Are Designer Watches Worth the Price?

A designer watch seems to be the aspiration for many. Something that captures the attention of those that pass you by on the street and something that stands the test of time (no pun intended) and is built to last. Today we’ll be answering the question of whether or not designer watches are really worth their price. We’ll discuss several elements of what makes a great watch and decide whether or not its designer element is what separates it from the crowd. Let’s take a look. 

Style & Design

One of the first things you will be considering when purchasing any watch, designer or not, is whether or not it has that wow factor in terms of style. Of course, trends come and go, for example, the oversized watch trend; there are certain things that designer watches tend to deliver. While your basic watch might have some similar style elements to its designer counterpart – i.e. a metal strap or two-tone effect, there’s something intricate about a designer purpose that oozes sophistication. One might overlook the small details such as the dial, hands, and chronograph details; even the glisten of the watch face or its casing. Some designer watches have a signature look that’s recognizable anywhere. Take for example Vacheron Constantin who creates “openworked” designs on some of their more popular models. 

Build Quality 

Luxury watches are designed to last and are built from the finest and most robust materials that the brands can source. When built correctly they’re not only designed to last your lifetime but for generations to come. 

Designer watches usually take weeks, if not months to be crafted to the precision required and this is just one thing you can’t get from mass-produced goods. In certain circumstances, the watches might be built with such precision that it can take as many as three years to achieve the desired outcome; that’s some dedication and of course, it comes at a price. Some of the most highly sought after watch brands in the world make incredibly limited numbers of certain models. Often less than 100, but sometimes as little as thirteen, like the Patek Philippe reference 1518 with pink gold case and dial.

Movement 

A watch’s movement is one of the key pieces of how well it works and there are usually three types of watch movements to choose from; mechanical, quartz and automatic. Usually, designer watches have a mechanical movement although some, like the Cartier Tank Solo, have a quartz movement. Quartz movements are commonplace on cheaper watches but they are usually more accurate at timekeeping than mechanical and automatic watches. So why do most luxury watches have a mechanical movement? Simply put, they’re longer-lasting and don’t require a battery. Some are even powered by the perpetual motions of your arm during your day to day activities. 

Investment Considerations 

If you’re new to luxury watches you might not be aware that many designer watches can actually be a great long term (and sometimes short term) investment. Many collectors even make buying and selling designer watches their full-time career. So, if you purchase a designer watch, you might be able to sell it for a profit at a later date. If you ever get the option to purchase highly sought after designer watches like the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona or Audemars Piguet [Re]Master 01, you should invest. Watches like these only go up in value over time. Even getting any Rolex Submariner nowadays is somewhat of a triumph, even if it’s a limited edition. Additionally, it can still make you a great profit. For example, when the “Hulk” model of the infamous Rolex Submariner was discontinued in 2020 in time for its Submariner collection overhaul, its value shot up.

Overall Feel 

Finally, we wanted to discuss the overall feel of designer watches and this just doesn’t mean the look of it, it’s also about how you feel when wearing one and you can’t really put a price on that feeling. Based on this and the points we discussed above, we’re firm believers that buying a designer watch is 100% worth it.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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