5 Things That Make A Premium Watch Hold Its Value | The Watch Hut
Much like cars, a luxury watch's worth can depreciate when it 'leaves the lot'. Apart from a few extraordinary exceptions, unless you wait years or decades for its price to improve, it's unlikely a new premium watch can be sold for more than the purchasing price. But that's not to say it won't remain valuable over time - you just have to make sure you choose the right watch.
The preowned market is complex and changeable, and while there's no guarantee that a luxury watch will still be valuable years down the line, we've outlined some factors can make your premium watch hold its value.
Watchmaking has a long and complex history that still holds clout in today's market. The location, materials, and style of manufacturing can play an integral part in a watch's lasting value.
The calibre and quality of the materials used to build a watch factor into its overall worth. Unsurprisingly, watches made using precious materials such as gold, platinum, and diamonds have a higher resale value.
- Where it was made
The respected heritage of Swiss watches means they tend to have the best chance at remaining valuable. Japanese watches are also developing a reputation for high-calibre manufacturing, and are gaining traction in the luxury watch market.
It's also important to consider how much of a watch was built in the advertised country, especially in terms of the watch movement. Swiss watches can still be labelled 'Swiss made' if they're not entirely built in Switzerland, but the value tends to increase along with how much of the watch is made 'in house'. Check out our guide on luxury Swiss watches to learn more about 'Swiss made' regulations.
The style of movement has historical significance that can impact a watch's long-term value.
- Mechanical movement
The most traditional and complex style of movement, mechanical movement dates to the 16th century. A complicated set of materials is carefully assembled to work together, and the wearer is required to manually wind the watch to keep it functioning accurately.
Though not as accurate as modern technology, mechanical watches reflect the heritage of the watchmaking tradition and therefore tend to be the best for holding their value over time.
- Automatic movement
Automatic watches don't need to be wound, as the wearer's wrist powers the movement. Though not as exclusive as mechanical watches, it's still considered a sign of luxury and is used in many premium watches.
- Quartz movement
This is the most popular style of movement, and is used in everything from budget to premium watches. While it doesn't have the same historical significance as mechanical movement, you can still find high-quality watches that use quartz movement.
While a watch's physical aspects are important, brand dictates its long-term value. Names like Rolex and Patek Philippe are legendary in the watch world, but there are plenty of classic brands that are slightly more affordable which will still hold value over time.
Browse our full range of brands to explore more luxury options.
A watch can tick all the right boxes in terms of branding and manufacturing, but if it's in a bad state the value will hugely depreciate. The condition and age of the watch has an impact on the resale value: the closer it looks to being 'new', the more it tends to be worth.
Having the original box and paperwork can also add to the authenticity of a watch, and potentially make it more valuable on the resale market. It can also be beneficial if the watch is still under warranty when you look to resell it.
Style and special features
Watches are a largely personal investment, and their worth can fluctuate based on what certain buyers consider to be valuable.
Classic-looking watches tend to hold their worth best, as timeless styling generally appeals to a wider audience. However, certain people may appreciate a particularly eccentric or artistic design, and therefore watches that are a bit more 'out there' might also have a high resale value.
Features such as a skeleton design or a moonphase display can make a watch stand out on the resale market. Special edition watches often have an exclusive appeal, as they're less common and potentially more valuable.
The cultural significance of a watch can also have an impact on its worth. Watches that were designed for a certain purpose, such as vintage military watches, can be valuable to niche collectors because of their original circumstances. Similarly, premium watches that have been worn by important or famous figures can also be worth more - if the affiliation can be proven!
There's no set formula for what makes a watch hold its value, but you can start by looking for a model that epitomises the heritage of watchmaking and showcases quality craftsmanship. Browse our full range of men's and women's watches to find your perfect luxury investment.