Panerai is a respected watch brand with high-end timepieces. But with such a high price tag, a common question you may have is whether or not a Panerai watch will hold its value.
A Panerai watch tends not to hold its value all that well. Typically, they depreciate by 35% in the first year, followed by a 1-2% yearly depreciation after that. After about three years, the watch tends to stabilize, meaning the watch lost about 40% or so of its original value.
Of course, there are also some exceptions to this rule. In this article, we’ll cover exactly why most Panerai watches tend to lose value, as well as why some tend to increase in value!
Do Panerai Watches Hold Their Value?
A common misconception about luxurious (read: expensive) watches is that most people are sure that they will hold their value over time. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Aside from a few super high-end watch brands like Rolex or Patek Phillipe, most watches, even luxury watches, will depreciate over time.
It’s almost the exact same situation as with a brand new car. The moment you walk out of the dealership, your watch has already depreciated.
Unfortunately, the good reputation and overall high quality of Panerai doesn’t do much for value retention either. Some brands are naturally favored (think Rolex, for example), but for most brands, no matter how luxurious or how good of a name the brand has, odds are the value of their watches will go down.
Despite Panerai producing excellent timepieces, you should expect it to lose about half of its original value after only a couple of years. But in all honesty, you should probably buy a watch because you like it, not because it can potentially increase in value.
But why do Panerai watches lose their value?
Well, for a watch to either increase or decrease in value, there needs to be a demand for it. The price will naturally decrease if there’s no demand for a certain product.
Now, it’s not that there’s no demand for Panerai watches. But with Panerai’s design choices, there is less of it.
Panerai watches sport large dials, going as large as 47mm. This is much larger than most other brands, and it’s not something that everyone likes. This lowers the demand, which in turn, lowers the watch’s value.
This is just one reason, of course, others being the popularity of the brand, the confusing rules and workings of the law of supply and demand, or the fact that Panerai is a relative newcomer in the world of watches for the general public.
One thing that Panerai does have going for itself is the fact that there are only 45.000 – 60.000 Panerai watches produced every year.
This is not a lot (compared to the million watches Rolex produces each year, for example), and the lower supply definitely makes helps the watch not depreciate even more.
A Few Examples Of Value Differences For Some Panerai Watch Models
To paint an even clearer picture, let’s take a look at the value depreciation of several Panerai models.
Take the Panerai PAM 183, for example. This watch is sold brand-new for around $4500. The watch was released sometime in 2004, but only seven years later, the watch’s value dropped down to $3400.
Fast forward a few more years, and the prices vary slightly.
Some are listed at as low as $3000, while some models have risen back up to $4000. And that’s an important thing to note.
Even though most watches tend to appreciate for the first few years, they do steadily (and I mean very steadily) go up in value again. Think of a 1-2% appreciation per year (this isn’t a guarantee, by the way).
Similarly, the Panerai PAM 270 is also now listed for 30% less than its MSRP (the suggested retail price).
On the other hand, there are a few Panerai watches that have gone up in value over time. These are the vintage Panerai watches (in other words, watches that have been around for a long time!).
Take the Panerai Reference 6154, for example. When it was first released, this watch could be picked up for about $2000. But in 2009, the watch was sold for as high as $145.000! Or the Luminor 6152-1. Only 33 of these have ever been made, and they currently sell for as high as $200.000!
Keep in mind, though, that these are just a select few. The vast majority of Panerai watches will never see such a surge in value.
The Materials Used To Make The Watches Also Hold Value
One of the things that keep watches from going down to a value of zero dollars is the materials the watch is made of. High-end watch brands like Panerai are known for including precious metals like gold, titanium, or diamonds within their designs, and these materials hold an intrinsic value.
Let’s take gold, for example. Gold has its own value (you can even look up the current value of gold right now), so if a watch is made with, say, 50 grams of actual gold, the watch simply cannot dip below the value of that 50 grams of gold.
The same goes for materials like titanium, diamonds, or other precious metals.
The inclusion of these materials is almost like a safety net; no matter how low the value of the watch will drop, it can never go lower than the intrinsic value of its materials.
Should I Buy A Panerai Watch Second Hand?
Since Panerai watches tend to depreciate over time, buying one second-hand can save you a lot of money. The average Panerai watch depreciates by about 40% or so. Buying one second-hand essentially means you get a 40% discount.
A quick search on any second-hand marketplace will show that Panerai watches can be bought for much cheaper than they are listed for in stores. Buying a Panerai watch second-hand is a fantastic way to save a lot of money but still get your hands on that desired timepiece.
However, you should always be wary when buying such a timepiece second-hand. Panerai watches aren’t as popular to counterfeit as something like Rolex, but there most definitely are fake Panerai watches out there/
Here are a few tips that can help you discover whether the watch you’re about to buy is authentic:
- Always check the serial numbers.
- Ask for papers and documentation.
- Unprofessional finish (think of things like a dirty dial, grammar mistakes, or traces of glue).
- The crown protector is lacking.
- Check the casing size. Panerai watches are bulkier watches (typically between 40mm and 47mm), and counterfeit pieces typically miss the actual size by 1mm – 1.5mm.
- If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
As a last measure, you can also send your watch to an official Panerai shop and have them authenticate it for you.
Is A Panerai Watch A Good Investment?
Since Panerai watches tend to lose about 40% of their value, they don’t make good monetary investments. However, a Panerai watch is an excellent investment in yourself, as their watches are high-quality and reliable.
Any item that consistently loses value over time is not a worthwhile investment. Since Panerai watches tend to lose about half of their value, it’s easy to see why they are not that good of a monetary investment.
However, a Panerai watch is an excellent investment in yourself. If you’re looking for a sturdy, accurate, reliable, and high-quality watch, a Panerai watch will