They are easy to transport, they fit well in the safe deposit box and they also look good: luxury watches not only show the time, they are also an alternative form of investment. But are they suitable for this at all?
Munich (dpa) - There are luxury watches that are worth twice as quickly - a return that most can only dream of. There is virtually no interest at banks and savings banks, and savers sometimes even have to pay for larger amounts.
If you don't want to invest in stocks or gold, you put your money in luxury goods - so why not in watches? The catch: only a few models really make money. Without market knowledge, an investment can quickly go wrong.
Only a few models with potential for appreciation
Many watches on the market will not be able to hold their value, says Stefan Muser, owner of the Dr. Crott in Mannheim. "In the current area - what you can buy from a jeweler - there are very, very few models in which I would see an increase in value."
"You can only estimate it, but 70 to 80 percent of the watches, even the high-quality watches from Switzerland and Glashütte, are unsuitable as an investment," says Michael Brückner, who as an author has dealt with watches and other luxury goods for years. The remaining 20 to 30 percent are primarily certain brands and models that have performed well in recent years.
These few brands and models are considered "blue chips", explains Muser. This term refers to the high-turnover heavyweights with a high market value on the stock exchange, which however does not protect against false speculation there.
As expensive as a condominium
However, such watches are never cheap. "That means in the truest sense: You get, what you pay for." The top models now often cost as much as a condominium.
But it is not that easy to buy such watches from specialist retailers. The models are difficult to get and often sold out for a long time, says Joachim Dünkelmann, Managing Director of the Federal Association of Jewelers. They quickly land on eBay and Co - at a significantly higher price. "There are models that are many times more expensive on the market than the list prices of the manufacturers," explains Dünkelmann.
A new Rolex GMT Master II "Pepsi" has cost 9,000 euros according to the list price since January - it is available on the Internet for up to twice the price. It is similar for other models. The "Nautilus" by Patek Philippe is also extremely popular and will double after a few years.
But it is not always that simple: "Even the fully-fledged professionals are unable to predict whether something will become a watch or not," says Muser. To make watches really a good investment, you literally need time. It often takes years, or even decades, for a watch to become a collector's item.
Regular maintenance is important
Whether an old watch is valuable - or will be - depends primarily on its condition. Was she serviced in between? Is it in its original condition? According to Muser, clocks are like a classic car: "The more original it is - the less it has been screwed on - the better it will hold up on the market."
Even small technical refinements, so-called complications such as a date or a chronograph function, are particularly popular with collectors. "Basically, the more complications a watch has, the more valuable it is," explains Brückner.
Every luxury watch - whether new or vintage - is about image. Michael Brückner is convinced that it is always a "statement on the wrist". The fact that watches are also considered to be an investment is a practical side effect: "Some say that this idea of increasing value is actually only there to compensate for the guilty conscience," says Brückner.
On the one hand, a watch is a piece of jewelery, but watches without scratches are almost exclusively suitable for investment. "If you want to be very strict and buy watches only with a view to investing, then you shouldn't be wearing them at all," says Brückner.
For Stefan Muser, watches are one thing above all: a passion. He therefore advises investing in a watch that is fun. "20 years ago you visited your jeweler and picked out a watch model that was fun." Almost no buyer had thought about an increase in value. Muser is of the opinion that the same thing should be done today.