Hamilton Khaki

Article By: Logan Hannen

What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to take a look one of the questions that should run through your mind when you go to buy a watch (even if you don’t care): will it hold its value?

Now, let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: the watch market is a bit of a fickle thing. It’s patterns are predictable to a point, but every now and again things just become popular out of nowhere and throw the whole logic of the market off. Different vintage pieces tend to appreciate and depreciate on a regular basis – enough to keep us on our toes. In spite of this, there are a few constants.

The most obvious of these is….wait for it….yup, it’s freaking Rolex. It almost feels like a cop out to say it, but it’s unavoidable: Rolex is known as the “get out of jail” watch for a reason. The brand is a household name, with enough history and status to be recognized by nearly anyone. They’re built with the highest quality of precision, while implementing eye-catching, classic, and versatile designs. What’s more, by managing to keep the number of different model lines pretty small, the brand manages to secure almost every one of these models as an icon, since so much time and effort can be devoted to them in marketing (sorry, Cellini line, but you’re the red-headed step-child of the Rolex family; I still love you, though).

The other major brand that is notorious for value retention is Patek Philippe. In many ways, the logic behind Patek being so good for value retention is much the same as the logic behind Rolex being good for it; they produce a relatively slim number of model lines, since most of the complications fall into a few major categories, in a very limited quantity (compared to, say, Tissot or even Omega), and the quality justifies a higher price. That isn’t to say, of course, that the quality necessarily justifies the price they charge for one of their watches; that isn’t really the point. The point is that they pride themselves on better quality than even Rolex (in regards to movement and complications), and therefore charge more than them. I still wouldn’t pay $20k for a Calatrava, though. Christian and Federico have some particular thoughts about finding value in Patek, though, that are definitely worth checking out.

Anyway, that about does it for us, geeks! Be sure to email us if you have any topics you’d like us to cover in “Watch 101” and, as always, keep it classy, watchfam.