Watches as an Investment

Patek Philippe Nautilus Armbanduhr, Referenz 3700/1, um 1977/78, Schätzwert € 30.000 – 50.000, erzielter Preis € 128.000

500,000 Euros in 5 Minutes

Collectors and investors regard high-quality wristwatches as material assets with a potential to increase in value and an additional bonus: the joy of wearing them. Some tips on watches as an investment:

  • Go for well-known brands

Like the stock market, watch auctions have some international “blue chips” that are very likely to increase in value. Luxury watch manufacturers from Switzerland and Germany dominate in this area. The best-known brands include Patek Philippe, Rolex, A. Lange & Söhne, Omega, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin.

A. Lange & Söhne Glashütte i/SA Langematik “Sax-O-Mat”, Auktion 3. Juni 2022
A. Lange & Söhne Glashütte i/SA Langematik “Sax-O-Mat”, Auction 3 June 2022
Patek Philippe Nautilus, Auktion 3. Juni 2022
Patek Philippe Nautilus, Auction 3 June 2022
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Auktion 3. Juni 2022
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Auction 3 June 2022
  • What’s inside counts

An essential feature is the type of watch mechanism. At the moment, watches with mechanical movements have the best chances of stable or rising prices. Preference is given to so-called manufacture movements, which are designed and produced by the manufacturers themselves.

  • Classics with a history

Daytona, Nautilus, Royal Oak, Speedmaster and Reverso are just a few examples of watch models from well-known manufacturers that have a large fan base and enjoy a certain cult status. This potential for an increase in value is boosted by an exceptional history, for example previous ownership by an iconic actor or film star such as Paul Newman or James Bond.



  • Out of fashion

Avoid fashion trends when buying. In general, the rule of thumb is “If I like it, others probably will, too”. Designer watches may be an exception to this rule. But even these are usually only interesting for a limited number of potential buyers.

  • No limits

Manufacturers like to bring out limited editions to mark special occasions and anniversaries (e.g.  Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 “P2P” or Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller). This makes a model more likely to increase in value, but bear in mind the points mentioned above.

Lange & Söhne Glashütte, I/SA Tourbillon Pour le Mérite, Referenz 701.005, um 1995, erzielter Preis € 321.750
Lange & Söhne Glashütte, I/SA Tourbillon Pour le Mérite, Reference 701.005, c. 1995, price realised € 321,750
  • Enjoy your time

For an optimal appreciation in value, watch buyers are well-advised not to resell too quickly. Exceptions confirm the rule.

  • The right marketplace

The choice of the right marketplace for a successful sale of a collector’s watch is often given too little attention. “For a watch with potential, you need financially strong buyers.” Large, international auction houses like Dorotheum offer buyers and sellers the high level of security and confidence necessary to achieve the best price at auction.

Image above: Patek Philippe Nautilus, Reference 3700/1, c. 1977/78, price realised € 128,000


Wrist and Pocket Watches
Palais Dorotheum, Dorotheergasse 17, 1010 Vienna
Mon – Fri 9  am – 3 pm
Tel. +43-1-515 60-303

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