Which Watches Hold Their Value Best

Student filling out answers to a test with a pencil.

Which luxury watch brands hold their value best? This is a question that we get asked all the time. And the truth is that the answer to that question is quite tricky. If you’re into watches, you’ve probably heard about the huge differences in prices on Rolex watches, in particular, sports steel watches from Rolex when they were made and today.

You’ve probably also heard many people say ”watches are great investments” and that they hold their value really well, but the truth is that this topic is quite complex, and there’s not just one fixed answer and truth.

Let’s begin with the topic of buying watches for investment purposes. In this article, you won’t just be introduced to a few brands that you should look at buying. You’ll also learn some tips and tricks to buying watches that will hold their value well or relatively well. However, there are just some timepieces which you can’t go wrong with such as a Chopard Mille Miglia chronograph which has been considered a classic by multiple collectors.

Now let’s begin our hunt for the best value watches.

Which luxury watch brands hold their value: watches as an investment?

The topic of buying watches as an investment is slightly controversial. The reason is that on one side, we have the people who say that if you truly love watches, you shouldn’t pay much thought to whether or not the watch you want to own will depreciate in value or be a good deal, since doing this limits you from buying watches that you truly like and enjoy just because you don’t want to lose money.

In other words, some people argue that if you ask the question ”which watch brands and watches hold their value best?”, you’re not a true watch enthusiast, and whether that is the case or not, we’ll leave no opinion on.

Buying pre owned

Buying watches pre-owned is often a great way to minimize your loss on a watch, since, just like with cars, watches tend to depreciate most rapidly once they are taken from the store and sold on the secondhand market. Now, there are some exceptions to this, in particular, watches that have a long waiting list and are extremely popular, but for the vast majority watches and watch brands, this is not the case.

Common principles about luxury watches

Now, it’s really difficult to mention brands when talking about which brands and watches hold their value best, because the truth is that it depends, and it varies between the watch you choose to buy.

Overall, most new watches will lose money, and this is why buying pre-owned is a good first step to making a better deal. 

Something to have in mind is what it is that actually affects a watch’s resale value. The answer is of course demand on the secondhand market, but also the prestige and reputation, and how people view the brand.

The more exclusive, prestigious, and well-respected a watch brand is, the better their watches will retain their value on the secondhand market. Now, this is also the reason why some watches cost more on the secondhand market than the retail price because the demand is greater than the supply from the retailers, and the only real way is to buy it on the secondhand market.

Here are a few brands whose watches tend to hold their value quite well on the secondhand market:

  • Rolex
  • Patek Philippe
  • Audemars Piguet
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Chopard Mille Miglia

Now, it’s important that you read these brands with a big asterisk next to them because they come with more exceptions than not. Also, since the watch market is always changing, what may be the reality today may not be the truth tomorrow.