When we consider investments, our thoughts often turn to bricks and mortar. Yet the complications that come with property investment may present more risk than is immediately apparent. The really clever money is placed on investments that can stand the test of time, weather turbulent economies and also bring some happiness.
Patek Philippe watches currently represent some of the best investment opportunities around. Based in Geneva, with a clear focus on pushing the boundaries of chronology, Patek Philippe build their watches to last through generations. Their superlative levels of engineering excellence and design are commanding auction prices that are, quite frankly, out of this world.
Patek Philippe’s innovative approach to the development of their watches has resulted in some mind-blowing auction success, with a 1518 model recently achieving £9 million. The 1518 isn’t dripping with diamonds, nor does it boast an elegant, intricate strap. What makes it stand out is that it was made from stainless steel in 1943, some three decades before Patek Philippe fully committed to working with the material. With only four of these particular watches ever made, the 1518 captures a moment in time when the Swiss watch brand was driving innovation and demanding more of themselves. Patek Philippe has retained the crown for highest price at auction, with another watch previously securing a price of £5.8 million at auction in Geneva.
Is it such a surprise that watches make such outstanding investments? The Patek Philippe brand itself pre-dates the turmoils of Europe in the last century. Ironically born from a displaced Polish soldier’s journey across Europe in the 1830’s and 40’s, Patek Philippe weathered two World Wars and the subsequent Cold War; excelling despite the long shadow of the Iron Curtain. Indeed, while European war raged around Switzerland in 1943, Patek Philippe was developing the 1518 watch that recently fetched £9 million at auction. If a timepiece brand can triumph over adversity to this degree, it surely has to be a given that Brexit won’t trouble the brand’s stock unnecessarily.
The facts surrounding Patek Philippe’s success at auction houses are not hard to find; neither are they a recent phenomenon. Finding recurring auction success in the brand’s home city of Geneva, the 1933 Patek Philippe Supercomplication pocket watch broke previous records when it sold for US$24 million in 2014. Patek Philippe’s record speaks for itself, but could investing in a Patek Philippe futureproof your portfolio? We won’t make promises – nor should you seek any. However if you’re looking for a robust and reliable signpost, reach for the latest Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index. The outlook is very good for those who have already invested, and those who are seriously considering investing in, a prestige watch. The watch market has increased around 168 percent over the last 10 years.
If you’re looking to buy or pawn a luxury watch with a London Pawnbroker, get in touch with Suttons and Robertsons.