Your guide to the world of luxury watches.
What is a luxury watch
Looks matter. Buying luxury watches is becoming more and more essential. Luxury watches have always been a symbol of prestige, so what is so special about luxury watches? Several questions have arisen about the luxury watch industry and we hope that you will find your answers in our guide.
Ages ago, watches were just a tool man needs to know the time but as time passes, it’s become a part of humans’ prestige. Watches then used a mechanical mechanism to work, a pendulum or a balance wheel, but then, there was the “Quartz revolution”, an electronic motor with the electric current going through the quartz crystal.
Quartz mechanism actually needed fewer parts, and therefore, it was cheaper as well as more precise than the mechanical one. Being cheaper, quartz watches were mass-produced, which made the primary watchmakers, huge, famous Swiss companies at that time, resist switching their industry to quartz instead of mechanical.
Some of those companies died then and some created a new quartz trend, Swatch which has later become the largest watch group in the world, instead of those cheap plastic quartz watches while others, such as Patek Philippe and Rolex, chased up the market to be the luxurious brands we know today.
Rolex, for instance, started making their watches in gold, enhancing the quality of their materials, making their watches symbols of prestige. Quartz then was considered a time-keeping technology but mechanical watches were, and still are, a symbol of luxury. They made their customers “want” the mechanical watches even though they don’t “need” them.
Not just the history of luxury watches is what makes them special but also, building the luxury watches’ mechanism part needs a lot of work and research. Mechanical watches are much more expensive to make than quartz ones. For example, Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite spent 4 years of research and development to make one mechanism and one model of one of their watches. And the production of luxury watches needs huge manpower which is not cheap as well, taking months to produce such watches.
Moreover, luxury watches are a piece of art. Most of the luxury watches are entirely made by hand with various precious and rare metals, including gold, platinum, titanium, etc. So, of course, such craftsmanship costs higher than those watches made in bulk by machines. And also, such rare and precious materials cost more than cheap plastics.
The watch dials themselves are art as well. Handmade enamel dials can take many years of work to be created at high perfection and such beauty, of course, costs more than those fabricated by machines.
Luxury watches are the most durable. Many of Rolex’s and Omega’s watches are divers’ ones, withstanding the high pressure under thousands of meters underwater. Omega is even famous for being the ideal watch for space as a result of its dependability and durability. And such durability requires a lot of testing and teams of experts to go over each part of the watch.
Luxury watch industry
Only some countries are ruling the global watch industry and the luxury watch industry is clearly ruled by Switzerland, presenting to the world the traditional Swiss values in traditional Swiss products. Moreover, the luxury watch industry is also proof of how strong the country’s economy is. The Swiss luxury watch industry is considered a huge system in which all the individuals, starting from suppliers to retailers, work together to ensure the success of such an entity. Being the most valuable watch brand in the Swiss luxury watch industry, in 2018, Louis Vuitton’s brand value raised to be up to 41,138 billion US dollars.
In the mid-90s, the demand for luxury goods increased, which benefited the luxury watch industry greatly. Such an increase in demand, together with the increase in individuals’ incomes and prosperity, has remarkably led to huge growth in the luxury watch market.
In the era of technology and with the rise of the smartphones and smartwatches industry, it’s become a challenge for luxury watch manufacturers to maintain their sales. As a result, the export of Swiss watches’ value has dropped by 10% of its value in the year before, estimating it to be 19.4 billion USD.
So, some luxury watch manufacturers have joined the race, creating their own versions of smartwatches while others declared that smartwatches are just a fad that is going to fade shortly, stating that smartwatches had nothing to do with watches. On the other hand, some manufacturers decided to create their own models, mixing between the new digital watches and the traditional mechanical ones such as the “Connected Modular” watches of TAG Heuer, is the best seller.
Despite the apparent impact that smartwatches may cause to the luxury watch industry, manufacturers and retailers don’t feel threatened, stating that there would be zero impact on their industry. And of course, mixing between the new digital watches and the traditional mechanical ones into new luxury watch models has helped their industry flourish. Even, some luxury watches manufacturers find that the smartwatch revolution is a blessing in disguise as it attracts the attention back to the wrist, making youth wear watches again. Moreover, some luxury watch manufacturers offered their customers the opportunity to trade in their smartwatches for traditional mechanical luxury watches, assuring that the luxury watch industry is still far from dead.
Although the rise of smartwatches may seem to be competitive with luxury watches, luxury watches are still valued among Millennials worldwide. In 2017, a survey was conducted to report those who owned a luxury watch among Millennials and it showed that 70% of them did own at least one traditional analog watch and even those who didn’t afford to buy one, still prefer luxury watches over smart ones.
Another research reported that only 1% of people say that there’s no need for a traditional watch after buying the online, digital smartwatches while the rest wears both or just wears the digital watches daily at work but for the weekends, it’s time for a more luxurious watch.
It might be a fact that once you get into watches, you will always get hooked on such a world. Actually, in the past five years, about 60% of luxury watches customers have bought more than one watch, leaving evidence that the luxury watch industry is still far from dead. Moreover, in the era of technology, to reach more audiences, especially the Millennials and Generation Z, luxury watch manufacturers adopted new ways of marketing and sales techniques, coping with the changing times, directing their attention to using social media and online marketing Such as Rolex and Patek Philippe.
Top 20 luxury watch brands 2020
There are many luxury watch brands but through history, only some of them have earned and were able to maintain their elite rank among luxury watches. Here’s a list of the 2020’s top 20 luxury watch brands:
Patek Philippe$188,900.00in stock2 new from $182,999.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Audemars Piguet$24,500.00in stock1 new from $24,500.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Vacheron ConstantinLast updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Tag Heuer$25,294.50in stock1 new from $25,294.50Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Lange & Söhne$18,750.00in stock1 new from $18,750.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Jaeger-LeCoultre$109,000.00in stock1 new from $109,000.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Rolex$59,999.00in stock2 new from $59,999.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Hublot$30,500.00in stock1 new from $30,500.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Breguet & Fils$21,500.00in stock1 new from $21,500.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Chopard$49,000.00in stock1 new from $49,000.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Girard-Perregaux$75,458.90in stock1 new from $75,458.90Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
BlancpainLast updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Cartier$38,500.00in stock1 new from $38,500.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
IWC Schaffhausen$13,950.00in stock3 new from $13,950.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Ulysse Nardin$9,175.00in stock3 new from $9,174.99Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
Panerai$11,500.00in stock1 new from $11,500.00Last updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
PiagetLast updated on January 23, 2021 5:50 am
As a result of their elite status, such brands’ values are estimated by millions of CHF. A survey was conducted in 2018 to estimate the value of different luxury watch brands and it reported that Louis Vuitton has the highest value among all, being at 41,138 billion US dollars. Hermès then followed at 28,073 billion US dollars.
Although the luxury watch industry is ruled by such kings, there’s still a chance for new luxury watch brands to shine in such competitive field such as Farer which was created just two years ago, making luxurious watches with Millennial-friendly designs and low prices, compared to its fellow brands.
Most of us have heard this name before, Rolex with its royal crown symbol. Hans Wilsdorf, a 24-year-old timepiece distributor, created Rolex in London, 1905. He chose “Rolex” to be the name of his brand as it’s short, easy to say in any language so, everyone around the world would remember it, and he took the right decision then, choosing “Rolex”. Since then Rolex has been famous for its quality and workmanship, which made it worth to be collectible.
Rolex was the first one to develop waterproof watches and still one of the best to manufacture such watches, creating a watch that’s waterproof in the deep sea at the depth of 3900m in 2008. Moreover, Rolex has created several watch models for explorers and adventurers such as Mercedes Gleitze, the first woman to cross the English Channel swimming in 1927 and Edmund Hillary who wore a Rolex while conquering Everest Mountain in 1953.
That’s why, Rolex has become one of the leading luxury watches manufacturers, being one of the best resale values and still in high demand.
Pre-owned luxury watches
Are preowned luxury watches much cheaper? Actually, you can save one thousand to two thousand dollars for pre-owned luxury watches in perfect condition, just like new. It may seem little but if you intend to resell it and shift to another luxury watch, it will save tons of money for you as the loss then won’t be as much as the new-to-used loss.
Luxury watches price
How expensive actually are luxury watches? The latest statistical analysis of luxury watch prices was conducted a few years ago, showing that the average cost of luxury watches can be of thousands of dollars. For example, the average cost of Patek Philippe’s watches is around 44,000 USD, being the most expensive one, while the least expensive ones are those of TAG Heuer, costing averagely about 2,000 USD. Such statistical analysis was based on the sales of new or pre-owned luxury watches.
Luxury watches online
Online marketplaces for luxury watches are available online but before purchasing a luxury watch online, you have to search for a credible website as there are many fake ones across the web. Also, some websites are more expensive than others so, you have to search for those who have great value for your money. Here’s a shortlist of few online luxury watch retailers ruling the web.
Since 2003, Chrono24 has been dealing with more than 10,000 professional dealers and private sellers in more than 90 countries. Chrono24 has a buyer protection program that guarantees the in-house screening of over 2,000 dealers before selling the watches on their website. No fakes or replicas are allowed on their website. There’s also post-selling support for different post-sale issues. Moreover, all the orders are fully insured with a tracking ID.
This UK-based, award-winning website is an authorized watch retailer for every brand on it, which contributed to its unique, exclusive collection of luxury watches. Express shipping is offered to 170 countries that are insured and tracked till your package is delivered at your doorstep, together with 24/7 services to solve any post-selling issues including a warranty for 5 years on all working parts as well as manufacturing faults.
Hodinkee, like Mr. Porter, is an authorized retail partner to every brand on the website, stocking perfectly designed luxury watches with the best durability. It’s considered the most respected online luxury watch website in the world and it has now its own store, offering shipment to all over the world with insurance and free returns and exchanges within 7 days of the purchase.
Since 1987, Jomashop has been in the luxury watch industry, offering fine luxury watches at competitive prices, either new or preowned. They have an authenticity program that ensures the authenticity of all their new and unworn luxury watches, purchasing them from authorized dealers and distributors. Their new watches have their original serial numbers with a warranty program of 1 to 5 years, shipping them with full insurance.