ROI of Vintage Watches


If you’ve been collecting vintage watches for some time, you probably have a ballpark value estimate for them. Where things get tricky, though, is how that value fluctuates over time. In this blog post, we’ll detail the return on investment of vintage watches.

This article from Time.com explains that while some enthusiasts may refer to their collection as an investment, they probably don’t see it as a key component of their financial portfolio. Here’s the thing about vintage watches and their return. As with many markets (i.e. coins, sports memorabilia, etc.), the watch industry is extremely fickle. Therefore, the thinking shouldn’t exactly be to buy low and sell high with vintage timepieces.

We briefly touched on this in our last post, but something interesting happened to the market about six or seven years ago. Why? Well, social media has allowed collectors to showcase their vintage watches like never before. What used to be a private endeavor has turned into building one’s “brand” by sharing and following other collectors.

The Value of Classic Rolex Timepieces

Not every vintage watch will keep its value through the years. But one brand, in particular, tends to hold its value well. For decades, Rolex has set the standard when it comes to one of a kind watches. It’s a name that both veteran collectors and those new to the industry appreciate. As Ariel Adams mentions, Rolex has been smart in keeping their product line small, allowing many of their watches to essentially become household names. In terms of other brands that hold steady over time, you may want to also consider Omega timepieces and Tudor timepieces.

Using Vintage Timepieces as Investments

Now that you have a general idea for your brand of choice, it’s time to get down to the details. Vintage watch experts will tell you that a watch usually becomes “vintage” after 20 to 30 years. One of the great things about investing in vintage watches is that you can look back at your watch, see how it’s aged, and make a conclusion. You can even determine the demand and the competition for your specific watch. With newer timepieces, on the other hand, you might be in for some surprises.

Comparing Vintage to Pre-Owned

Here’s where things can get tricky. It’s important to know that any watch that isn’t new, yet also not considered vintage yet, is labeled as pre-owned. Watches in this category tend to be much more affordable and make great deals for someone who wants a high-quality watch to wear for many years to come. Though you have a slim chance to break even investing in pre-owned watches, there isn’t a whole lot of room for profit there.

Purchasing Vintage Watches for Enjoyment

At Craft & Tailored, our passion is in finding timeless, one-of-a-kind watches that are not only beautifully and thoughtfully engineered, but also serve a functional purpose. Our founder, Cameron Barr, is known across the industry as having a keen eye for sourcing some of the most popular watches in the world. With of all that experience comes a love of luxury watches. The Craft & Tailored shares Cameron’s passion, as well as the passion of all vintage watch enthusiasts.

We don’t believe in thinking of our watches as investments. Instead of just seeing these exclusive watches as items to “flip,” we hope you’ll see them as a conversation piece, a talisman, or an heirloom passed down from one generation to the next.    

As Cameron says, "The curation and selection of what it is that Craft & Tailored offers to our customers revolve around my specific tastes as a collector myself. When I buy a vintage watch, I buy what my eye specifically gravitates to and also how the specific piece makes me feel when I wear it or look at it. You will see some trending in what it is that we offer to our customers… Everything we curate for our customers possesses a little extra mojo and vibe which makes our watches and goods that more unique and special.”  

From Rolex timepieces and Seiko timepieces to unique Breitling timepieces, we have an unmatched inventory of rare finds. Whether you’re interested in buying today or wish to gain some additional insight from Cameron, feel free to give us a call today