Luxury watches are primarily for enjoying on your wrist. Yet over the last decade or so, we have seen a rapid increase in people who also want to make money with watch investments. The world of luxury mechanical watches can be quite lucrative if you know which models to invest in. In general, there are two ways to go when it comes to watch investments. First, there is the option to become an expert in vintage watches and become knowledgeable about the classic pieces that will appreciate in value.
Modern Investment Watches: Rolex and Omega
Secondly, you could invest in modern timepieces and speculate that your watches will increase in value over time. Obviously, the #1 watch brand to invest in would be Rolex. Another brand is Omega. Although it is a bit tougher to find the Omega models that will go up in price, some Omega Speedmasters and Omega Seamasters are great investment pieces. Be sure to check out the articles we’ve written on the top five watches to invest in for both Rolex and Omega.
Top 5 Other Brands
For this list, we looked at five watches from other brands that could make great investments. But beyond thinking of your watch exclusively as a potential investment, do seek out timepieces you actually like and would want to wear. For one, it could take a while before you make decent money with your watch. What’s more, there are no guarantees that you will make a lot of money. If you don’t, at least you will have a watch that you love. So, without further ado, let’s jump in.
1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo ref. 15202ST
The first investment watch on this list is a no-brainer. The stainless-steel version of Gérald Genta’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo is an absolute classic and one of the most iconic watches ever created. Over the last couple of years, demand for this timepiece has exploded, and the prices for the ref. 15202 have, accordingly, risen to ridiculous heights. So, is there really still money to be made with the Royal Oak Jumbo in steel? It’s the right question to ask.
Earlier this year, Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias announced the discontinuation of the ref. 15202 after 2021. The reason behind this decision is that the Royal Oak will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022; Bennahmias hinted that we could expect a new version of the Royal Oak Jumbo in precious metals next year, leaving no room for the steel version. This alone could lead to steep price increases as the steel edition is the most sought-after version of the Royal Oak Jumbo. With prices currently starting at $60,000 for the variant with a white dial and roughly $75,000 for the more popular blue-dial model, don’t be surprised to see prices in the six-figure range once it enters retirement. But until that day becomes a reality, it remains to be seen how prices for this reference develop. So far, they have been climbing steadily on Chrono24. However, as I said earlier, there are no guarantees in life. The only thing that’s for sure with this timepiece is that you would be buying an absolutely brilliant watch.
2. Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711/1A
If the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was a no-brainer, the next one is also a pretty obvious pick. When Patek Philippe announced the discontinuation of the regular stainless steel Nautilus ref. 5711/1A with a blue dial, prices shot up astronomically. Patek Philippe did release a beautiful green-dial version of the steel Nautilus that will supposedly leave the collection after one year of production, which would be early next year. It would be a shame to see Patek Philippe discontinue the second of the three iconic Genta watches, and this decision will undoubtedly affect the price of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A.
Current asking prices on Chrono24 for the blue-dial Nautilus begin around $120,000 and easily go up to $250,000. The 2021 green edition is even harder to get and starts at well over $400,000. If the Patek Philippe Nautilus leaves the collection next year, you should expect to see the prices of the Nautilus with a blue or white dial skyrocket just like they did for the model with a green dial. So far, the price increase has shown no signs of stopping, and we expect that to continue with the upcoming discontinuation.
3. Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V
With the possible discontinuation of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo and the steel Patek Philippe Nautilus, there’s a chance that, by next year, none of the original Genta designs from the 1970s will be available any longer. While many long believed that a fourth watch, the Vacheron Constantin 222, had also been designed by Genta, it was actually one of designer Jörg Hysek’s early works. It was the watch that served as the blueprint for the current Vacheron Constantin Overseas. Together with Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin belongs to the so-called “Holy Trinity” of Swiss watchmaking. As such, where better to turn to for a brilliant modern stainless steel luxury sports watch?
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V is a direct competitor of the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and has been growing in popularity over the last few years. Prices for the watch are currently nowhere near the levels of its legendary competitors, but you can expect to see them rise after the other two are no longer available. The current list price for a Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V is around $23,000, but you have to be patient to get one from an authorized dealer. On Chrono24, the asking prices for the popular blue and black-dial versions start at roughly $40,000 and go up to $55,000. If you are able to buy one at the lower end of that range, you will potentially have invested in a great watch that will only become more valuable over time.
4. F.P. Journe Elegante 48
The next watch on this list has seen a significant price increase this year. The prices for an F.P. Journe Élégante 48 rose by a staggering 85% in the second quarter of 2021 and have only continued their upward trajectory in the following months. I wrote a lengthy article about F.P. Journe, detailing what makes the company and this particular watch so special. First off, the brand’s exceptional nature lies entirely in the brilliance of its founder, François-Paul Journe. Journe does not simply create watches but uses his extraordinary skills to solve actual problems in the watchmaking world. And an ever-growing group of fans is coming to appreciate this unique approach to the craft.
The F.P. Journe Élégante 48, specifically, solves the issue of limited battery life for quartz watches. The timepiece has a motion detector in its dial that recognizes whether the watch is in use or not. If the watch has not moved for 35 minutes, it goes into an energy-saving “sleep” mode while its microprocessor continues keeping the time. When you pick the watch up again, it senses that it’s in use, and its hands automatically reset to the current time. The result is a battery life of up to 18 years.
With the demand for the watch still very high and a production of 800 timepieces annually across six different collections, these watches don’t come up for sale in big numbers. Today, prices range from roughly $55,000 to $70,000. Given the limited production numbers, expect to see prices rise for this unique watch in the near future.
5. Czapek Antarctique Terre Adélie
The last watch on this list is from a small independent brand. Czapek has made quite a name for itself with the incredible timepieces they have put out over the last couple of years. The brand carries the illustrious Czapek name. Fans of Patek Philippe may recognize this name, as François Czapek and Antoine Norbert de Patek founded their company, Patek, Czapek & Cie., in 1839. After the men went their separate ways, the name Czapek mysteriously disappeared in 1865. In 2012, the legendary brand reemerged, officially relaunching in 2015. Since then, it has been producing high-end timepieces that have gained a lot of respect in the industry.
In 2020, Czapek created its first popular modern luxury steel sports watch with an integrated bracelet. The Czapek Antarctique Terre Adélie turned out to be an immediate success, receiving much critical acclaim. The brand released four different dial colors produced in limited runs of 99 pieces, with each watch costing around $20,000. All four colors sold out in a matter of days, and the watch brand moved on to the next model in the Antarctique collection, the Passage de Drake. However, it’s the original Antarctique Terre Adélie, a wonderfully designed sports watch with a superb in-house movement, that perfectly captures Czapek’s brilliance and will no doubt be highly sought-after over time. Prices for the Antarctique Terre Adélie models go from about $25,000 to $40,000, and I expect them to increase over time. If I had the money, this would be my pick. Not just because of the possible increase in price, but because this is, simply put, an awesome watch.
That concludes our list of five luxury watches that could be great investments in 2022. This leaves me nothing left to say but: Bring your credit card, and happy hunting!