The best used luxury watches to buy now


These coveted watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Omega are the best pre-owned watches to invest in, according to an expert.


Collecting luxury watches is no longer just an exercise in raising your sartorial status, it’s also a savvy financial investment. A recent report from Rolex dealer Bob’s Watches trumpeted that used Rollies, particularly the Submariner and GMT Master, have appreciated better than gold, real estate and stocks over the past decade.

Well-preserved watches from watch brands such as Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Omega also prove to be smart investments for the watch obsessive, while the notorious scarcity of new watches available in boutiques can make it difficult to fix that grail-worthy Daytona or Royal Oak. Sometimes the only way to get your dream watch is to buy it from a reputable aftermarket dealer.

With this in mind, we called on Eugene Tutunikov, founder of the luxury second-hand watch store SwissWatchExpofor its best investment-worthy watches to buy now.


“This watch is the direct descendant of the very first Patek Phillipe Nautilus watch (ref 3700), but with modern proportions,” says Tutunikov. “The stainless steel finish and gradient blue dial can be worn on any occasion, and many collectors would agree that if you can only own one watch, this should be it.

“The Nautilus 5711 has achieved legendary status, with a ten-year waiting list and collectors willing to pay double the retail price on the secondary market. The price has been on an upward trajectory since its introduction, and when its shutdown was announced in January 2021, its market price rose sharply from $29,000 to $180,000. Now you can find them for around $135,000. Given that they will never produce more and prices have gone down, now is a good time to buy.


“This Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was the most talked about watch of 2016 and one of the most sought after models in the entire Daytona collection,” says Tutunikov. “It was the first Daytona to combine the classic look of stainless steel with Rolex’s patented Cerachrom bezel insert, which is scratch and fade resistant.

“Striking, contemporary and sporty, this ultra-popular sports watch remains very hard to find off the shelf, especially the high contrast white dial edition. Retail prices start at $13,500, but collectors were willing to pay up to $47,000 on the secondary market. Now you can find them for around $35,000.

“Rolex’s waiting list is typically five years and longer for this watch. It is one of the most requested models at SwissWatchExpo and one of the most consistent requests. When a customer searches for this watch, they is obsessed with. And that will keep the prices of this model high, if not drive them up.


“The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15400ST is one of the most requested references in our inventory,” says Tutunikov. “This reference connects the iconic angular design, Grand Tapisserie dial and double baton hour markers of the original vintage Royal Oak with a contemporary 41mm size and modern AP Caliber 3120 movement.

“With all these elements, this model is faithful to the original Gerald Genta design, while having tomorrow in mind. I prefer the subtlety of the Silver Dial variation on this model. The price peaked in March around $53,000, and now you can find them for around $40,000.


“You really can’t go wrong with the iconic Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi, but why not take it a step further and get one of their most durable models, ref 1675?” suggests Tutunikov.

“This model is one of Rolex’s greatest successes, having introduced aluminum crown guards and inserts to the GMT-Master range. Produced from 1959 to 1980, there is wide variation in dials, hands and other features within this reference, making the 1675 a fun model to get lost in, especially if you like vintage watches.

“Unlike most other watch models, the price continued to rise and did not peak until the financial markets began their descent. This time last year, you could buy one for around $17,000. Now it will cost you around $19,000 for one in great condition. This watch seems to have the vintage rarity and collectible factor to keep its price up.


“The ruggedly beautiful Rolex Submariner is a staple in any luxury watch collection, but if you want to make yours even more special, the precious Rolex ‘Red’ Submariner 1680 is the one for you,” says Tutunikov.

“Rolex introduced the 1680 in the late 1960s and was the first Submariner to feature a date function. ‘Red’ Submariners come with a single line of red Submariner text above six hours, which were only produced in the first six years of 1680, making them harder to find.

“The unique red text has never been seen again in the history of the Submariner, and the aging of these watches often results in a beautiful dark yellow lume, making this a truly desirable and exceptional timepiece.”

“The price peaked in May around $22,000 and you can still find them in the $20,000-$23,000 range. There are usually only a handful for sale in the United States in good condition. As with any vintage piece, the condition and whether or not the original box and papers are present is a game changer when it comes to the potential for price appreciation.


“Not all collectible watches have to be older or vintage. Sometimes you just know when you have a modern classic in your hands,” says Tutunikov. “The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Master Chronometer, launched in 2021, is a modern take on the Moonwatch with its first new engine in decades.

“The aesthetic is true to the moon-worn fourth-generation Speedmaster, which features an asymmetrical dial, over-90 point bezel, and a black dial with the applied Omega logo. The big change is under the hood – the Co-Axial caliber 3861 – a Master Chronometer-certified movement that makes this Moonwatch a resolutely modern watch.

“Right now you can pick one up around $6,500 on the used market and it doesn’t seem likely to drop in price from here.”

Tags: Audemars Piguet Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Limited Edition Luxury watch luxury omega watches Omega Speedmaster Patek Philippe Patek Philippe Nautilus used watches Rolex Rolex Daytona Rolex Submariner


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