Values in time – investing in collectible watches

Values in time – investing in collectible watches

Hind Seddiqi of high-end watch retailer Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons

11 December 2011

A COLLECTOR’S watch is not just for time-keeping. It can hold historical and emotional significance for the wearer, as well as being a sound financial investment.

The precision engineering of a superior watch has come to represent a standard amongst connoisseurs of personal accessories. The history, manufacturer’s mark, fabrication and intrinsic value are all important.

cashy spoke to Hind Seddiqi, vice president of marketing at Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, the UAE family-owned retailer of Swiss watch brands, for her tips on choosing ladies’ collector watches that can be worn for enjoyment and render great investment value for the future. Here’s what she said...

Why should women invest in collectible watches?

Traditionally, women tend to invest in gold or jewellery which seems an ideal choice, but over the past few years we’ve seen a rising trend for women watch collectors investing within the region. A watch purchase is more accessible as an investment option compared to other avenues, such as property investment. Historically, if you look at the price of high-end watches, you will find an upward trend in the value and the price of collector time-pieces.

Which are popular brands for investment and why?

Women tend to collect jewelled watches over mechanical watches, by the likes of Harry Winston, Piaget, and Van Cleef & Arpels. The watches from these brands and collections are usually one of a kind and their value increases with time. Each watch has a story behind it in terms of design and the number and quality of set stones. The jewelled elements in these watches are considered to be the lure and confer a poetic appeal that attracts women collectors to cherish their watch even more. These types of jewelled watches also get great attention from the market if they are put up for auction, due to their uniqueness.

What should collectors look for?

The collection and category of the type of watch really depends on the wearer’s personal choice and taste. Some people collect watches from only one brand. Others may like to collect limited production pieces while others look for certain watch movements. There are various categories. Certain collector watches incorporate unique materials in their making which one may not find in regular manufacturers’ usage. A collector may be drawn to a new movement which a watch manufacturer has created and has the exclusivity for producing. It could also be a special edition watch carrying the official logo or signature of a celebrity sports team or player. It really depends on the collector’s taste and budget. Some collectors buy watches, but may never wear them and keep them sealed in their original packaging. There are many kinds of collectors and at the end of the day the collection they have is unique in different ways.

What does resale value depend upon?

The resale value of high-end watches can differ depending on the brand and the product. Limited production and complicated pieces from famous watch manufactures can sometimes command three to four times in resale value, due to the fact that these watches may be are extremely rare to find in the market.

How can collectors value a high-end watch?

With auction houses such as Christie’s and Bonhams featuring watches as part of their on-going sales, it has become far easier for collectors to monitor the style, price and value of luxury time pieces. These auction houses can also evaluate the market price of certain watches.

Another more informal way to check the prices of watches is the parallel market. Nowadays, the internet can inform collectors in determining the prices of their watches through discussion forums on famous watch collector blogs. Established retailers may also help collectors in evaluating the worth of their collections as well.

Are you a collector of watches – or anything else? Tell cashy...

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