Watches that hold value

Saw a conversation on another thread about buying watches that got me interested. What watches (brand and/or model) hold value the best and might even appreciate? I'm considering getting a watch, and knowing that I could get one that will retain 75%+ of it's value for me to turn around and sell it after a few years for an upgrade, makes the purchase much more appealing. 

Comments (9)

Feb 9, 2021 - 1:13pm

Rolex. easy. 

Lot of good brands out there, but to hold its value and appreciate? Rolex, especially if you buy new at retail price (stainless steel models). You could also get that from other brands as you move up in price, such as Pateks, AP, etc. Or maybe crazy bargains in Omegas, Grand seiko. But the most common scenario is that you buy new and as soon as you walk out the AD it'll lose 25-35% and even more so as it gets worn, etc. Some of the most coveted Rolex models appreciate 20, 30, 50%+ as soon as you walk out of the AD. Crazy but true. 

Feb 9, 2021 - 1:20pm

I wouldn't buy a brand new watch, depreciation isn't as bad.

Also stay away from aftermarket additions (diamonds, bracelet/bands, etc.)

The guy above is totally right, nothing like a Rolex keeps it's value so well apart from the big 3, Lange and fpj

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Feb 9, 2021 - 1:28pm

Keep in mind that what holds its value today may not be the same in a few years. Patek used to struggle to sell the stainless nautilus (and really struggle to sell the aquanaut) and now they are 2-3X retail. That being said, Rolex has a lot of brand recognition and is at reasonable price points where the demand is normally strong enough to get decent resale value. I would generally advise against getting a watch thinking you'll make money on it, and in general you should consider ~30% value lost if you buy new. 

Of course there are also the super rare independents with multiple year waitlist, those are decent in terms of resale (but guessing you aren't talking about $100k watches)  


  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 9, 2021 - 1:49pm

If you buy a used submariner instead of new do you lose the opportunity for it to appreciate? I wouldn't be buying it in hopes of selling it later (I truly like watches), but it's always nice to have that option.

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Feb 9, 2021 - 2:05pm

If you buy a used stainless Rolex that is in high demand you have probably paid for the appreciation (I.e. you paid more than msrp).

Outside of buying new from an authorized dealer, anything you buy second hand will follow the standard rules of supply and demand. Buying new is a strange world, where your watch can appreciate instantly since authorized dealers must sell at MSRP and demand heavily outweighs supply (won't get into the argument of whether or not supply is being purposefully held down). 

So if you buy used any appreciation in the future is a guess (you are just betting on where prices will go), but the existing appreciation you've obviously paid for. 

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