Armani Emporio, Raymond Weil, Tissot, Breitling and Girrard-Perreguax are all watchmakers that go hand-in-hand (or, wrist-in-wrist) with a price tag that’ll make your eyes water upon first glance - and those are only the tip of the high-end brand icebergs on offer.
Over the years, as watch sales have steadily inclined (according to Deloitte, Swiss watch exports totalled $5 billion Swiss francs in 2017), so has the prevalence of wearing luxury watches amongst the working class. And while going market rates for watches have improved generally, many designer watchhouses still carry forward hefty price tags, which can be a huge financial undertaking for those not sitting in the top percentile of income earners.
Which begs the question: is buying a luxury watch worth it?
A good one to ask, especially as there are now a myriad of online outlets clambering to drive down prices on their off-the-shelf, mass manufactured lines - meaning you can quite easily pick one up for a much more affordable sum if you weren’t all that fussed.
Most likely, you’ve already encountered a cheaper option when shopping online, and it may have even looked the same as its designer counterpart. Many department and clothing outlets offer their own range nowadays, and will try and cross-promote them whilst you’re shopping for other items. Normally, these are marketed with an obscure brand name, a rubber or synthetic strap and usually come with basic wear ‘n tear guarantees. At around $100 a pop, that might fit the bill as an attractive price for those looking for something decent.
But, of course, ‘decent’ might not cut the cloth when considering whether a luxury watch is worth it. Perhaps you’ve been saving for a while, or perhaps you’re early on in your journey to purchasing a pricier piece. Whatever the reason, you know that there’s something about that vintage Omega clock face that’s enticing, yet you just can’t push yourself to whack out that little piece of plastic and seal the deal.
Here’s why a luxury, designer watch might just be a great investment for you:
Unlike the more common “special offer” pieces you’d find in the online checkouts of major retailers, most luxury watches are made using unbelievable levels of craftsmanship. And in fact, in some Geneva factories, the age-old technique of guillochage is still performed: a method of creating precise, intricate patterns, with some watchmakers still doing this by hand.
Some will incorporate lunar phases to complement a traditional calendar (tracking moon activity!), some promise to keep time to the millisecond, and most are just made really, really well - using high-quality leathers, glasses and precious metals. These are all things that a standard wristwatch just can’t provide. After all, who wants to stare at a Casio for hours?
A naturally scary figure, the average luxury wristwatch comes in at a whopping $3,000: a number anyone would rightly hesitate at.
But actually, after a little bit of addition, the off-the-shelf version might not be as far off the bat either. Just take the $100 version mentioned above: with a standard battery life of a year (likely less) over a 30-year period - presuming you simply re-purchase at the same price each time - you’ve spent your three grand, and then some, just in replacements.
With a luxury watch, you’re guaranteed to have the one watch for life, not only in functionality, but in style - because most luxury watch houses have maintained the same design on their bestsellers for generations. So, it may even make more fiscal sense to invest in something that’s going to hold its value over your life (not to mention the landfill saved…).
It was Giorgio Armani who first said: “a watch is one of the most important things that you buy - it says a lot about a person,” because watches, despite their practicalities, are ultimately a fashion accessory. In fact, watches can be one of the primary ways for women and men to help articulate, through the physical, who they are as individuals.
Take, for example, a Movado. Characterised by its simplicity - it’s a brand defined by its solitary dot at 12, symbolizing the sun at high noon, and is worn by those who appreciate the minimal. Adversely, a Raymond Weil oozes classical opulence, and is perfect for those who find joy in the finer things. Watches are worn every day, day and night, by their owners - sometimes so much so that they become almost part of them.
Like any good-quality, timeless heirloom, watches are designed to last lifetimes - and to reflect the attitude and style of the wearer. And then, when the wearer has passed - they’re worn by the next generation, to also share in its joy and remember the person who first loved it so much.
Now, that’s hard to put a price on.
ABOUT WATCH DIRECT:
Watch Direct is Australia’s number one watch website for brand new, high-quality designer watches. They’re exactly the same as those you would find in the shops, simply with a better price tag. A range of styles, brands and designs offer a perfect potential watch for every buyer - including Armani, Citizen, Tissot, Breitling and many more. Hurry, time is ticking!