shipping