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Watches as Investments.


yokel
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We've had to contend with quite a lot of naïve and callow dreaming on this subject over the last couple of weeks.

Anybody interested should maybe listen to the unusually sage views of young Teddy in the first segment here.

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I was surprised, it seems rather naive.   As do those that think all watches are bad investments and you can't have any idea what might go up.

It's a little like a poker game where there are a range of considerations and if you have sound judgement you can beat the game.   Most people do not have sound judgement, most people are not interested in playing the game either.

I always state myself as somewhat of an inbetweener on this.   I have some idea how to play the game... I don't play it optimally as I don't want a box full of Rolex, I bought one or two secure in the knowledge that future sale would be extremely difficult (IWC for example) but overall even if I liquidated the lot in auction I would likely make a sizable profit (600% increase on the Royal Oak helps... likely to grow further as they restrict sales from ADs so only AP boutiques can sell them in a Rolex style "are you good enough to buy a watch" system.)

Many things have been turned into commodities, I am sure whiskey connoisseurs are likely as appalled by the growing trend of stockpiling for future profit.   In general I don't approve of the "flipping" mentality that buys only to hike the price in a short-term bid for profit.   If however you "buy the best" and enjoy your collection over the mid to long term I am pretty confident you have at least a good shot at beating the kind of growth you would get in a savings account.   You might get better returns from an investment into Cardano but watches needn't mean setting fire to your money.

 

Edited by Daveyboyz
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16 minutes ago, Daveyboyz said:

If however you "buy the best" and enjoy your collection over the mid to long term I am pretty confident you have at least a good shot at beating the kind of growth you would get in a savings account.   

 

No doubt.

In that sentence though you are confirming young Teddy's assertions that making a return requires quite an initial outlay, and that sourcing the next trade might not necessarily be easy (especially if one gets a reputation as a "flipper").

The sort of naïvety we have seen here recently clearly does not want to lay out much capital initially, and neither does it seemingly want to wait long between deals.

As @Bricey said, "where can I find a source of free watches which I can sell for a fortune?".

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Having not been into collecting that long its hard not to notice that watches as investments seem to go hand in hand. Much to my dismay.  As you have said Yokel there seems to have been numerous threads recently asking about this, about what watch to buy and where. If it really was that easy everybody would be doing it.

For me personally I really am not into this aspect of watches at all. But it really does seem to be a large part of watches unfortunately. None of my watches have been bought with future sales prices in mind, I buy watches to wear and enjoy. It doesn't even cross my mind to be honest when looking for a watch what its long term value may be doing. I just buy watches that I like. Plain and simple. 

It seems like there is two aspects to investments that I have noticed. There are those that just want to make money from watches somehow and then there are those that seem to want a free ride. So to buy a watch wear it and then get their money back on it. I mean if you can do either of these things good luck to you but its just not my way of considering watches at all. 

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7 minutes ago, Roxyben said:

Having not been into collecting that long its hard not to notice that watches as investments seem to go hand in hand. Much to my dismay.  As you have said Yokel there seems to have been numerous threads recently asking about this, about what watch to buy and where. If it really was that easy everybody would be doing it.

For me personally I really am not into this aspect of watches at all. But it really does seem to be a large part of watches unfortunately. None of my watches have been bought with future sales prices in mind, I buy watches to wear and enjoy. It doesn't even cross my mind to be honest when looking for a watch what its long term value may be doing. I just buy watches that I like. Plain and simple. 

It seems like there is two aspects to investments that I have noticed. There are those that just want to make money from watches somehow and then there are those that seem to want a free ride. So to buy a watch wear it and then get their money back on it. I mean if you can do either of these things good luck to you but its just not my way of considering watches at all. 

I agree wholeheartedly. I very rarely have sold a watch, and, in my mind, write down to zero the "balance sheet value" of every watch as soon as I've bought it. Peace of mind. And that attitude allows me to buy what I really like (which, being perverse, is not what the average WIS seems to favour).

I can live with, and understand, the "free riders"  --  if you can enjoy your hobby without net cost, then good luck to you. Though such thinking does not encourage unusual choices, which means (IMVHO) that practitioners are missing something  --  but, fine.

The quick buck merchants are AFAIAC not WIS. And IMHO there are better ways to make money. But, each to his own.

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I only post on one watch forum and its this one. What I like about it here is that it seems full of genuine watch enthusiasts as opposed to the investment crowd which is nice.  I have ventured elsewhere on the internet just browsing and its really hard to ignore the investment side of it all. It seems to be a much more discussed topic elsewhere, along with Rolex watches, which I have nothing against! But together its just a boring subject. But I guess we are all into watches for different reasons, but like I say, any discussions to do with money and watches just aren't for me.

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I bought a Rolex Deepsea in 2011, no waiting, no queues, just called up the Wempe store in London and was told one had just arrived and they would put it aside for me. I paid £6300, money that had come from an inheritance.

At the time I had no clue that Rolex was one of the few brands that would go up in value, I just liked the watch and liked the fact that it could go so deep ( not that it ever will ).

It is only in the last few years that I have learnt so much about the Rolex bubble and the high and crazy demand. I guess I could probably sell it for over £8k but to be honest this is doubtful. The only time I consider a sale is when I watch grey dealers on you tube and the way they and their customers talk about Rolex in terms of investments, it comes across as slightly vulgar and business rather than pleasure.

The Rolex is the only watch that is worth more than I paid but it gets treated the same as all my others. To me, it is priceless but there again so is my Timex.

 

 

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I buy a watch to wear, I have no interest in displaying unworn watches or storing them in a safe and worrying about them being stolen.

Over the years, I have also found I do usually end up scratching watches I am wearing, so they would devalue. I also hate selling stuff, so basically I have opted out of this investment malarky.

Good luck to enthusiasts like Daveyboyz who enjoy watches and happen to make a profit.

But the people who only buy to make money just drive up prices and consequently stop real enthusiasts buying their "grail". That does annoy me.

Edited by Duncan U.
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4 minutes ago, AlwaysAlba said:

I bought a Rolex Deepsea in 2011, no waiting, no queues, just called up the Wempe store in London and was told one had just arrived and they would put it aside for me. I paid £6300, money that had come from an inheritance.

I guess things were just a lot more sensible 10 years ago! I wonder what happened to cause all this bubble that we are in now concerning a few select brand of watches.

6 minutes ago, AlwaysAlba said:

At the time I had no clue that Rolex was one of the few brands that would go up in value, I just liked the watch and liked the fact that it could go so deep ( not that it ever will ).

Best way to be in my opinion. You bought a watch you liked. Nothing more, nothing less. Apart from that its cool that it can go so deep!

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I do think this watch forum is mercifully free from many of the commercial aspects prevailing on other sites - there is a nice base of vintage enthusiasts - enthusiastic about old watches just as marvels, not as jewels - and to be honest it is pretty bad form to harp on about the 'value' (monetarily) of a piece. 

This:

15 minutes ago, AlwaysAlba said:

it comes across as slightly vulgar

Of course, we all like to get a bargain now and again, and I don't think there's any harm in wanting to share a bit of good news, which most others on here would appreciate anyway and think 'good work'!  (Provided the next line is not that it will be in sales corner next week, ha ha ha)  But most people posting their watches on here love their watch, rather than love what they paid for it versus what they might hawk it for; and likewise people like that a watch is worn enthusiastically, rather than avariciously.  I remember a Lorus retro chronograph getting as many likes as an Omega mechanical chronometer. 

When we like a watch, we just like 'em, great or small.

Edited by Jet Jetski
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If I liquidated my collection I would probably break even which I suppose isn't bad, helped considerably by owning a Sea Dweller! I also very rarely buy new so I suppose it also helps.

But it is interesting how many people who know nothing about watches think they can make money buying and selling, but then again I come across people who think they can do the same on digital currencies and penny stocks yet know nothing about either market!

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14 minutes ago, Duncan U. said:

no interest in displaying unworn watches

I like doing this, but it runs in the family, my parents have display cases full of china tea cups and tea pots from all over the place as souvenirs of their travels, and when they appeared to think I had more watches than was sensible, I had to point out they didn't need so much unused china lol.  But apart from my book case, and all the maps, they are the only thing in my home, well apart from the canvas prints of photos I took of steam trains, and the last flying Vulcan, they are the only thing in my home that really says who I am, except for all the degree and diploma and institute membership certificates.  And my model railway.  But apart from that, you know, the watches are that bit of my life at the top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  Except that I sometimes neglect the bits lower down, to pursue them.

But my little box of technology from the early part of the 20th century triggers my further internet investigations, my boxes of Russian chronographs and three handers from the latter part are a bit like a stamp collection, and my 'scales of time' box are just interesting movements, from split-seconds stop watch through to a watch with a week pointer, taking a year to sweep the dial - they just express my interest in what makes tracking time such a fundamental part of human nature.  I guess the understanding of those time periods first allowed us to plan with nature in a proactive way, rather than be beholden, and reactive.

The only watches I keep in 'safe places' are the ones I am sentimentally attached to.  I am not really worried about any visitors casing the joint, as I have no friends.  :tumbleweed:

Or valuable watches. :toot:

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I quite liked the dynamic look of the accutron and it's spinning rotor in the opening few minutes of that linked video.

Regarding watch investment there are those who make it their business and presumably turn a profit not just on the three brands mentioned in the video.

Buy low sell high, all those watches from India at a tenner with the reworked dials must be turning a profit for someone.

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52 minutes ago, SolaVeritate said:

 

What a lovely cheerful video.

3 hours ago, yokel said:

We've had to contend with quite a lot of naïve and callow dreaming on this subject over the last couple of weeks.

Anybody interested should maybe listen to the unusually sage views of young Teddy in the first segment here.

Interesting video. I have sold JLC, Rolex, Omega, Breitling watches and lost a lot on all of them but I enjoyed the pleasure of owning all of them until the itch started again. I find watches easy to buy and difficult to sell. 

All my current watches are keepers and I may buy one more in the near future.

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10 minutes ago, chas g said:

What a lovely cheerful video.

Now I am feeling bad about only needing another two Elliot Brown Holton Professionals.

 

And taking nine watches on holiday.

 

NOT!

 

Anyway, nine is a good number, it's like a full set of something, you know, things famously come in nines, like the full nine yards, and, you know, the nine Muses, and whatever, like, nine, erm, Nazgul!

 

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3 hours ago, Jet Jetski said:

The only watches I keep in 'safe places' are the ones I am sentimentally attached to.  I am not really worried about any visitors casing the joint, as I have no friends.  

And if a hoodlum was to break in you could string him up with a 10 ft Nato.

 

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rising prices and the like are making me think that i may head back to my old system of two watches (and dads timex)

one beater (this is a relative term obvi) and one good watch (again relative) ... and dads times which is a keeper but wont get worn as its a rubbish time keeper.

i cant really see any great value in anything much over 2 or 3 grand and nothing particularly sexy below that 

perhaps i am just a bit jaded - certainly having the MM means i have no interest in any further dive watch purchases.

never was a collector - looks like i still am'nt,  ho hum .

 

 

 

 

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You can't ignore the cost or value of watches unless you are pretty wealthy , i have to work quite hard to pay for my watch fix and in the end when i'm running out of cash in retirement i'm sure some will get liquidated so i view them as a thing of beauty with an inherent value along with the other trinkets I have amassed during my life (cars/guitars/guns/motorcycles/tools etc etc) things of beauty but assets too

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18 minutes ago, midnitemo said:

You can't ignore the cost or value of watches unless you are pretty wealthy , i have to work quite hard to pay for my watch fix and in the end when i'm running out of cash in retirement i'm sure some will get liquidated so i view them as a thing of beauty with an inherent value along with the other trinkets I have amassed during my life (cars/guitars/guns/motorcycles/tools etc etc) things of beauty but assets too

No problem  --  same applies to the house. Many people down-size or release equity in their autumn years.

All watches have a value which can be realised if necessary  --  just the same as your cars, guitars, etc.  The point is that you probably didn't buy any of these things with a view to their being appreciating assets. If you need to sell them, you might get lucky on one or two items (even after allowing for inflation), but on most you will take a loss. It's just the cost of enjoying them in the meantime.

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