They say there’s no such thing as a guaranteed investment, however, there’s no denying that a luxury watch is a purchase that will go down in history. One of the most emotionally charged purchases a person can make, it’s no wonder that luxury timepieces become interwoven into the tapestry of family life – often passed from generation to generation carrying tales that could have otherwise been lost. However, the humble wristwatch doesn’t just offer the opportunity to capture a snapshot of times gone by. Over the centuries is has become a symbol of luxury – for many offering a glimpse into a world of glitz and glamour.
With that in mind, team SCRUBD asked award-winning British jeweller and luxury watch specialist ROX to shine a light on watches to invest in. Here we take a look at the top five models recommended by watch aficionado, Alex Doak in the Art of Luxury Watchmaking.
1. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Strap Watch RRP £2,410
“Stick to the classic pieces that people will always want,” advises Kyron Keogh of cutting-edge jewellers ROX, “and you’ll have a watch that, 10 years down the line, will recoup the majority of your initial outlay. Tudor’s recent phoenix-from-the-ashes revival was spearheaded by the gorgeously but not slavishly retro-styled Black Bay. Now it’s fitted with an in-house movement and always in steel, rather than precious metal (flamboyance is inversely proportional to successful investment!) It’s already a classic that feels like it’s always been around.”
2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Watch RRP £15,000
People talk about steel classics being solid horological bankers. Well, this is the daddy of them all – the first high-luxe watch that dared to be made of the quotidian metal and, shock, gasp, called itself a ‘sports’ watch in an age when you were nothing without something in garish yellow-gold glinting from beneath your contrast-colour cuff. “The Royal Oak has barely changed since 1972,” says Keogh, “and for good reason – its designer Gérald Genta’s octagonal case and integrated bracelet was spot-on from inception. That sort of integrity will come to bear in a lifetime’s value, both sentimental and monetary.”
3. Chopard LUC XPS 1860 Officer Watch RRP £24,500
On one side, an exceptionally refined hand-guilloché dial, engraved using antique lathes on which just a handful of Swiss artisans are trained to operate. On the other, an equally guilloché officer-type back cover that opens to reveal the ultra-thin L.U.C 96.01-L movement. ‘Officer’ casebacks are so-named because they were used on the pocket watches of military men to protect the glass on the back. Other than adding theatrical flourish to the spectacle of a display caseback, it gives manufacturers another canvas on which to show off. In this case, a honeycomb motif, presumably in allusion to the busy-bee workmanship required.
4. Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Titanium Watch RRP £9,600
As well as Heuer in the same year (with a little help from Büren and Breitling), Zenith singlehandedly broke ground in 1969 with not only a world-first self-winding chronograph, but one that ticked at 5Hz rather than the usual 4Hz, allowing a timing precision of a tenth of a second. The new Defy 21’s chronograph mechanism now ticks ten times faster than that thanks to a separate powertrain, the central seconds hand flying around the dial every second in a mesmerising spectacle of urgency and sportiness. A Master of Design and precision, it’s a timepiece that has earned its place in horological history.
5. Hublot Big Bang Unico Black Ceramic Watch RRP £16,500
Hublot is a brand known for continually pushing boundaries. Not afraid to break the mould it’s a brand that is celebrated for its forward-thinking ideals – most notably its Art of Fusion philosophy. Forget sticking with the status quo, Hublot has the audacity to march to the beat of its own drum, continually developing new ideas to ensure it remains at the forefront of modern watch design. The Big Bang Unico black ceramic watch is a prime example of a modern investment. Ceramic is in many ways the ultimate material for use in watchmaking. Regularly used for ball bearings as a result of its incredible hardness, it was only a matter of time before Hublot took things one step further. The exact material used in their watch cases is “zirconium oxide” ceramic, an inorganic and non-metallic solid that is considered “scratch-proof” and will never show any signs of wear or aging.
All watches are available at ROX. For more about making an investment in a luxury watch or for more about The Art of Luxury Watchmaking visit https://www.rox.co.uk/art-of-luxury-watchmaking