Are Rolex Watches an Investment?
Should we view watches as investments? This is a highly debated and often polarizing question that has become even more of a hot topic in 2021. For this article we interviewed 5 individuals, all watch collectors and all from different walks of life. To enhance the topic even further, two of the interviewees have established careers in finance. The round table group includes male and female perspectives with ages ranging from 24-57. Enjoy our round table discussion of this hot topic, and please let us know your opinion in the comments!
Perspective #1: Experienced Collector/CEO
When it comes to watches, I do not think watches are a financial investment. I say this as we see secondhand Rolex watches soaring to new heights on eBay, sales forums, and Chrono24, but the real question is why do I feel watches are not an investment? Is it because watches show little to no characteristic to actual investments in my eyes.
To give some background on myself, I have been a watch collector for ten years. In that period, I used to lust over every little detail on a watch. I literally fell in love with the design, the way it fit on my wrist and of course the cache of the brand. I collected watches because I love them, not because I cared about selling them. In actuality I do not sell many, if any of my watches. My collection is not a portfolio, it is an extension of my passion.
These watches are cherished, life long extensions of our experiences. I have a story or a strong memory attached to each watch I buy. I do not have that same experience with my Bitcoin portfolio or my IRA. My retirement and personal investments bring me money either now or in the future. My watch collection brings me joy from the experience of wearing it all the time. The price of the watch really doesn’t matter. My Rolex Submariner gives me the same amount of joy as the least expensive watch that sells for 50% of its retail value on the second hand market.
In conclusion, watches are a tool to bring you joy, not a return on your money. They may go up and down in value but there is no way to predict it. There will always be hard to acquire watches that will sell for over MSRP. But if one of those lands in your lap at MSRP, selling it would be like selling your first born...it is not gonna happen.
Perspective #2: Female Newbie Collector/Marketing Specialist
I don’t necessarily feel that watches are investments in the sense that you should purchase them with that intent. I do however feel that Rolex watches are a very safe indulgence because if you were to ever get in a bind, you could sell your watch easily and get your money back. Most items lose value the second you buy them, wear them, or use them, but Rolex watches seem to be an exception to that rule. Most Rolex watches maintain or increase in value over time.
If you were going to take a risk and make an extravagant purchase, a Rolex watch feels like the safest choice and is something I feel like I would never regret down the line. If it came down to me having to choose between an $8,000 stainless steel Rolex or a new $8,000 Chanel handbag, both would give me happiness in life, but purchasing the Rolex would feel less risky, and a more safe indulgence.
Perspective #3: Newbie Watch Collector/Junior Financial Analyst
I think that yes, watches are, in fact, an investment. It’s really a numbers game. The current inflation of Rolex watches is certainly beating the current valuation of index funds, and you can’t argue with that. I’d say that Rolex watches are a short-term investment rather than a long-term or 30 year investment, however in the short term you can buy and sell Rolex watches to make a profit. Maybe the profits are relatively small, but if you have the volume and the reach and more importantly the time, you can make decent money treating Rolex watches as an investment. I do think though that if you were to treat Rolex watches as an investment, now is the time to sell because I do believe we will see the extreme demand and high prices plateau very soon. Just my two cents.
Perspective #4: Watch Collector/Financial Advisor
Are watches investments? Fundamentally no, but certainly past performance indicates that they can serve as an investment. I would just put them way out there on the risk/reward curve. For example, I bought a Daytona for 10k that has almost tripled in value today, however I wouldn’t invest my daughter’s college education in it. I always say that past performance is not a guarantee of future results. However purchasing a Rolex is way more fun than a money market. And even if your Rolex does lose value, it can still bring you joy and satisfaction on a daily basis.
Perspective #5: Experienced Watch Collector/Fashion Brand Designer
If you want my real and truthful answer, it’s no. Watches should be enjoyed purely as objects that enrich our lives. I believe there are more fruitful ways to invest your money, such as index funds for example. Personally, I feel that we shouldn’t treat any material objects too preciously. Life is short and treating watches as an investment just doesn’t feel right to me. Buying and selling watches feels like a hustle that consumes a great deal of precious time. One should focus on enjoying the watch collecting hobby on a personal level and choose to invest more wisely in other areas. That being said, I don’t judge anyone for what they want to do with their life and their money. We all experience life differently and people should just do what feels right for them.
@ilikerolexes Everest Watch Roll
So there you have it. Which perspective do you jive with the most? Or, maybe you have a completely different take. Let us know!
For another fun read, we once imagined what it would be like if Rolex watches were investment bankers on Wall Street... enjoy :)