Luxury watches are for people who appreciate the finer things in life. And with the global economy the way it is, they’ve become a stable investment too. So whether you’re an adventurer living and working in unstable environments, or just a person who wants to wear their personality on their wrist, here are the five reasons you can’t be without a luxury watch…
Make a statement without speaking
It is a truth universally acknowledged that men have a hard time expressing their feelings. What is less well studied, perhaps, is the fact that both men and women in the business world have very few outlets with which to reveal their personality.
In standard business attire, the only bits of the wardrobe that leave any room for personal statement are the shoes and the watch. Which is why so many of us (apparently accurately, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kansas) judge people by their shoes.
In business, where everyone is wearing the same shoes already, a watch adds an extra level of personal input. Luxury watches are reliable indicators of taste, status, wealth and personality. Plus they make you look like Daniel Craig, or Charlize Theron. Sex appeal in miniature.
A wearable investment
Money comes and money goes, but a luxury watch is for the generations. Buy a luxury watch following a proper period of research and investigation, and you’ll have purchased something that isn’t just a chronometer built to last, but a complex investment in brand history and materials.
Superior luxury watch brands like Patek Philippe, Rolex and Richard Mille produce timepieces that last for generations, and which only increase in value as the year’s progress. Limited edition luxury watches, for example the Audemars Piguet End of Days model (see our blog on watches in the movies ) can appreciate quickly in value. Variations on classic models such as the Rolex Submariner can also add weight to your luxury watch investment over time. (Rolex sometimes produce limited runs specific to official dealers, which get an “AD” on the dial when their store reaches its centenary.)
Materials for luxury watches are another key element, of course: many are made from titanium or gold, with diamonds imbedded in the dial. Gold is famously stable as an investment, and a few extra diamonds won’t hurt your portfolio.
Fall in love with a time machine
A luxury watch is an engine on your wrist - a visible, enthralling clockwork world in miniature. Buy a Skeleton Tourbillon, and you’ll see much more than just the time!
In a world dominated by machines that wear their complexity on the inside - could you explain how a series of 0s and 1s inside a microchip make your iPhone work? - it’s refreshingly simple to see and hear the workings of a luxury watch. The subtle tick, the satisfying weight… these are machines that have been built to perfectly capture the simplest thing of all. Time, in all its phases, balanced and controlled by the minuscule working parts of the machine. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that?
It’s a craftsmanship thing
Luxury watches are built to last. Superiority of performance, in the world of Jaeger LeCoultre and Breguet, is measured in millionths of a second; nano-slices of time expertly rescued from entropy by individual geniuses who hand build every tiny piece of their watches.
The idea of hand-making something as complicated and delicate as a watch movement is captivating. “Painstaking” is too simple a word for the extraordinary world of the horologist. The interlocking gears of a luxury watch are so small, and must move so delicately and freely, it seems almost impossible that clunky human hands could have built them without factory machines. Buy a luxury watch, and you buy a miracle.
History plus technology equals luxury
Luxury watches are steeped in history - with the exception of Hublot and Richard Mille, the most sought-after brands have been around for decades, sometimes centuries. Breguet was founded in 1775. Rolex started up in 1905. Jaeger LeCoultre has been operating since 1833.
However old the marquee, the key element of the historic craft of watch-making has always been innovation. Abraham-Louis Breguet, the father of the modern timepiece, constantly invented new ways to refine and tell time.
Today, Richard Mille and Hublot are still creating new mechanisms by which the passage of the days and hours can be measured. These movements are cutting-edge pieces of technology, made all the more impressive by their reliance on springs and cogs rather than touch screens.
A luxury watch is the product of dedication, precision, invention and personality. It’s also an investment as secure as an art collection. Owning a Mille, or a Patek is like owning a Van Gogh or a Monet. Everyone’s got the print - but how many people can say they have the real thing?