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The Best Watches To Invest In

If you’re in the market to purchase a watch, why buy one that will depreciate faster than a new Alfa Romeo car? Watches that look good and that will increase in value over time; a number of them are out there that call for action. Oris Divers Sixty-Five Oris did a magnificent job to create…

If you’re in the market to purchase a watch, why buy one that will depreciate faster than a new Alfa Romeo car? Watches that look good and that will increase in value over time; a number of them are out there that call for action.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five

Oris did a magnificent job to create a beautiful looking vintage-inspired divers watch, based on their own heritage. Oris might be milking the cow a bit with these Diver Sixty-Five models, but admitted, they look very good and are bound to increase in value over time. Especially the very first version as well as the bronze edition. Don’t wait to buy one to come to the conclusion in a couple of years from now, when they’ve been discontinued or succeeded by new versions.

Omega Seamaster 300M

A star since 1993 and has been on the wrist of James Bond since 1995 and onwards. The 300M celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018 and this might be a good time to invest in one of the current – or older – models. Especially those with automatic calibre 1109 and 1120 movements with the blue or black wave dial are solid investments. Always make sure to buy one ‘full set’, thus with box and papers. This is a no-brainer.

In 1978 Cartier introduced the Santos with integrated stainless steel (and gold) bracelet. The Santos Galbee was a beautiful piece but often got the ‘wrong’ image due to the fact that Columbian drug lords (and Miami Vice crooks) were rocking them during the 1980s. If you can look past that, these are well-designed style icons, even in bi-colour. Cartier discontinued the Santos Galbee a while ago, but lo and behold, next year will be the 40th anniversary of this specific model and chances are 99,99% Cartier will bring a new version. Get the old one. Now.

 

Gold is the new steel and you know it! The Rolex Day-Date has evolved into a 40mm watch, but that leaves us with some very nice (neo)vintage 36mm models. We would opt for the lesser seen white gold models on a president bracelet.

The Day-Date has its own following and might be a very safe and solid investment, especially when bought pre-owned. Always buy a full-set and leave the diamond dials alone.

 

IWC Ingenieur 3227 – 3239

In 2005, IWC introduced the Ingenieur 3227. Inspired by the first Gérald Genta designed Ingenieur (1832SL) from 1976, but with a new in-house movement and a more solid and up-to-date design. Succeeded by a new range of thinner Ingenieurs with Sellita based movements, but still with the Genta DNA clearly there. This year, IWC announced to discontinue these odd-shaped Genta Ingenieur models and return to a classic round Ingenieur watch, like their very first reference 666 from the 1950s. A safer choice, clearly made for a larger audience. It will be a matter of time before the Genta inspired Ingenieurs will find their way to collectors around the globe. Act accordingly, before they will get really expensive.

Breitling Emergency and Aerospace

The odd one in this list, a digi-analogue quartz watch from one of the biggest watch brands in the world: Breitling. Now that former IWC and Richemont watch division CEO Georges Kern is leading Breitling in Grenchen, there might be some changes at the horizon. If he is going the IWC-route, Breitling will become more of a lifestyle brand (including the line-up of vintage-inspired Breitling models) and less of a tool watch brand. The Emergency and Aerospace watches are hardcore tool watches for pilots.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak References 14802 – 15202

With a low production number and a high retail price, the time is now to find yourself a decent pre-owned Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ model. With a list price of over 20K and a waiting list for a new one, this – already – mythical watch is closing in on the famous Patek Philippe Nautilus. The earlier reference (5402) already has become very expensive and only for the lucky few, but the 14802 might be a pretty good alternative. This 20th-anniversary model only had a production run of 1000 pieces (700 in steel, 300 in white gold) and has the small Clous de Paris on the dial as well as a special ‘jubilee’ rotor. The later 15202 is a bit more common, but still a grail to many.

Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR

The GMT-Master has its origin being a pilot’s watch for Pan-Am personnel. It was picked up quickly in the 1950s and 1960 by others as well, including NASA’s Apollo astronaut Jack Swigert. A watch with a rich history and lots of cool stories and besides that, a Rolex with a nice complication. The extra hour hand is very welcome to those who travel often through different time zones. This version, the current edition with ceramic bezel in black & blue, is already hard-to-get but will probably be very sought after even more once discontinued. The watch, nicknamed ‘Batman’ is bound to become a future icon.

Omega Speedmaster Professional

Any version will do, of this famous hand-wound Moonwatch, but when investing, try one of the vintage models (any year will do) or one of the limited editions like the Apollo XI models from 1989 or 1994 for example. Another interesting version would be the version with checkered red & white minute markers that collectors call the ‘Tintin’, as Omega initially planned to have the rocket from the ‘Explorers on the Moon’ printed on the dial. This project was cancelled; hence the watch was suddenly released as a ‘Racing’ edition by Omega and without the printed rocket. It was only produced for about two years, and rumours have it that only 3000 pieces were made. For a non-limited edition Omega watch, a very low number.

Breguet Type XX

The chronograph watch from one of the most prestigious Swiss watch manufacturers. It was originally meant as a pilot’s watch, for the French army. The original ‘Type 20’ piece (or Type XX) by Breguet was one of the watches that were submitted after a request from the French government.  Six brands in total were commissioned to deliver watches to the French Aéronavale. This 39mm Breguet has a fly-back calibre 582 chronograph movement. Collectors of military watches, but also of fine watches in general, will certainly appreciate this watch. Now and in the future.

10 Watches

Ten different watches, from tool to dress, that will not only be great investments, but also great wearers. Always make sure to do your homework before you purchase a watch and always try to go for a full set, including service history and the original invoices. The watches in this top 10 are not in a specific order. Of course, this overview is speculation but based on experience and results of the past. One final tip for those who like to buy a watch that will likely increase in value in the future is to go for the purest version of a certain model (exceptions make the rule of course). The IWC Ingenieur is a fine example, although IWC created this watch with various complications, or even with an AMG badge, make sure to go for the simplest and most basic version that show most resemblance with the original 1970s model.