A Good Watch is Worth its Weight in Gold


by Joseph Levy
Friday, August 01, 2008

A Good Watch is Worth its Weight in Gold

A question often asked of me is whether a luxury watch can be an investment. My answer is repeatedly the same. Yes, a good watch can be a good investment. The reason that some watches go up in value is because manufacturers of watches often raise the prices on their watches each year or some discontinue producing a particular luxury watch, which makes the timepiece go up in value. So, whether you are considering buying a watch for yourself or you are in the market for a gift for someone special, a luxury watch is always a smart purchase.

Those who have a passion for watches know that the skill and design that goes into the production of a watch is what sets it apart.

The Perfect Gift

For some people, a luxury timepiece is a status symbol often made of precious metals and sometimes adorned with diamonds and jewels. For centuries, watches have been viewed as fine works of art and perceived as much more than a simple timepiece. Whether simple or elegant, the precision, engineering and production of a luxury watch puts it in a category all its own and is definitely a prized possession. Since luxury watches are always considered special, one can never go wrong when buying a watch for themselves or as a gift. In fact, high quality luxury timepieces are often handed down from one generation to another. Given that different watches fit different occasions and personalities, it’s often a good idea to have an assortment of fine watches from highly credible watchmakers such as Ebel, Concord, Movado or Corum.

Different Types of Timepieces

When choosing a watch, you want to know how to choose one that will last for a long, long time. However, before making the choice, you should know what makes a watch tick…no pun intended. The basic timepieces fall under the headings of mechanical, quartz, automatic and Swiss quartz technology. At this point, you may be wondering if it’s the accuracy of a watch that has anything to do with its value. In truth, expensive, collectible watches are more valuable based on their workmanship and appeal rather than on their timekeeping abilities. That isn’t to say that a good watch won’t keep good time, but in general, mechanical movement watches are less accurate than reasonably priced quartz watches. Generally speaking, the accuracy of a watch has little to do with its value. Those who have a passion for watches know that the skill and design that goes into the production of a watch is what sets it apart.

Mechanical, Quartz or Automatic Watches

To help you appreciate the beauty of luxury watches as both a fashion statement as well as the movements used, there are many different types of watches to consider before choosing the one right for you. Fine watches are usually created around older mechanical technology and have existed for centuries. These types of watches last for decades and never need a battery. Usually, the more mechanical a watch, the more it is going to be worth. In today’s market, the choices for luxury watches fall under the category of Chronograph, Quartz, Mechanical, Automatic, Jewel Movement and Perpetual Calendar. Quartz technology has gained in popularity over the years as it keeps time efficiently. The way quartz technology works, is that it passes a constant electric current through a quartz crystal and vibrates at a steady frequency. Swiss Quartz movements are the most accurate and reliable timepieces and have the greatest advantage when it comes to costs. The chronograph watch breaks down time into hours, minutes and seconds and is often used in competitive sporting activities. Other watches in this category offer moon phases and calendars complete with dates and years. (cont.)

The majority of watches that cost less than $1,000.00 usually use quartz movements, but the most sought after watches are automatic watches. Automatic watches are mechanical, but driven by human movement. They work so well that if cared for properly, automatic watches will last for generations to come.

What Gives a Watch Value?

The more timekeeping tasks a watch provides and the more complex the degree of engineering that goes into the watch, the more value there is to the watch. When you consider that some luxury watches sell for thousands upon thousands of dollars, and can often cost more than a car, it’s obvious that their expense is because of the level of complication. The degree of complication is what gives a watch its greatest value. Since luxury watches are created from in-depth science and mathematics, complicated mechanisms are what make a quality timepiece so valuable.

How To Choose The Right Watch

Before making a purchase of a luxury watch, it’s best to consider how it’s going to be used. Is it going to be an every day watch, a dress watch, or a high activity watch? If you’re planning on using your luxury watch during a scuba diving excursion, naturally, you would want a watch that will hold up well under water. Of, if you’re going to be using your watch every day for work, than you want a watch that fits your day-to-day lifestyle. And of course, if you want the watch for dressy occasions, than you’ll pick one that has a unique style. In other words, if you’re seeking a casual every day watch, choose one that’s going to feel comfortable on the wrist. If the watch you’re choosing is for a more formal appearance, than consider a diamond or gemstone watch, as it will go well with the attire for a special occasion. If your desire is for a watch used for a heavy-duty activity such as diving or skiing, you want a watch that is sturdy and has high water resistance making it more durable.

Getting Ready to Shop for a Luxury Watch

As you prepare to shop for that special new luxury watch, ask yourself a few general questions that will lead you in the right direction. When do you plan to wear the watch? Will you be wearing it for active sports, dressy affairs or for work? And how much do you want to spend? All these questions will help you in making the right decision for your needs. Remember though, whatever luxury watch you select, you will be choosing something that will be with you for a long time to come. So, while there are many watches on the market and many of them very inexpensive, a luxury watch is just that: a luxury watch. Luxury equates with opulence, which means a luxury watch is going to command a higher price.