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Three luxury watches that sell above retail

By Dan Cole on 15th October 2018

Nothing quite makes a statement about the style and success of a man like a classic wristwatch. In times of economic uncertainty, though, watches can be more than a simple high-end fashion accessory – they can also serve as an investment.

With luxury timepieces in limited circulation, and manufacturers scaling back their production of new models to focusing on existing classics, the watch market is ripe for the picking – and with some wise purchasing, you could be reaping the benefits in the long run.

The team at LLM has been scouring the market for the best value in luxury wristwear, and can see no further than this trio of watches to whet your appetite.

1. GMT-Master II “Pepsi”

GMT-Master II "Pepsi"

Rolex turned a few heads with the return of the understated, but popular, Pepsi variant of the GMT-Master at Baselworld 2018, the luxury watch industry’s largest and most important trade show – from the heart of Swiss watch-making country.

The GMT-Master series of Rolex watches first entered circulation in the mid-1950s, in partnership with Pan-American Airways to be worn by aircraft pilots. The smooth-rotation bezel and GMT hand were designed in order to allow staff to keep track of global time zones, but would be just as well utilised by a jet-setting gent in the modern era.

The most modern version of the classic GMT-Master II, known colloquially as the ‘Rolex Pepsi’ for its iconic red and blue bezel, was revealed at the iconic Baselworld. The most notable change in direction is the new steel design, moving away from the previous iteration’s white gold production run, which arguably gives it a more versatile and classic look. The iconic Rolex jubilee bracelet, first seen in 1945, remains a key feature of the piece, but the Oystersteel design sacrifices some of the weightiness of classic gold links for increased wearability.

The subtle changes to the direction of the Pepsi has split opinion of watch-aficionados, but the modern twist on the design will surely ensure it grows in popularity as it matures in age.

2. GMT-Master II “Batman”

GMT-Master II "Batman" 

One of Rolex’s newest kids on the block, the GMT-Master II 116710 BLNR, or the ‘Batman’ to you and me, has soared in popularity since its introduction to the market in 2013.

Affectionately known as the Batman because of its blue and black ceramic bezel – it’s a watch that the Dark Knight himself, eccentric billionaire Bruce Wayne, would be proud of.

While bearing many similarities to its sibling, the Pepsi, the Batman sports a few additional skills on its utility belt, including a blue GMT-hand to match the bezel, as well as a Rolex anti-counterfeiting measure contained within the inner bezel, ensuring that your investment in high-end timepieces is protected categorically.

The undeniable popularity of this variant of the GMT-Master II supports the notion that this sports watch could be one of Rolex’sa rising stars – and getting in on the ground floor (there are currently only two iterations of this watch) might just be a sensible decision, before its value really starts to take off. As you can see on the GMT-Master listings at Bob’s Watches, the Batman is currently one of the more affordable wristwatches in circulation. For how long, though, who knows?

3. Rolex Daytona 116500

Rolex Daytona 116500

For watch collectors, the world stood still in October 2017 when movie superstar Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona sold for over $15.5 million dollars at an auction house in New York. While we can’t quite promise that sort of return on investment with the Rolex Daytona 116500, it’s made from the same breed as Newman’s record-breaking timepiece, and holds true against the weight of history that it must bear.

The Daytona, a knowing reference to the Florida international speedway that hosts the iconic NASCAR race, is as meticulous as it is classy. Its vertical clutch mechanism allows for precise stopping and starting of the seconds hand, allowing for reliable timekeeping at an unbelievably accurate level – making it the perfect timepiece for racing fanatics.

The 116500, like the iteration before it, comprises of a 40mm Oystersteel case, crowned with a sapphire crystal for good measure. At the time of writing, the 116500 is a pretty rare find, which adds to the allure and cumulative value of this watch. Want to get your hands on one? You can currently acquire a Rolex Daytona from Bob’s Watches.

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