Thinking of investing in high-end watches? Look to brands known for their artisanship, or innovation.
That's the advice of Tariq Malik, the co-founder of Momentum, a luxury vintage watch store in Dubai.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Malik stresses that buyers should be concentrating on companies such as Patek Philippe, Rolex and Cartier, three makes known for both their pioneering techniques and the quality of their timepieces.
"Rolex, for example, carved a reputation for tool watches; watches engineered and designed for professionals, such as divers (Submariner), pilots (GMT) and adventurers (Explorer I)," Malik states.
These brands are among some of the most formidable on the auction scene, especially those specific watches that broke the mould. Indeed, the first grand complication Patek Philippe ever produced, in 1898, sold for $2.3m in June.
As with all areas of collecting, rarity is a key consideration. Malik cites Patek Philippe's stainless steel examples from the 1940 and 1950s, which were produced in low numbers due to their lack of popularity at the time, as a possible option. These days, they are in high demand.
Famous previous owners can also add significant value to a watch, Malik states. A rare 1960 Omega black dial constellation calendar watch, once owned and worn by Elvis Presley, sold for $52,500 in June.
At Paul Fraser Collectibles we have noticed the changing spending habits of high net worth individuals also influencing this sector. Barclays' 2012 Wealth Insights report revealed that 70% of the world's wealthy individuals now own precious jewellery, including watches. That's up from 57% in 2007. This increased demand is boosting competition for the best pieces, and with it, prices.
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