Do Breitling Watches Hold Their Value? -A Complete Breakdown

A general misconception about luxury watches is that they tend to hold their value really well. In reality, this is only true for a few brands and models. But do Breitling watches hold their value?

Breitling watches tend not to hold their value all that well. Expect a Breitling watch to depreciate between 25% and 35% in the first few years, after which it starts to stabilize. The only exceptions are limited editions or highly sought-after models.

Whether it’s a fashion or luxury watch, watches tend not to be the best at retaining their value, let alone rising in it. However, it is a little more nuanced than that. This article will cover why Breitling watches don’t hold their value that well and how you can use that to your advantage!

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Do Breitling Watches Retain Their Value?

A common misconception about luxury watches is that they hold their value really well. Some even think a luxury watch is almost always a great investment, as they will surely appreciate over time.

However, for 9 out of 10 watches, this isn’t true. Buying a watch is comparable to buying a car. The moment you step out of the store, it has already depreciated significantly.

On average, a watch depreciates about 10% – 20% per year. After three years, this starts to stabilize, but the watch is worth nearly half of its original value by then. Breitling models tend to retain a little more value than that, typically depreciating about 25-35% in total.

But there is an exception. Vintage, limited editions, and highly sought-after watches tend to hold their value, and some even appreciate a lot of time.

Take the Breitling Emergency Orbiter 3, for example. This is a limited edition watch with only 1999 ever made. The watch was made to commemorate the first nonstop round-the-world balloon flight. We have the privilege of owning number 815.

With a total of only 1999 of these watches ever being made, there is a lot of demand for this particular model. The high demand and the low supply drive up the price and value.

Other examples of sought-after Breitling watches are:

  • Breitling Transocean
  • Breitling Navimeter
  • Breitling Colt

While models like the Breitling Emergency Orbiter 3 will most likely appreciate in value, other sought-after models may not. However, compared to more readily available Breitling models, these sought-after models will depreciate slightly less. For example, a Breitling Superocean may depreciate by about 35%, while a Breitling Transocean may only depreciate by 15-20%.

In the end, it mainly comes down to brand recognition and how rare and exclusive the watch itself is. Breitling is the 15th most recognized watch brand in the world. That may not sound all that impressive, but considering the many watch brands in the world, the 15th spot is quite an accomplishment.

Breitling being such a recognizable brand already helps it retain more value than watches from other brands, but the truth is; most watches will not hold their value all that well.

Should I Buy A Used Breitling?

Buying a second-hand Breitling allows you to purchase the watch for a lower price. Breitling watches typically depreciate by about 35% during the first few years, which translates into a 35% discount when bought second-hand.

While buying a brand new Breitling will most likely lead to a loss in value, most used Breitling watches have already gone through that process. If you buy a four-year-old Breitling, it has already gone through most of the depreciation.

With that said, you can use that depreciation to your advantage. By buying a four-year-old Breitling watch, there’s a good chance that you can pick it up for a lower price than the retail price.

Keeping in mind the average 30% depreciation, you essentially get a 30% discount. The popular Breitling Red Gold Premier Automatic 40 that normally goes for about $16.000 will go for about $11.200 on the second-hand market.

The average Breitling costs about $4000 retail, and on the second-hand market, they typically go for about $2800 to $3000.

Are Breitling Watches A Good Investment?

A Breitling watch is typically not a good monetary investment as Breitling watches depreciate about 30% in the first few years. However, as an investment in yourself, a Breitling is an excellent watch that will easily last you a lifetime, making it a good investment.

Any asset that depreciates rapidly over time is not really that good of an investment. After only three years, you would have already lost about 30% in value. And the chance of the value going back up again is slim to none.

There is always the tiny chance that your exact model suddenly appreciates, but at that point, it’s just guesswork. It’s pretty safe to say that a Breitling watch isn’t usually that good of an investment. At least, not if you’re looking to make money.

If you’re looking to invest in yourself, a watch could be an excellent investment. Breitling watches are known for their incredible quality, and when taken care of properly, they will last you a lifetime. In that sense, they are a great investment!

Is Breitling A Luxury Watch Brand?

Breitling is a well-established Swiss luxury watch brand. Their watches contain an in-house movement, are made with high-quality and exotic materials such as gold and platinum, and are all hand-assembled in Switzerland. The Breitling name is synonymous with luxurious watches.

A watch brand isn’t simply a watch brand because they sell their watches for multiple thousands of dollars. Instead, we need to look at the quality of the watch, the materials with which its made, the history behind the watch and the brand, and the movement that powers the watch.

These are all considerations when classing a watch as a luxury watch. For example, the brand must make use of exotic materials like gold. The movement also has to be made in-house. We wrote an extensive article going over all of these factors for Breitling watches, which you can read here.

In short, though, Breitling isn’t shy of using exotic materials. We mentioned the Breitling Red Gold Premier Automatic 40 earlier in the article, and as the name suggests, there’s actual gold used to make the watch. The Breitling Emergency Orbiter 3 is made of titanium, another exotic material.

The movement is also made in-house, the watch face is always covered by a sapphire crystal, and Breitling has a rich history dating back to 1884. It’s safe to say that Breitling ticks all ‘luxury watch requirement’ boxes!


Jasper has always been a fan of watches. But when he took on a project of restoring a nearly 30-year-old timepiece, he was hooked. Throughout the years, he has learned a lot about horology and shared his passion on Watches of Today!

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