Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Collecting Patek Philippe and Other Luxury Watches? Here’s What You Need to Know

Luxury watches from brands such as Patek Philippe, Omega, and Breguet are not inexpensive. The process of buying one can take weeks, or sometimes even months, because of the planning that goes into making a purchase of one. If you’re planning to collect timepieces from Patek Philippe or other luxury brands, here are some tips to get you started:

1. When in search of contemporary watches, look for those with complicated models in limited production numbers. Watchmakers such as Patek Philippe are known for pioneering a number of innovations such as the perpetual calendar, split-second hands, and the chronograph. Breguet made their mark with the tourbillon movement and A. Lange & Söhne is known for producing the first timepiece with a wearable 31-day power reserve, while Omega was the first to successfully incorporate the co-axial escapement.
2. Just like jewelry, vintage watches are scarce, which makes them that much more expensive and worth the investment. Patek Philippe and Rolex watches are known to increase in value as time passes. Patek Philippe luxury watches have long been worn by royalty and political leaders, and have consequently become a status symbol for most watch collectors. Among the most popular timepieces are the Annual Calendar Chronograph, Calatrava, Nautilus, and Aquanaut.
3. According to Michael Ashton, a Patek Philippe and Rolex specialist, Patek Philippe timepieces from the 1940s and 1950s are good investments because, ironically, they weren’t popular during that time and thus had very limited production runs. For example, the 1943 J Chronograph features a hand sewn Patek Philippe crocodile and engravings on the crown.
4. Keep all paperwork, especially the original documentation of your luxury watch. Accessories should be intact and well taken care of. Replacing or restoring them will bring down the value of your watch.
5. Buy what your heart wants and not what the fashion world dictates. Because these luxury watches are expensive, it’s best to check out what’s available and choose what kind of movement and brand best fits your style, personality, and lifestyle. For men, watches are just one of the two or three accessories worn on a daily basis, so they should be the perfect one for you.

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