Are Vintage Watches a Good Investment?

Are Vintage Watches a Good Investment? - Twain Time, Inc.

People earn personal connections through watches that very few other products can match. We use watches every single day. They are functional and make a fashion statement and often have an emotional value that draws in their owners. Those factors coupled are what makes wearing a timepiece such a pleasure.

According to a report by This is Money, collectible old-fashioned/vintage watches are rising in price by around 5 percent each year. Given that interest rates on savings are at an all-time low, vintage watches are a relatively attractive investment.

The timepiece industry has witnessed an increment in the number of investors in recent years. In the year 2017, the Rolex Daytona owned by Paul Newman was sold for 17.75 million dollars, followed by the year 2018, in which a 'Paul Newman' Rolex Daytona Reference 6239 was expected to fetch anywhere from $150,000 - $250,000 at an auction.

Indeed, only a few timepieces will progress dramatically in value as most watches that do not come with an exciting story (it was only the fact that Paul Newman had carried the Daytona that drove the value beyond reason, not the timepiece itself).

Twain Time has its own watch department and is also testimony to the potential for investment in timepieces. In recent times, a Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication was traded for $11 million. In comparison, an 18k Yellow Gold Minute Repeating Wristwatch by Patek Philippe achieved nearly $3 million.

These are, of course, extreme examples. But there are still many well-looked after vintage watches at the lower end of the market that will increase in value without a back story.

Our definition of a Vintage Watch?

There is no strict definition or standard for how old a watch must be considered vintage, but we decided that a watch needs to be between 30 and 100 years of age.

Why buy a Vintage Watch?

For us, vintage watch collectors and aficionados, the answer is simple. Still, it is an exciting subject and may not be so obvious for everyone else.

  • Vintage watches are expensive and rare, especially the ones that are in good condition.
  • Most of the time, Vintage watches have a fascinating story and usually have an actual purpose or historical significance.
  • Vintage watches keep their value and are often appreciated. Therefore, vintage watches tend to be a really healthy asset to have and enjoy.
  • Vintage watches are often collectibles and highly sought after.

How to choose a Vintage Watch to invest in?

Electing an investment watch is not easy and it commonly relies on a specific level of expertise. With a bit of research, it is possible to hone down your choice and hunt down the right investment timepiece.

You must analyze the watch movement and understand the significance of certain materials. Exceptional features and limited editions are more unusual/rarer and also enhances the value.

How does one know what he/she wants?

The luxury watch market is a prominent place, with endless possibilities to suit all tastes and budgets. There prevails a strong community of informed collectors and some excellent online resources to assist you in learning and purchasing that treasured timepiece. But, it's easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices, so ask yourself what's important to you: is it budget? How does the timepiece look? What will be its worth after 10 years? By learning what drives you, you can commence to narrow down your options.

Vintage Watch Buying Dos and Don'ts


"Buy a watch with complexities if you do not have pretty much thick pockets," says Twain Time trusted partners. "Usually, these types of watches are costly when you go out for their servicing or even a minor fix. Also, give very close attentiveness to the dial. Movements of the watch can be fixed, but a damaged or stained dial is often a write-off."

Research the seller, checking third-party online reviews, such as TrustPilot and getting feedback from forums, to reassure you that the seller is honest and genuine.

Read everything you can concerning the watch that you desire to buy. Like Rolex Submariner or Omega Speedmaster, many styles have such model-specific historical details as different hand styles or dial materials. Only and only through researching will you grasp if they have been changed at some point in its past or not.


"Purchase a piece of complications if you do not own pretty thick pockets," says Twain Time trusted partners. "Most of the time, these are expensive when you go for servicing or even a minor fix. Also, give very close attentiveness to the dial. Movements of the watch can be fixed, but a damaged or stained dial is often a write-off."

Be afraid to ask questions, particularly when purchasing from specialist auction houses. One should read all the provided information to reveal them," says Twain Time trusted partners.

Always expect boxes and papers. Although they help reinforce a watch's value and  are a must for those buying an essential reference as an investment, they will not come with every watch. Something from nearly 50 years ago will invariably not have these, which doesn't make it dodgy. Still, if there is a box, assure it's the correct one or at least from the corresponding period in the label's history.

Why are Vintage Watches so popular?

Like any other kind of investment, it is pretty much necessary to recognize that the value of vintage timepieces can go up and down at any point in time. Nevertheless, with record numbers competing in the vintage watch auctions, this is definitely a sector where customers are willing to dive in. There are several reasons for that.

Firstly, a thoughtfully picked vintage timepiece advances the prospect of a pretty good return on investment as long as you are ready to bide your time. With thorough research and the guidance of an accomplished vintage watch specialist, homing in on a timepiece that is likely to at least hold and positively increase – its value is an achievable goal. Through a time of economic uncertainty, physical assets like a watch serve as a comparatively dependable investment.

What is more, stock shortages in the brand-new watch market are proposing a high demand for vintage. Any extreme Rolex fan, for instance, will regret the ongoing curtailment of newly crafted steel timepieces. Yet steel and steel/gold designs are growing popular (notably amongst females seeking oversized watches). When this kind of gap emerges, the vintage market is waiting to fill it and customers are interested in buying.

Vintage watches, though, are about more than demand and profit. When you buy a vintage watch, you purchase a story and a commodity. In a world awash with new technology, nothing compares to the pleasure of owning a piece of true craftsmanship, designed to last and infused with nostalgia.

A vintage timepiece is a profoundly personal purchase, not just for its style or quality, but for the story behind the watch. It is no surprise that so many timepiece collectors seek comfort in a business with such emotive connections during a global crisis.

5 tips for choosing the right Vintage Watch

Specifically, because the business is so ripe, one should always adhere to some fundamental principles when you venture into vintage. Below are some primary points to get you started.

#1 Simplicity holds its value: 

If your purchase is investment-led, choose a classic model that highlights fine watchmaking traditions without too many whistles and bells. Diamonds, gemstones, and whacky designs go in and out of fashion quickly. Craftsmanship and timeless aesthetics are always famous. So, if your intention is a degree of economic certainty, go classic.

#2 Sound advice is key: 

Notably, as the universe of watches shifts online, it is pretty easy to be attracted by the prospect of a quick investment based on a photograph. We would never advise this. The cosmos of watches is full of tricks, so turn to a very trusted vintage watch dealer like Twain Time who can guide you personally. A reliable specialist of ours will be happy to take the time to address your queries and will help you to know a good model that's ideal for you.

#3 Think about security: 

When a personal collection is not possible, you need to consider how you will pay for your watch, how it will reach you and where you plan to keep it. Discuss these issues with your dealer and your insurance company, which is likely to attach security conditions to any policy you take out on the watch (and you certainly should be doing just that).

#4 Factor in maintenance: 

Vintage watches demand regular servicing. During the coronavirus pandemic, service centers will mostly be closed. So, be open to the watch state when you purchase it. Has it been serviced before sale? When is its next service due and what is the likely cost? Does your dealer offer an official service center? Are they able to accept and service your watch by courier? Answering these questions at the start will ensure that you have a realistic plan to protect your investment.

#5 Investigate its source: 

A watch with a strong history can command excellent prices. Granted, the chances of stumbling across such an iconic one-off are incredibly slim for most of us. But providential accessories such as the primary case, authentication record and any notable history data help choose a vintage timepiece.

Overall, it's essential to have realistic expectations when you are looking to invest in watches. Be ready to spend money and a lot of time familiarizing yourself with the different labels, watches and their exciting stories. Securing a smart investment means obtaining a great watch that will indeed retain its value (if you decide to sell it one day) while enjoying it for yourself for years to come.


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