Meta: Are you considering starting a watch collection but you’re not sure which watches are good investments? This guide has useful pointers to help you decide.

Can a watch be considered an investment? Maybe not a smartwatch that will be replaced by a newer version in about a year but a mechanical watch that is the result of expert craftsmanship.

Also, it’s not an investment equivalent to buying stock, but unlike expensive cars or electronics that can quickly lose their value, the right watch can hold its value and therefore, you’re not losing money.

However, what makes a watch valuable can fluctuate depending on trends, collectors, and even pop culture references like brand names mentioned in a chart-topping song or seeing a piece flashed on a movie screen.

Auctions are experiencing a downturn in selling ultra-expensive watches, but timepieces in the $4,000 – $8,000 price range seem to be experiencing growth.

And once you find the watch you want to buy, get ready to hold on to it for a while if you expect to see any appreciation or return on investment. Vintage or watches that are over 20 years old are considered more valuable by collectors because they’re no longer in production. The harder it is to find, the more prized it becomes in time.

But if you’re not in the market for a vintage timepiece and are looking for something more current, there are a few guidelines to help you decide what watch might sell well if you want to try to recover what you paid for it at some point down the line.

male holding a wrist watch

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  • Select a watch with a strong brand reputation.
  • Stick to men’s watches as women’s watches tend to lose value more quickly.
  • If it’s not a vintage watch, instead of going older, go newer. The closer to the release date, the less it has depreciated, so you have a higher chance of selling it for close to its original retail price.

So if you’re going to spend your money, what are some of the best brand-named watches that have proven to hold their value? According to experts, you can’t really go wrong with a watch from the following names:

  • Rolex
  • Patek Philippe
  • Audemars Piguet
  • Breguet
  • Omega
  • F.P. Journe
  • Tag Heuer
  • IWC
  • Greubel Forsey
  • Breitling
  • Panerai
  • Jaeger LeCoultre

How We Chose Our Ratin​gs

Honesty is essential to us, so to come up with our ratings, we examine news sources, multiple customer reviews and testimonials, data about the watches, and information about the brands.

Top 7 Best Watches To Collect For Investment

Rolex Submariner


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When you think of luxury watches, Rolex is a name that always comes up, and that’s not surprising since they have a history of making quality watches dating back to 1905, and in 1910, Rolex became the first wristwatch to be awarded the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision.

The first Rolex Submariner was released in 1953 and gets its name from the fact that it was created to be used underwater and for divers. Today’s Submariner has Oystersteel, a superalloy that is super-resistant to corrosion and keeps its polish even in the most unforgiving environments.

The distinctive black dial gives a sharp contrast to the Oystersteel bracelet and the hour markers are made from 18 karat gold to help prevent discoloration. The Submariner has a self-winding mechanical movement developed and manufactured by Rolex.

You can rotate the ceramic bezel, and it has 60-minute marks to help a diver keep track of their diving time and assist with time spent stopping for decompression. Don’t worry about scratches ruining the dial window because the glass is scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

Of the customers who have reviewed their Rolex Submariner purchase, 100 percent have given it a five-star rating. Buyers enjoy receiving compliments on how classy their watch is, and they like the simple, elegant appearance that stands out.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

rolex watch analouge watch

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Breitling SuperOcean II


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Breitling was founded in 1884 by Swiss watchmaker Leon Breitling, who was obsessed with mastering the creation of precision timepieces and chronographs. His fixation proved to be quite successful because the Breitling name lives on today and is synonymous with excellence.

You won’t be able to keep your eyes off how the Breitling SuperOcean II’s deep marine blue dial offsets the polished stainless-steel bracelet. It’s not just named SuperOcean; you can wear this watch up to a depth of 1,650 feet.

The dial has oversized numbers, and the hands are covered with a luminous coating to make the watch easy to read, even in dark conditions. Military time circles the dial next to the Arabic numerals and a window replaces 3 o’clock to supply you with the date.

The case houses the chronometer-certified self-winding movement to ensure accuracy and performance. The sapphire crystal over the dial is glare-proof, and scratch-resistant and the watch has a unidirectional rotating bezel.

Owners of the Breitling SuperOcean II give it five stars for exceptional quality, durability, style, and class.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Omega Seamaster


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Did you recently watch a James Bond film and now have to have an Omega watch like your favorite spy? Well, in reality, the Omega name goes back to 1848 and was started in a small Swiss village by watchmaker Louis Brandt.

Today, the Omega Seamaster pays tribute to the brand’s dive watch history and celebrates adventurous connoisseurs.

Oversized numbers mark the unidirectional rotating bezel which is mounted on a stainless-steel case that measures 28 millimeters. An automatic self-winding quartz precision movement powers the timepiece, and sapphire crystal that is scratch-resistant covers the dial.

The typical battery life is about 32 months, and there’s an indicator to let you know when the battery is running out. A fold-over clasp with a double push-button safety helps to keep your watch safely secured to your wrist.

If you can’t remember what day it is, check the date window at the 3 o’clock mark to refresh your memory. Also, the Seamaster II is water-resistant to a depth of up to 1000 feet.

Buyers agree that it’s a stunning watch, like that it can still be worn for everyday use and attest to the effectiveness of the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Over 90 percent of Amazon customer reviews give it a five-star rating and rave about the watch’s accuracy.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

omega seamaster watch

image via Pixabay

Tag Heuer Formula 1


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The Tag Heuer brand has been in business for over 150 years, which is why many consider this company that has stood the test of time, experts in watchmaking and a good investment by smart buyers.

If you prefer a watch with a more rugged look, then you might enjoy the Tag Heuer Formula 1. It has a black stainless steel case and a black rubber band with round perforations and buckle closure. The bezel has a tachymeter feature that does not rotate.

Besides the date window at the 3 o’clock position, the dial has a trio of chronograph subdials that count each quarter of a second, every 30 minutes, and every 12 hours. The case measures 44 millimeters in diameter, is 11 millimeters thick, and sapphire crystal keeps scratches away. The crown is screwed-in and is also black stainless steel.

Swiss automatic movement powers the analog display, and the watch is water-resistant up to 660 feet.  Luminescent indexes help to make the time legible in dark conditions.

All of the reviews left by buyers have given the Tag Heuer Formula 1 a five-star rating. Many reviewers say that the Formula 1 a must-have if you like larger watches and that it works well for everyday use.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Panerai Men’s Luminor


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Watchmaker Giovanni Panerai started the Panerai story when he opened his first shop back in 1860 in Florence, Italy.

If you’re a true watch aficionado who loves to watch the inner workings of fine timepieces, then you might enjoy the Panerai Men’s Luminor. Besides the unique cushion-shaped case, the back of the case is see-through giving you an inside look at the mechanical hand wind movement.

The black dial stands in contrast to the luminescent stenciled white hour markers and a stainless-steel case. The calfskin leather bands are interchangeable, so if you want something other than the black one that comes with this particular watch, you can swap it out for another color.

The anti-reflective sapphire dial window makes it easy to read the time without being blinded by glare and is resistant to scratching.  If your watch gets wet, there’s no need to panic because the Panerai Luminor is water-resistant up to a depth of 984 feet.

The stainless-steel case is hypoallergenic, so it shouldn’t cause allergic reactions and resists corrosion. The luminous dial face means you’ll be able to read the time even in dim light.

All customers who have reviewed the Panerai Luminor have given it a five-star rating and say it is a beautiful timepiece.

Rating: 5/5 Stars 

man looking at watch

image via Pixabay

Rolex Explorer II


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The Rolex Explorer II came about because Rolex watches are a favorite of explorers, mountaineers, and scientists who have tested the watch in mountaineering, polar, and caving environments. Rolex released the first Explorer II in 1971.

The indicators marking the hours and the hands are luminescent so that you can see the time no matter what the conditions and the blue glow lasts up to eight hours, almost twice as long as most luminescent materials.

Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protects the dial.  The case has a diameter of 42 millimeters, and the watch has a 48-hour power reserve.

The screw-down winding crown is guaranteed to be water-resistant so that even if you’re 330 feet down in the ocean, water will not get into the works. The band is Oystersteel, which was developed by Rolex, and aerospace and chemical industries like to use it because of its resistance to corrosion.

The band is 15 millimeters wide and has a safety clasp with a Rolex crown keeps your watch securely locked in place.

Self-winding mechanical movement powers the Explorer II and the bezel, with 24-hour markings, is fixed and does not rotate. A date window is set at the 3 o’clock mark with a magnifying lens over it so that you can read it clearly.

Buyers of the Rolex Explorer II say that they like that they are buying a watch with some history behind it. It’s a little less common than the Submariner, but that’s another feature that some purchasers like because they don’t want the Rolex that everybody else has.  All customers who have reviewed it have given it a five-star rating.

Rating: 5/5 Stars 

IWC Men’s Ingenieur Mission Earth


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Besides chocolate, mountains, and skiing, the Swiss have a reputation for making quality timepieces and the IWC Men’s Ingenieur Mission Earth is a good example. IWC has been producing watches that are considered masterpieces since 1868.

The Ingenieur Mission Earth’s case has a diameter of 46 millimeters and is 15 millimeters thick for those who like a wider watch. The dial window material is anti-reflective sapphire to reduce glare and protect from scratches.

At first glance, the band appears to be rubber, but IWC makes their bands from silicon and materials that make it resistant to UV rays, more durable, and without the rubber smell. The bezel is stationary and does not rotate.

The hands, hour indicators, and numbers are luminescent so that you can see them in the dark. The Ingenieur is also automatic and self-winding.

Buyers appreciate the watch’s modern, sporty appearance and the solid feel of the sizeable stainless-steel case.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

Buyers Guide 

Besides choosing a strong brand as an investment, one suggestion made by most experts and collectors is also to select a watch that you feel a personal connection to, a watch that you’re going to enjoy, and not one that is going to sit in a vault somewhere collecting dust.

Trends and watch values can change so be sure to pick a watch that you won’t regret spending the money on regardless of its market value or estimated appreciation.

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