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Prince of Watches: How to make a royal investment in time pieces

Entrepreneurs 22-04-2021

Purchasing a luxury watch is a big decision, and with a fairground of information available online and on social media, it is more important than ever to get expert advice. We caught up with the director and founder of Prince of Watches, a company specialising in buying and selling the world’s most exclusive watches from their Mayfair office. Here’s what he had to say.

How did you get into buying and selling luxury watches?

Back in university I worked hard to build a network of hypercar owners and I quickly became their go-to person to help source certain cars. This resulted in me receiving many requests for watches as these clients were also passionate collectors. Not wanting to say no, I tried my best to build up a watch network to allow me to access these exclusive watches at trade prices in order to satisfy the demand. It took many failures along the way but I’ve kept going and never looked back.

What should I look for when investing in a watch?

Keep your eye out for market trends, how it has performed in the past and what the current forecast is. Is the watch expected to be discontinued any time soon? How difficult is it to buy this watch directly from a boutique? What are consumer attitudes toward the watch? There are many variables to consider when investing in watches and I would always recommend seeking advice from someone you can trust before making any big purchase.

The top luxury watch brands to look out for are: Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille.

Are you seeing any significant trends in watches when it comes to prices?

All we are seeing is prices rising by the week on certain models. Many of our clients make the mistake of choosing to hold back on a purchase thinking the price will come down in the near future. However, we are being proven wrong time and time again as for certain models, prices keep rising with no sign of slowing down.

I have £50k to invest in a watch. What should I buy?

This budget gives many options when it comes to investment. Remember, you don’t need to use your money for one watch only, you can spread it out too. My top picks would be watches such as:

Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel

Rolex Day-Date Platinum or Rose (subject to dial variation)

Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A

Audemars Piguet 15500ST or 26331st.

There are of course many more, but these are just a few of my personal favourites.

Your predictions for the luxury watch industry in 2021?

Prices are only going to be pushed up further on top models and brands.

  • Patek Philippe Nautilus demand is going to be higher than ever due to the success of their latest releases.

  • Audemars Piguet popularity will increase due to the positive response with their latest releases.

  • Rolex will continue to be as strong as ever with demand not slowing down any time soon.

How do you feel the pandemic will affect the markets for luxury watches?

One thing that has been clear recently is more and more people are getting into watches. Demand for most models is therefore growing by the day. Coupled with this, production on all luxury watch brands was affected due to Covid restrictions in factories. The increased demand along with decreased supply has only caused prices to be pushed up further.

If you had to pick three vintage watches, what would they be?

Patek Philippe 5004

Patek Philippe 2499

Rolex Daytona 6241

What are you wearing on your wrist?

Rolex Day-Date Platinum with Ice Blue Arabic Dial.

princeofwatches.com
Photographs by Rory B Gullan

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