A luxury watch collection can be a great investment to rely on. But, before you shell out on some of the most highly coveted timepiece models and makes, you’ll need to know exactly what to look for. Here, Dan Galloway, Watch Expert at Ramsdens Jewellery shares his top five tips for becoming a luxury watch collector.
A watch is a timeless addition to incorporate into your accessory collection, and the right one can even prove a worthwhile investment for you in future — especially if it’s from a luxury brand or is a well-sought-after model. But, if you’re considering becoming a watch collector, there’s plenty of things you’ll need to think about before curating your collection.
Your first luxury watch will be a monumental purchase, but it certainly takes a lot of planning to start your collection off correctly. Here, I will be sharing my top five tips for becoming a luxury watch collector.
Plan and research carefully
Before you begin your collection, you’ll need to carefully research the watches that will make it up. When it comes to purchasing your first watch, it’ll be important to consider the brand you’ll buy. As most collections are built for aesthetic purposes initially, you’ll want to ensure it’s a reputable and recognisable brand, as this is sure to draw people’s attention to your watches. Once you’ve built up a substantial collection, you can then begin to branch out to watch brands that are exclusive models and are less well known.
When planning your watch collection, I’d advise considering whether you want it to be made up of many different watches from one brand, or multiple ones. Some may prefer the former for consistency and having the best of the best, while others may want to be able to showcase many different expensive timepieces and therefore want to invest in many different watch brands.
You’ll also want to think about whether your collection will be made up of new or pre-owned watches — or maybe both! While you may want to start off your collection with a brand-new watch, make sure that you don’t rule out looking at pre-owned models as you could miss out on incredibly rare watches to add to your selection. Plus, you might even find some amazing deals on watches that are still in pristine condition.
Think about your watch style
As well as considering whether you’ll buy new or pre-owned, it’ll also be important for you to think about your watch style before you begin buying. So, take the time to envision what your growing watch collection will look like. For example, will you stick to a contemporary or classic theme, or will you mix and match for the best of both worlds?
Similarly, you’ll need to consider which watch styles suit you. This could mean thinking about whether you’ll have a metal or leather strap, what the minimum and maximum dimensions of the watch faces you can wear are, and whether you will wear colourful designs or prefer simple ones. You may even find you have an interest around watches for certain purposes, such as luxury outdoor or sports watches, which you can base your collection around.
If you can’t decide on a watch style, thinking about how often you want to be able to wear your watches may help. If they’re only going to brought out on special occasions, you can branch out a bit from your usual day-to-day style, whereas if you want your watches to be as suitable for work as they are for evenings out, it’s best sticking to more classic and professional styles.
Look at the condition
Buying pre-loved is a smart way to secure some exclusives at a docked price. So, if you’re keen to discover some of these, it’s important that you make sure you’re actually getting a good deal. One effective way of doing this is to pay attention to the condition of the timepieces you are looking to buy.
While some pre-owned pieces may have just been used for show by like-minded collectors, and therefore in pristine condition, it’s likely that there will be some minor wear and tear to most watches you look at. This should all be disclosed by the seller when you purchase it, and it’s important that you check what they are saying against the watch itself. For example, if the seller is saying the timepiece is in near perfect condition and asking for a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Consider the investment potential
One of the main reasons people collect luxury watches is to make a good return on investment when it comes to selling them. This is because many highly coveted watches appreciate in value over time, particularly if you manage to get your hands on limited edition ones. To ensure you’re choosing the right pieces to make a profit from in future, it’s worth looking at past trends and evaluating the brands that have performed well across generations. It’s also worth looking at certain models that were and still are proving popular.
For example, Rolex has been and still is one of the most sought-after watch brands, and the steel sports watches tend to hold or appreciate in value over time. So, keeping your eye open for good deals on GMT-Master IIs, Daytonas and Submariner styles will help you to get the most out of your investment in years to come.
Find a trustworthy seller and get insured
When you’re considering splashing out on your watch collection, it’s incredibly important that you go to a trustworthy seller who will be charging you the right price for the right item, and not tricking you with counterfeit goods or rip-off prices. I recommend you err on the side of caution and buy your watches from reputable jewellers who are known for offering great service and good value for money on their products.
If you don’t know where to go, reading reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations can point you in the right direction. There are even watch collector forums that you could join to ask other like-minded individuals about the service with various sellers. Whoever you buy off should be able to provide you with a certificate of authentication for each of the watches you buy and advise you on maintaining and caring for your purchase.
However, you can never predict what’ll happen, so being ready for the unexpected is crucial. You can protect your investment pieces in cases of damage, loss and theft by taking out insurance on them as soon as you’ve taken them home. Whatever insurance you take out, you’ll need to make sure it covers your watches while you’re out and about, as well as at home.
Collecting luxury watches can be a worthwhile investment, but before you start, there are a couple of things worth knowing. Follow my top five tips and you’ll be well on your way to starting a collection that’ll be the envy of everyone you know.