Whether you are looking to invest, impress, or be sharply dressed, high-end watches are proving to be a popular accessory in 2021 – and interest continues to rise in luxury timepieces.
For a newbie to the world of premium watches, traversing the market to find the perfect statement piece for you can be a daunting prospect – which is why we have teamed up with industry insiders and experts Chrono24 to bring you a range of the hottest luxury watches available to buy today.
A good place to start for any entrant to the luxury watch market is pre-owned. Premium timepieces that have had one or more previous owners can often be picked up at better value-for-money than purchasing a brand-new product – meaning they’re a great way to dip your toe in the water without overcommitting to a particular style or manufacturer.
Chrono24’s online marketplace currently lists a range of used luxury watches, from Rolex to Omega, at a range of price points. Entry level Tag Heuer and Chanel watches can be picked up from under £1,000, while some of the most exquisite and high-end timepieces ever made can be acquired pre-owned for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
If you were to ask the general consumer to name a high-end watch manufacturer, the vast majority are likely to answer Rolex, and with good reason. The Swiss watch manufacturer has been at the sharp end of timepiece development and technology since being founded in the early 20th century, and it is synonymous with reliability, quality, and elegance.
Of the world’s ten most expensive watch auctions, three are Rolex manufactured, with Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona being the second most expensive ever sold – for even the highest net worth individuals, Newman’s watch is unattainable. The good news is there are still hundreds of luxurious timepieces on the market at reasonable prices.
The experts at Chrono24 have identified the classic Rolex Day-Date as a leading range for those considering entry to the world of luxury watches, and there is a vast array of styles, ages and price points to get you started.
If Rolex is the alpha of luxury watches, then Omega is the, erm, omega. Another Swiss giant, this one based in Biel/Bienne, has roots stretching back to the turn of the 20th century, and its list of high-profile clients include the British Royal Flying Corps, who commissioned Omega to produce their official timekeeping devices.
If you are looking for a luxurious watch that also carries a fascinating backstory, look no further than the Omega Snoopy. The story goes that a Silver Snoopy emblem was awarded to astronauts and members of NASA to acknowledge outstanding achievements in their field. So, when Omega Speedmasters were used in the Apollo 13 expedition, NASA opted to acknowledge the Swiss manufacturer’s importance by awarding them an honorary Silver Snoopy award.
Thus, the Omega Snoopy was born.
At the other end of the Swiss luxury watch scale, Breitling provides a truly value-for-money entry into the high-end watch market.
With nearly 2,000 Breitling watches live on Chrono24’s marketplace right now under £2,000, it’s the perfect vehicle for consumers looking for their first foray into the realm of luxury timepieces.
Completing Chrono24’s quartet of Swiss luxury watch manufacturers to keep an eye out for is Vacheron Constantin, a company whose roots stretch back to 1755.
A brand for the true purists, Vacheron Constantin holds the record for the world’s most complicated mechanical watch, the Reference 57260, which has 57 horogical complications. In layman’s terms, a horogical complication refers to any feature of a timepiece that goes beyond simply clocking hours, minutes, and seconds – for example, a day-of-the-week, or an alarm setting.
If attention to detail is key when selecting your luxury watch, look no further.
Switzerland is, as you can see above, the major player in the luxury timepiece market, with a number of powerhouse manufacturers producing some of the world’s most expensive watches – but they’re not alone in the market now.
Perhaps a surprise to many, but Russia is beginning to make in-roads in the high-end watch market, and the experts at Chrono24 have seen a real increase not only in quantity of watched listed online, but also interest from buyers in the market.
While not carrying the cachet of Swiss manufacturing, Russian timepieces provide an incredibly affordable entry into the market, while also being well made, robust, and reliable.