In recent years, we have noticed a tremendous spike in the prices of precious metals. Gold hitting a record high over $1,800 an ounce created a feeding frenzy of epic proportions and nearly everyone from pawn shops to jewelry repair centers got in on the action by seeking “scrap” gold. Diamonds as well hit a peak in late 2008, subsequently fell down, and have since risen back from out of the ashes. There is however, one investment that has stood the test of market peaks and valleys…high grade watches.
When one hears the term “high grade” in relation to watches, many different brands may come to mind…probably the most common being Rolex. While the vintage Rolex market has indeed remained strong, one brand stands out above all the rest: Patek Philippe. If you look to see what watches have set record highs in auctions such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Antiquorum again one name stands out: Patek Philippe watches.
It is common for Patek Philippe watches to fetch well over a million dollars at auction. In November of 1999, a yelow gold split seconds chronograph from the 1920s brought an astonishing $1.92 million which was the highest price ever paid at an auction for a wristwatch and it was Patek Philippe. As another example, a steel Patek Philippe perpetual chronograph (ref. 1518) which retailed for CHF 2,465 in 1948, realized a price of $814,490 at auction in October of 2000. Patek Philippe is one of Geneva’s oldest watch companies being founded in the 1800s and is still run today by the 3rd and 4th generation of the Stern family. With over 70 patents to it’s credit; Patek Philippe designs, produces, and assembles what many experts agree to be the finest watches in the world.
None of this has escaped the attention of collectors and connoisseurs the world over. Patek Philippe watches are by far the most in demand watches there are and hence have become a very sound investment. Some series from Patek Philippe like Patek Philippe Annual Calendar, Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar and Patek Philippe Calatrava have become a synonym of class and luxury and are sought after by prominent personalities around the world. People who visit deBoulle are often shocked by the value that their watches hold over the years. It is always a delight to be able to tell someone that their treasured timepiece has appreciated, especially some which are not even a few years old. I would encourage all of those looking to make a sound investment to consider Patek Philippe watches, for unlike precious metals, stock, and bonds…this is an investment that you can enjoy daily and pass along to the next generation to enjoy for years to come.