Why Pre-owned watches are a great investment

Luxury timepieces are more than just pretty accessories. They’re valuable and functional. But they can be pricey. That’s why many wonder: is it better to buy a used luxury watch, like Patek Philippe?

Given the inherent value of luxury watches, their price tags tend to be steep. This raises a common query among watch aficionados: Is it wiser to invest in a pre-owned luxury timepiece?

In this piece, we’ll delve into the merits of pre-owned luxury watches and discuss why selecting a preowned Patek Phillipe might be a more strategic choice than buying a brand new one!

Value Retention and Appreciation

One of the main reasons to invest in preowned luxury watches is their potential for value retention and appreciation. Just like a new car that depreciated the moment it’s driven out the showroom, a brand new luxury watch often experiences an immediate drop in value after purchase. In contrast, a pre-owned watch has already undergone this initial sharp depreciation. Over time, certain models and brands, especially Patek Phillippe, Audemars Piguet can appreciate, offering lucrative returns on investments.

Extensive choices at Attractive Prices

In the pre-owned market, you will have access to a wider extensive range of independent brands and designs. You can discover sought-after vintage and discontinued models at attractive rates. One of the primary perks of opting for a pre-owned watch is this expansive selection.

You’ll not only come across mainstream brands, but also the less ubiquitous ones that offer a unique character and history. This expansive marketplace provides a treasure trove for enthusiasts seeking one-of-a-kind finds, from timepieces that resonate with personal stories to those that represent a particular era in horology.

Avoid the Bundling Game

Some brands or models are particularly challenging for an average buyer to secure directly from the brand’s official dealers. For instance, acquiring a Patek Philippe Grand Complication or sports models like Aquanaut or Nautilus as an initial purchase is nearly unattainable. Typically, one needs an extensive purchase record or VIP recognition before qualifying for a specific model allocation.

On the secondary market, you can potentially obtain that hard-to-find item at a substantial discount. Take the Patek Philippe Grand Complication 5520P, for instance. It has a retail price of SGD 378,800. Yet, on the secondary market, a brand-new version might be available for up to 35% off, coming in at SGD 248,000. If you’re considering a pre-owned model, you could anticipate an additional reduction of 10-20%. This underscores the excellent value one can find in the secondary market.

Investment Value

What’s the value of a pre-owned Patek Phillippe? Some can be priced at double their original MSRP! While many opt for traditional investment avenues, luxury watches might offer superior returns. For pre-owned Patek Phillippe watches, outpacing stock market trends isn’t uncommon. Their values often remain robust over the years, and in some instances, they appreciate even more.

Over the past decade, the value of used Patek Phillippe watches has routinely surpassed returns from the stock, real estate, and gold markets. This showcases that these luxury timepieces aren’t just personal treasures but also potent wealth assets.

Historically, luxury watches have showcased how investing in luxury watches have a strong performance relative to standard investment sectors. Between August 2018 and January 2023, average values for leading models from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet in the pre-owned market surged by 20% yearly, even amidst the economic challenges posed by the pandemic. In contrast, the S&P 500 index saw a growth of just 8% annually. Notably, during the 2007-2009 economic downturn, luxury timepieces fared better than stocks, demonstrating a swift recovery post-crash.

Embracing the Appeal of Pre-Owned Watches

While many are drawn to the allure of sporting a brand-new watch, avoiding second-hand items due to personal preferences, the charisma of pre-owned luxury timepieces cannot be denied.

As the Aston Martin’s advert for pre-owned cars puts it, “You know you’re not the first, but do you really care?”