“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Santayana
Well, what if we want to repeat the past? Watch aficionados, collectors, and investors in general like John Mayer and Kevin O’leary are always trying to predict what watches make the best investment. What future classics are lurking unsuspectingly in the contemporary watch market? Let’s look at some of the most valuable vintage watches on the market and learn from history. We’ll exclude one offs like Paul Newman’s Paul Newman or the Bao Dai Rolex because the conditions that made those watches so expensive aren’t easily recreated now. I’m talking about the Rolex GMT 6452, the regular Paul Newman, Double Red Sea Dwellers, and CK2915 Speedmasters. Highly collectible and valuable but at one time regular watches. All those mentioned watches were a couple hundred dollars retail or less when they were new and have sold at auctions for six figures. Watches in general weren’t as expensive in the 60’s as they were more of a tool than luxury item but still, adjust to match today’s prices for those models and a six figure sale at auction is an insane profit.
What these watches have in common is that they weren’t produced in large numbers and very few exist in great condition. If we’re looking at the current landscape it can be hard to see which watches will be much more valuable in the future.
A lot of people gravitate towards the Hulk Submariner, the Oyster Bracelet Batman or white dial ceramic Daytona. If you think John Mayer can tell the future, you’ll snatch up the Christmas dial yellow gold Daytona and the white gold blue dial Daytona. Which I would agree with if he would have kept that “pick” to himself. Mayer is pretty well respected in the watch community and the watch community itself isn’t very big. The video in which he made this prediction has almost a million views. I think at the very least, he tarnished his own pick and a generous amount of the yellow and white gold Daytonas he refers to will be safe and sound and readily available in mint condidtion in the future. I however have no influence in the watch community, and because of that I’m not afraid of sharing what I think we’re all missing as a pretty obvious pick. We’re missing it because I think it was a confusing watch at best and hated at worst when it was announced.
The Tudor Black Bay P01. I know, I know it’s not what anyone was hoping for from Tudor at Baselworld, but I think that’s part of what’s going to make it highly collectible and sought after in the future. Does anyone know a watch collector who is clamoring to buy one? Who has seen one listed on any dealer websites? Do you think Tudor planned on selling thousands upon thousands of that model? I think the supply and demand for this watch will be very low. That combined with the fact that it’s from a respected brand like Tudor and that the watch has some rich history in a once thought fake prototype from the brand make this the future big seller at auctions. Mark my words, if watches are still collectible in 50 years, the bubble doesn’t pop, and the Apple watch doesn’t take over everyone’s wrist, the P01 will be fetching 10 if not 100 times more than it’s retailing for now. Just like the unpopular in its day Paul Newman Daytona.