Luxury Watches: Investments That Come With Style
Paul Newman was once the most bankable movie star in the world and when his Rolex Daytona Paul Newman - which he is seen wearing in the photograph above - fetched an astronomical £13.7 million at auction in New York late in 2017, it smashed the previous record for a Rolex by some £12 million. The back of the watch was engraved with the legend: DRIVE CAREFULLY ME, a nod to his love of motor racing.
Paul Newman's Rolex
For many people, the huge auction price would seem to indicate that investing in a collectable timepiece is a shrewd strategy. In fact, like a fine watch, it's more complicated than it seems. But there is no doubt there are certain brands, including those to be found at Ogden of Harrogate (see below), that are more likely to hold or even increase their value as the years pass.
Rolex: The value of Rolex watches has remained steady over generations and the buyer of a Rolex can rest assured that their investment will provide a great way in which to safeguard their well-spent money. When they do sell it they will rarely lose part of that initial investment. Below is Ogden's 1952 Gentleman's Rolex Oyster Royal.
1952 Gentleman's Rolex Oyster Royal - stock no. 58-88-274
Omega: This brand has a story that's literally out of this world. The Omega Speedmaster Professional is a model that NASA astronauts have used in every space mission – including the one that saw man put a foot on the moon for the first time. It is no coincidence that the watch is also known as the "moonwatch". We have a sprinkling of stardust in the shape of our classic 1950's Omega Seamaster Automatic below.
1950's Omega Seamaster Automatic - stock no. 58-86-101
Tudor: This brand carries some modern-day stardust, too. David Beckham wears the company's Black Bay Bronze and the Black Bay Chrono. So our 1950's Vintage Tudor Manual Wind example below could help you bend it like Beckham. Should you wish.
1950s vintage Tudor Oyster manual watch - stock no. 58-86-102
Longines: Among the company's high-profile ambassadors is one of the most talented tennis players of his time - Andre Agassi, who mixes style with generosity and elegance through his charity work via The Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. You too can win like an ace with our 1960 Longines Automatic Conquest below.
1960 Longines Automatic Conquest- stock no. 58-86-099
All the above and the other top names Ogden stocks are solid purchases and, kept in tip-top condition, could well mature in value like a fine wine.
However, although the Newman Rolex is a record-breaker, it is nowhere near the most expensive timepieces ever made. A few are so over-the-top they could be described as ludicrous.
Top of that outrageous tree surely is the Graff Diamonds Hallucination below, valued - astonishingly - at around £43 million.
It features 110 carats of diamonds that undoubtedly contribute to its valuation. However, if the stones were sold individually, they would fall well short of the price of the watch of which they are a part. The sheer rarity of the timepiece and its design are the contributing factors to that value.
Graff is also responsible for the Diamonds The Fascination above, which is valued at a more, ahem, "modest", £31 million.
But if star quality is the order of the day, few come with greater cache than the Breguet Grande Complication Marie-Antoinette below at £23.2 million. Alas, the French Queen never got to admire her present, ordered by a mystery admirer. It was only finished in 1827, 34 years after her death.
In a nutshell the guiding principle to purchasing a fine watch would be: Buy a piece that will be an expression of your individual style and taste. If you want a watch that will retain its value then go for a classic with a proven track record such as those Ogden watches above – and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you are the owner of a fine timepiece.
To view all our watches at Ogden of Harrogate visit: https://www.ogdenharrogate.co.uk/pages/watches