Best watches to invest in right now from Rolex, Omega, Audemars Piguet and others


Global pre-owned watch specialist WatchBox is calling the top of the market for Rolex and Patek Philippe’s unicorn watches, and suggests limited editions from Omega and pieces from low run watchmakers including A. Lange & Söhne and F.P. Journe could provide investors with the best value this year.

Prices for the likes of Rolex’s Submariners, Patek Philippe’s sporty Aquanaut and Nautilus and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak are flattening out, albeit at double retail prices at authorised dealers in many cases.

That means that, unless you are able to secure these watches from official retailers, there is little profit to be eked out of the references.


Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Jumbo extra slim 15202 is “going nuts”, according to WatchBox, with prices in the high $50,000s.

A. Lange & Söhne’s Datograph 403.035 set a new auction record of $68,000 late last year, suggesting its current trading price in the $50,000s is good value.

F.P. Journe had a stellar 2020, with demand off the scale, according to several authorised dealers reporting the strength of the brand last year.

Watchbox suggests there is further upside to come for a brand that keeps its production below 1,000 units per year.

Of the biggest watchmakers in the world, it is Omega that is exciting collectors and investors most, with limited editions driving prices to over double retail.

Here is the collective view of WatchBox on 16 watches you might be considering investing in this year:

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Up/Down 234.026


This is a super classic style, and market value is around $24k. We anticipate that pricing will remain stable.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph 403.035

The original Datograph is on the rise. 6 months ago, this model was trading in the $40ks, and it is now in the $50ks.

This reference hammered at $68k at the Phillips Racing Pulse auction last weekend – which could be an aberration or a reset of the market. We will keep our eyes on this model!

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin 15202ST

15202 is going nuts! The perfect size, an understated/beloved style, and market value is in the high $50ks.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15400ST

Currently trading around $30-35k depending upon dial color.

F.P. Journe – Any And All Early Models With Brass Movements

It is rare to find a brass movement Journe with a value less than $100k; and many are commanding multiples of that.

Both auction results and consumer demand throughout 2020 have illustrated the appetite for collectable Journes among the global collector community.

F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu

The CB is remarkably strong; trading in the high 50s-60k – and this is a big jump compared to where the market was a year ago, and there aren’t any signs of a slow down.

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 13 – 45th Anniversary “Silver Snoopy Award” Ref. 311.

This is the second limited edition showcasing Snoopy, introduced in 2015 in a limited edition of 1,970 pieces, with an original retail of $7,350.

Secondary market value quickly rose to the $20ks, and over the last 2 years, market value has soared to nearly $40k.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167A

Representing the “entry-level” sports model from Patek, the Aquanaut is currently going for around $42k, which is 2x its current retail.

Is this the height? Only time will tell.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time Ref. 5164A

The Aquanaut Travel Time is trading around $60k.

It is your ultimate travel watch – in its lightweight, comfortable size, under the radar style, and of course, functionality.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524G

This is the sportiest of the non-sport Pateks, and prices are on an upwards trend, currently around $39k.

It felt like there was an influx in the market a while ago, and demand is now rising again.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-010

The blue dial Nautilus is hotter than it has ever been, trading around $75-80k.

We anticipate that the hype will eventually slow down…unless the model is discontinued in the near future.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Ref. 5990/1A

Trading around $100k.

Rolex Daytona 116500LN-0001 [White Dial, Cerachrom Bezel]

The white dial is currently bringing between $26-27k depending upon condition and box/paper status, and the black dial follows in the $24-25k range.

We had expected a slight softening of the market, but these numbers have held for the last few months.

Rolex Daytona 16520 [Zenith Movement]

We predict a continued strengthening of Zenith movement Daytonas; especially those that are complete with box and papers.

Without papers, the market is around $20/21k (depending upon condition), and with box/papers, they are reaching the $25-30k range.

Rolex GMT Master-II “Batman” 116710BLNR

We predict the market will remain relatively stable around $16,000. Consumers prefer the Batman to the Batgirl, especially considering that there is a finite number in the market.

We were anticipating a slight wane in interest when Rolex’s new product launched in September, and that never hit.

Rolex Submariner Date “Hulk” 116610LV

2020 might just have been the year of the Hulk. There was long speculation and anticipation for when the model would be retired, and the current market demand speaks to this.

The ‘replacement’ in the form of the new Kermit is nice, but not so much better that it hurts the market on the old one.

We predict that Hulks will be worth more than the new Kermits within a year or two, and the current market value is around $16-18k.

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