Watches are often viewed as investments because they hold their value better than most other things. Cars and electronics get outdated as new and improved designs make their way to market; however the function of a watch has not changed over the years, and as a result, a watch never truly becomes outdated, thus making it one of the best investment opportunities.
However, not all watches can be investments; and many watches will depreciate overtime, with some becoming effectively worthless over the years, regardless of their initial purchase price. Timeless heirloom pieces such as a luxury watch will maintain some of their initial value; however buying some watches is essentially like throwing money away when you consider the long run.
How To Waste Your Money
The Apple Watch, while revolutionary in its own right, it is terrible when it comes to retaining value. Its primary downfall in this category resides in how quickly it will become outdated, as new and improved models get released and existing applications get updated and optimized for later-generation platforms.
An Apple watch is certainly innovative, but there is little to no retention in value as time passes. (credit: Apple)
In addition to resale value decreasing due to the advent of newer and more feature-packed Apple Watches, current models will likely become outdated over the course of the next few years, once they are no longer able to run Apple’s latest operating system – much like how first generation iPhones have become effectively useless, regardless of their condition.
Waste Your Money Here Too
As for watches from fashion brands, their trendy designs may seem appealing; however their visual appearance is where most of your money is being spent. Mechanically, these fashion watches are entirely unremarkable; and since their primary function is simply to look good, overall build quality frequently leaves a lot to be desired.
Don’t be fooled. Fashion watches are typically out of style in less than a year. (Credit: Michael Kors)
Additionally, since new models are often released on a seasonal basis, fashion watches become outdated more quickly than almost any other kind of watch. Why this matters, is because the release of new models decreases the value of previous ones, and fashion watches often become effectively worthless just a couple years after they were purchased.
Another Strategy To Lose Money
While buying high-end luxury watches has potential to be a sound investment, paying full retail price often guarantees a financial loss. Although a true, luxury timepiece will never become entirely worthless; the astronomical premiums that accompany new watches do not translate to the pre-owned market.
Taking items from retail is actually not worth the money since the price drops the second you walk out the door.
The Logical Conclusion
When a watch is labeled as pre-owned, it means that it has had a previous owner; however many “pre-owned” watches can be found in brand-new, unworn condition. Although these watches do not come with factory warranties, they provide buyers with a pristine, contemporary timepiece, without the immediate depreciation that occurs as soon as the watch leaves the authorized dealership.
Certain timepieces can be legitimate investments that maintain their value over the years, and can even appreciate in the long run. However, not all watches are heirloom pieces; and in some instances – such as buying a smart watch, or some fashion brand’s latest seasonal design – purchasing a watch can be just like throwing money away.