Luxury watches can be incredibly expensive. And although they look great and work fantastically, are they actually worth purchasing?
Luxury watches are worth it. Compared to cheaper and mass-produced alternatives, luxury watches are more precise, made with better materials, have more complications, and hold their value. Luxury watches are an asset, while cheap watches are consumer goods.
Speaking purely from a quality point-of-view, these watches are worth it. But whether or not they’re worth it comes down to you.
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Is A Luxury Watch Worth It?
Luxury watches are items of status and prestige. These watches are of incredible quality, look amazing, and are priced so that they can’t be affordable by everyone.
In fact, some luxury watches are priced so high that you might start to wonder if they’re even worth it anymore.
A few hundred thousand dollars for a watch might seem ridiculous, but for some, it’s yet another addition to their collection.
But when you start to look closely, you might find that a luxury watch might not be so ridiculous after all.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a lot of money, and if you don’t think a watch is worth that, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But some factors justify the high price tags of luxury watches.
A feeling of accomplishment
You’ll often find someone purchasing a luxury watch for the prestigious feeling. After all, purchasing such a luxury timepiece is quite an accomplishment.
Watches from brands such as Rolex or Patek Philippe have even become symbols of financial success in life.
With the purchase of such a luxurious timepiece, you don’t only purchase the watch itself. You also purchase a certain lifestyle, and this lifestyle makes the price more than justified for many.
High-end materials and manufacturing process
Aside from the feeling of luxury and success, a luxury watch is also handmade by only the best watchmakers.
This is done with extremely high-quality, exotic, and luxurious materials. And the attention to detail in these luxury watches is unrivaled.
You could imagine that making a watch out of yellow gold or titanium will be more expensive than making a watch out of stainless steel. And this difference will be reflected in the price.
But what it ultimately comes down to is this:
A luxury watch is made with high-end materials. Everything is assembled by only the best watchmakers. And together, they form a luxurious and high-quality product.
Of course, the price of a luxury watch is not something we all can afford. Nor is it something we all think is worth it.
And that’s the beauty behind luxury timepieces.
Some see it as a symbol of success. And others see it as a subtle brag.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how good the quality is if you don’t think the watch is worth it. Nor does it matter it’s handmade by experts.
But for those who appreciate the art of horology, these are all benefits to an already fantastic timepiece.
And they make the watch worth it even more.
Comparing A Luxury Watch To A Cheaper Watch
The best way to paint this picture is to compare luxury watches to more affordable watches.
Let’s take a Seiko Presage, a Daniel Wellington Iconic Link, and a Rolex Day Date.
These 3 watches represent the main 3 watch sectors; fashion watches, watchmakers, and luxury watch brands.
Daniel Wellington is a fashion watch brand. Seiko is a respected watchmaker. And Rolex is a well-known luxury watch brand.
The Daniel Wellington Iconic Link is the most affordable of the three, but still a great-looking watch.
However, this is where the positives end.
See, Daniel Wellington watches aren’t of that great quality. They tend to wear down quickly and are fragile but generally function well enough.
The brand just didn’t focus on making quality timepieces.
As for the DW Iconic Link, this is a golden watch. However, it’s not actual gold. Instead, the top is coated with a mixture of gold and copper, painted over a yellow-colored base material.
The watch’s face is covered by mineral glass—an okay material, but not the best option there is.
Lastly, Daniel Wellington watches are sourced from cheap countries like China. Here, they’re made in bulk with little control over the quality.
As for Seiko Presage watches, this is already an incredible step up.
Seiko is an extremely popular watch brand, and for good reason. They’re an actual watchmaker.
So not only do you get a good-looking watch, but also one that’s of high quality.
As for the Seiko watch, you’ll get a high-quality stainless steel timepiece. The watch’s face is covered by mineral glass, although being of higher quality than the Daniel Wellington one.
A Seiko watch is also typically made in bulk. However, the difference between them and Daniel Wellington is that Seiko’s are made in-house.
Seiko is a huge watchmaker. And they have all the facilities to make their watches in-house.
While still produced in bulk, the quality control standards are much higher.
But the true differences become apparent when we look at the Rolex Day Date.
A Day-Date is made with actual gold, and it’s all hand-assembled by Swiss watchmaking experts.
The face is covered by a sapphire crystal, which is undoubtedly the best material for the job.
Just to paint a picture of how good this material is, it’s so scratch-resistant that it can only be scratched by diamonds.
The materials of a Day Date are of much higher quality.
However, with higher quality often comes a higher price as well.
It’s often said that a watch will last a lifetime, and with these high-end luxury watches, that’s definitely the case!
How Much Should You Spend On A Luxury Watch?
How much money you should spend on a luxury watch really comes down to how much money you have. You should never get yourself into debt or a bad financial situation purely because you want a luxury watch.
You should always use your money wisely, but you should also be able to live a little.
As a general rule of thumb, you should always save a good portion of your money for emergencies and retirement. Ideally, you would also invest a good amount of your money. What’s left could be spent on whatever you want.
You should spend around 20-30% of your monthly income on wants. Wants include luxury watches, so what you can afford will depend on how much you make and how long you save for the watch.
For some, this will mean a beautiful Rolex Oyster Perpetual, an entry-level Rolex. For others, this can mean a $100.000+ Richard Mille.
It’s important not to compare yourself with others too much.
The grass will always be greener on the other side, but that doesn’t mean your grass isn’t beautiful as well.
I always like to rephrase that saying into: The grass is always greener where you water it.
But here’s a quick example of what this 30% budget may look like.
The median household income in the United States is $43.585 a year.
If we take 30% off that, we’re left with $13.075,50.
This is what you COULD spend on a luxury watch if you really wanted.
Of course, you can always go a little higher or lower as well.
$13.075,50 is enough to get yourself a beautiful watch, but at the cost of your whole ‘wants’ budget. And chances are, you might not even be able to save 30% of your income for ‘wants’.
It will probably take you 2, maybe 3 years, or more, to save up for a luxury watch. And even then, is a $13.000 watch a responsible choice if you have to save up for multiple years?
Now you’ll probably understand why these are luxury watches and why people buy them as a sign of financial success.
Can A Luxury Watch Be Too Expensive?
When you see some of the prices of luxury watches, you wonder if they’ve ever even been sold. Some of the watches can go well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there are even watches costing more than a million dollars!
A Rolex Day Date will cost you around $40.000 and Audemars Piguet around $50.000. Believe it or not, these are actually modest numbers in the world of luxury watches.
The average Richard Mille will cost you $140.000 per watch, and a Jacob & Co. watch can be around $500.000 per watch! Who even buys these?
These really are watches only bought by multi-millionaires or even billionaires. A watch that costs half a million is almost as much money as the average American makes in 11 years. And that’s if that person never spends a single penny.
These are simply not affordable for the vast majority of the population.
But even a watch that you can afford can be too expensive. It all comes down to your financial situation.
Any luxury watch is too expensive if you don’t have a savings account.
And if you make $30.000 a year, a watch with a $20.000 price tag is probably too much.
You don’t want to bring yourself into a financially unstable situation purely because of a luxury watch. This might seem like common sense to you.
Still, you’d be surprised how many people buy these watches but can’t actually afford them (there’s a big difference between being able to buy something and actually being able to afford something!).
How To Determine The Right Type Of Luxury Watch For You
The most critical factor in finding a luxury watch that suits you is its appearance.
You really want to fall in love with a luxury watch. Otherwise, you should probably look into other options.
1. Set A Budget
Before looking for your favorite watch, you should probably set a budget. This way, you won’t get disappointed if your favorite watch is way too expensive.
Set yourself a reasonable limit. As I said, it’s not worth going into debt over.
A reasonable limit should fall under that 30% of the money allocated to wants.
Now, of course, you don’t want to only be able to purchase a watch that year. There are many other fun things to do in life. So you should probably just take a portion of that 30% and use that for your luxury watch.
Also, now that you have your budget, remember that you don’t have to spend all that money. If you find a watch you love that costs you half of your budget, then there’s no reason to look for a more expensive one.
2. Find Your Luxury Watch Brand
Once you’ve set your budget, it’s time to start browsing the internet. Are you interested in one particular brand, or are your options open to any of them?
Luckily, there are an absurd number of luxury watch brands, all with different collections, looks, complications, etc. There’s more than enough to choose from.
If your budget is higher, you can look at brands like Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, or A. Lange & Söhne.
And if, on the off chance, you are a multi-millionaire, you can also look at brands like Richard Mille or Jacob & Co..
3. Find Your Luxury Watch
When it comes to luxury watches, the options are endless. You can choose between watches with a steel/silver look, a gold look, a rose gold look, or watches with a leather strap instead of the metal bracelet.
There are also many more colored variations as well. Think of the Rolex Hulk, a watch with green accents, or the newly released Rolex Oyster Perpetual collection with bright yellow, blue, and red faces.
Or maybe you want a watch with a bracelet that intertwines gold and silver.
And are you looking for something clean and simple or something loud and extravagant? Some luxury watch brands offer highly unique-looking watches, and others provide more toned-down, but equally stunning watches.
Once you’ve found a watch you absolutely love, it’s time to purchase it. Maybe you can’t purchase it yet. You now have got something to look out for.
Or maybe save the purchase of this luxury watch for a certain milestone in your life! The choice is yours!
Do Luxury Watches Hold Their Value
Now that you’ve paid a hefty price for a quality luxury watch, you might wonder if it will lose its value over time.
Luxury watches hold their value relatively well. With newer models, you can expect to see the value drop initially, but in the long term, the value will start to increase again. Older models almost always increase over time.
Now, this doesn’t go for every watch, of course, but in the general sense, it does. Some watches will simply lose some of their value over time, while others could be worth more.
In the end, though, this isn’t really the main reason why you purchase a luxury watch. So if the watch does or does not hold its value shouldn’t matter too much.
It would only matter if you have to sell your watch because you’re out of money, but that shouldn’t happen if you set a responsible budget.
Or if you’re purely looking for a luxury watch as an investment.
But if that’s the case, you should do your research into what watches increase in value and which watches don’t.
For the general consumer, the increase or decrease in value matters very little. The only thing that matters is that you’re happy with your new timepiece!