Considering investing in a high-end watch? Here’s everything you need to consider.

There comes a point in every man’s life when he wants to buy himself a ‘proper watch’. It’s almost like a rite of passage. A watch can say a lot about you, and its character, look and style can give an insight into your background and lifestyle.


By a ‘proper watch’ we’re referring to either mechanical or automatic watches, not the less expensive Quartz types that start from around £100. This is why it is so important to consider all factors when purchasing something you could potentially wear for many years and will be investing a lot of your hard earned cash in.  But what are these factors? Let’s take a look.

The first thing to consider is the watch type; every occasion demands a different sort of time piece. Here are just a few types:

1. The most traditional types of watches are often known as ‘dress’ watches.  These are classic timepieces and have a much more conservative look and design. This style of watch fits best with more of formal attire; however, you can dress them down. Brands including Rolex and Omega do these watches very well.

2. Sport watches are very popular and can vary in price, they have thicker case and  often feature more robust crystals  - think Tag Heuer and Breitling.

3. Aviator watches; these have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years and have now become a fashion item. These watches have been specifically designed for aviation and to withstand a range of moisture and temperature extremes.

4. When looking at looking at mechanical watches, brand is important but it is the provenance (how long the watch company has been in existence, and where it is made) that is crucial. Over a century is a good barometer, for example; Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet or Breguet. However there are a few relatively new brands that have emerged over the last 20 years or so that are producing spectacular quality watches with extremely highly skilled complications and fine materials, for example Greubel Forsey or MB&F.  The brand’s heritage and location should also be considered; for example, the Swiss still remain supreme as the centre of horology, (the study and measure of time).

Secondly, it’s important to set a budget and know how much you’re willing to spend on a watch. It is widely believed that watches should not be thought as financial investments, as many watches will not increase in value just like cars, they tend to depreciate after you buy them. However there are the classic and vintage pieces which can increase. Price can vary hugely from early through to high thousands; it really does depend on how much you are wanting to pay and what you’re looking for. Prices are often affected by the material, length of manufacture and brand heritage, so instructing the help of a specialist is essential if you want to get the best for your money.


Where to look when researching your watch

Start off doing your research on legitimate brand sites, as others could reduce the amount of the watch and there are a lot of imitations on the market.

Be aware of any discounts, these can be great, but if there are any steep discounts it could mean the watch isn’t in demand. This doesn’t mean the watch isn’t prestigious, but is something you should consider. Again, consult a specialist if you are in any doubt as they can source watches for you.

From a prestige and value perspective, you should look into the type of movemement and the number of complications – the functions of the watch. The more complications, the higher the price, which can soar extremely quickly especially if the watch has a tourbillon. However this is reflected in the level of technical skill and craftsmanship.

What to look out for when considering the price

Quality of material is probably the most important factor here. High-end and expensive watches should be constructed from the best quality materials. All high-end watches will feature precious metals as part of their construction.

If the watch you choose features jewels, make sure they are natural. 

Once you’ve considered all these factors, you should have an idea of what type of watch you are wanting, how much you want to spend and what to look out for. Still feeling a little baffled and don’t know how to start your search? Contact us today and let us help.


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