Why a prestige timepiece is an investment

Why a prestige timepiece is an investment

All that glitters may be gold, but Indians are now looking beyond the precious metal for investment options.

All that glitters may be gold, but Indians are now looking beyond the precious metal for investment options. Prestige horology is about timepieces that run on natural metals like gold and platinum. For instance, some of Vacheron Constantin's haute joaillerie watches include the Kalla Duchesse which has a large cut diamond over all design and the Patrimony Contemporaine that features a pure platinum case, dial, hands, crown, buckle and even stitching.

While the precious material used adds a certain value to the timepiece , its rarity is derived from the scientific know how that goes into its movements. Always check if the timepiece bears the Hallmark of Geneve logo ( since 1886) which indicates an intricate step-bystep testing of movements. Another parameter of exclusivity in a watch is a Grande Complication movement which could be anything from one that's synced to the phases of the moon or a dense skeletonised function.

Select watch brands offer a customisation experience wherein the buyers can fly down to the manufacture units and give their opinion on the various stages of watchmaking. Right from the shape of the escapement, the choice of precious metals in the movement to its strap-and-buckle aesthetics, you can give your inputs. Another way of upping the market value of your wrist piece is by going in for a limited edition. These usually take years to go from concept to finished product and only a few pieces are created. The value of such models undoubtedly appreciates much more.


Even though prestige timepiece brands like to believe the watch will occupy a place of pride in your family's heirloom for generations, there's always a possibility of you wanting to give it up for monetary returns. If its a limited edition, there's a good chance of it finding space in auction houses like Christie's, Bonhams 1793 and Sotheby's. Along with the rarity and vintage of the model, the resale value also depends on the condition of the watch. This is why we urge buyers to service their timepieces every four to five years. The oils need to be changed in order to avoid accumulation of dust and grime inside the casing and keep the watch precise.

The writer is the artistic director at Vacheron Constantin, the world's oldest watch manufacture in operation