Monday, March 12, 2012

Can Investing in a Luxury Watch be Compared to Investing in a Luxury Car? Please Comment!

Patek Phillipe Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref. 5002
Upon commenting on a fellow blogger's post about the HYT HI hydro mechanical , I -  questioning the longevity and depreciation of a watch containing fluid as part of the mechanism.

My Comment:
What about the longevity of the timepiece? Does the liquid make the watch more vulnerable to environmental changes? How volatile is the liquid in the tube?
I love this watch, but I have been wondering this for a long time, especially if someone is going to save up to buy this watch.  Does the liquid actually increase its worth on purchase, but depreciate  more rapidly as time goes by?
Reply to my  Comment:  
Buying a new watch as an investment is like buying a new car as an investment: retarded.

 I have a friend who paid for the weddings of his children with money received from selling three of his watches.  Watches he  purchased thirty years ago. The three watches in question were Rolexes - known for their excellent resale value - and superb movement with proven longevity.  He sold them in a flash for for a quite a bit of cash.
Excellent resale values also apply to watch manufacturers like Piaget, Harry Winston,  Patek Phillipe - who actually pushes the concept of longevity with its clever advertising slogan -"You never actually own a Patek Philippe; you merely take care of it for the next generation."- Vacheron Constantin and the new players like Richard Mille, Parmigiani Fleurier,  Greubel Forsey and a host of others.
The scenario may have been quite different if, thirty years ago,  he had invested in a luxury car  and then tried to sell it in the same condition he had bought it. The car would have cost him a fortune in up keep.  In addition the market for a vintage luxury car is much smaller than a watch.

 When one purchases a watch from say $2,000 upwards - and watches nowadays happily gallop into the million dollar range - does one purchase the watch like one would a fancy car - just for the ride - or does one purchase the watch as an investment, as one would purchase a Rembrandt or Picasso painting?
Is the investment of a car the same type of an investment as a watch? or Is the purchase  of specifically the HYT H1 hydro mechanical timepiece like the purchase of a sports car? Do some watch companies like Tag Heuer, Breitling, Corum and Omega evoke the automotive desire to purchase a watch,  whereas others like Patek Phillipe push the "painting" perspective?

Of course I am not referring to the timepieces which are purchased predominantly to keep time - that idea faded when quartz erupted on stage and I am not referring to the Honda's and Mazdas or Kias for that matter which are purchased or leased to ferry family members or haul home groceries from Walmart.  I am talking luxury cars and luxury watches, which are purchased without necessity, for  investments, gifts (emotional investment) or purely hedonistic motives.

Please feel free to comment - I eagerly await response to the Question...



  1. People who wish to invest in cars or watches should buy them when least valuable and keep them for years, or more realistically, decades. Old cars will need maintenance and storage areas, but old watches can be shoved in a box and ignored, and pulled out occasionally when the sufferer feels like wearing something interesting.

    The fallacy here is that they will be sold. I own quite a few watches that have become 15 or 20 times more valuable in the least two or three decades, but I have not sold them. Nor am I likely to.

    P B

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  3. Perhaps an expensive watch is a good investment too just like buying a luxury car. A watch may not need frequent maintenance measures unlike a car but both luxuries serve different useful purposes.