The Best Watches To Invest In Right Now
Looking to buy a watch that looks great and will rise in value? Here are pieces with real investment potential.
1 Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Self-Winding
One of the oldest watch brands in the world, Vacheron Constantin have been producing world-class timepieces since 1755—which makes it all the more astonishing that this is the first time the Genevan brand have offered a non-sports model. Taking inspiration from mid-century design, the two self-winding options come in pink gold or steel, and are available at a reasonable price (for a Vacheron, that is). A great entry point into investment watches.
2 Farer Leven
Farer might be a relatively young brand, but they definitely know their history. Their newest model is named after the HMS Leven, a 20-gun Royal Navy ship that fought in the Napoleonic wars, before embarking on a huge voyage across the world, mapping the east coast of Africa and parts of Arabia.
3 Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
Released to celebrate the 50th birthday of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s iconic Polaris, the elegant 2018 Memovox is a perfect tribute. Available in a limited series of 1,000 editions, it’s covered in subtle nods to the classic 1968 timepiece, including a stylized diving helmet, an alarm mechanism, and an anniversary inscription.
4 Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition
Oris’ newest diver commemorates the inspirational life of Carl Brashear, who was not only the first African American in the U.S Navy, but also the first amputee. This bronze-cased, two-counter chronograph is the second limited edition watch the Swiss brand has dedicated to his memory.
5 Longines Heritage 1945
Like a record company releasing a remastered great, Longines has sourced this stone-walled archive classic. The redefined 1945 exudes retro class from its copper-tone convex dial to the aged leather strap. A hit.
6 Tudor Heritage Black Bay
It's no easy feat breaking into an existing market, even if your heritage is as impressive as Tudor's. With the Rolex sister company dipping its toe into the UK market for the first time in a long while, it seems as if it has struck gold with this stunning little number. And with an RRP of just £2,330, it's almost foolish not to get one. It can't stay this cheap for long, surely.
7 Omega Railmaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer
The Railmaster might be antimagnetic but it has a forceful allure—a stylish mid-century design with simple legibility. And that antimagnetism will see you good to 15,000 gauss, which should ease your worried mind.
8 Omega Seamaster Professional 300M
Ok, so this one isn't going to make you a millionaire overnight, but in terms of holding value and holding strong, it's as dependable as they get. With Omega recently culling the quartz model from the lineup with a view to moving up the luxury ladder, buying a Seamaster Professional should be an easy decision to make. Short of buying a Rolex Submariner, there's no surer thing.
9 Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante
As complicated as complications come, the Rattrapante's dual-handed, split-seconds movement allows one hand to stop and measure an intermediate time while the other ticks on with all the resolve of Chris Froome in le maillot jaune.
10 Omega Spacemaster Z-33
A reimagining of the seventies Pilot Line case, the Spacemaster continues with the Omega is most famous for: space exploration. Quirky design, in-depth functionality, and impressive heritage gives the Z-33 a real chance of becoming an investment piece. The popularity of vintage Omega is on the rise, and pieces like this will rise with it.
11 Tudor Heritage Black Bay S&G
Making the most compelling case for two-tone this side of "Ghost Tow," Tudor has refurbed its justly popular Black Bay in a back-in-fashion dual composition of steel and yellow gold.
12 Breitling Navitimer 806
Breitling's Navitimer has been gracing the wrists of pilots since the mid-20th century, but it's taken until now for early examples to really start becoming collectible. Vintage Rolex is a boat that sailed a long time ago, but vintage Breitling is still ready to be boarded. They're getting ever more popular, though, so don't hang about too long deciding on this one.
13 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin
The Royal Oak's classic silhouette here has all the girth of a wafer-thin mint due to a self-winding movement measuring an extraordinary 3.05mm. View it through the exhibition case back if you don't believe us.
14 Tag Heuer Silverstone
This 'Heuer'-badged limited edition has flown under the radar for a while, and is still something of a bargain, but it won't be that way forever. As the 'Heuer'-badged Monaco limited editions have shown, there is a definite market for reissue vintage, and the Silverstone, with its TV case and leather rally strap, is a prime contender for the next big thing.
15 Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronomètre
The characterful Chronomètre's elegant lined bezel is inspired by Doric columns of ancient Greece—a piece of Hellenic-inspired detail so flawless we fear the British Museum may claim it as its own.
16 Panerai Luminor Marina
It may not be a limited edition, but the PAM00422's reasonable price, in-house movement, and vintage good looks have made it irresistible. If history's anything to go by, desirable Panerais gain value as time ticks along, particularly early examples of new models. Hang on to this one until Panerai decides to stop making it and you should do pretty well.
17 Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook
This updated Sixties icon nods to the Royal Navy explorer who supplied its name via its pivoting anchor logo. Though a diminutive 37mm, the watch's broad hands and bold numerals are as conspicuous as a landmass on the Pacific horizon.
18 Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Chronograph
Watchmaker of watchmakers, Jaeger-LeCoultre has supplied the likes of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin with its movements. This Deep Sea Chronograph is a design revived from the brand's historical archives, and is already generating quite a following. It's not hard to see why—who can resist those striking good looks?
19 Bremont S301/BK
Bremont's Type 300 Supermarines take their name from another feisty little contraption, the Schneider Trophy-winning forebear of the Spitfire fighter. The case shaves 5mm off its predecessor's, the S200, but its vintage visage goes large on good looks.
20 Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller
Nobody quite knew what to make of the Deepsea when it first came out, and low sales have made it a rare beast in relative terms. Large successive RRP rises have already seen early adopters of the big watch cashing in, and there's more expected to come. The Deepsea was a big move for Rolex, and it's the big moves that get collectors' attention further down the line.
21 Tag Heuer Autavia, 42mm
Welcome proof that there's hope for democracy yet, this iteration of the supreme 1966 Autavia was chosen by online users as the model to relaunch when Tag put it to a public vote.
22 Rolex Sky-Dweller
Rolex's most complicated watch for decades, the Sky-Dweller came as something of a surprise when it was announced a few years ago. It's technical ability is sure to see it continue to gain followers, and with it will come appreciation. Rolex are notorious for RRP rises, which will keep the value strong until the Sky-Dweller's eventual replacement.
23 Hermès Slim d'Hermès L'Heure Impatiente
For those punctual to the point of anxiety, the Impatiente offers both an alarm and a 60-minute countdown to that alert, indicated by a single-note chime as graceful as the watch itself.
24 Patek Philippe 5205
The words 'Patek Philippe' and 'complicated' may not be quite enough to restart an economy, but they are certainly good enough to warrant comfortable appreciation. It doesn't have to be this model specifically—take your pick, they're all good. There's nothing quite like having a product of the world's number-one watchmaker residing on your wrist.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.