Whether you’re looking to get started flipping luxury timepieces, picking one up to enjoy, and/or just want a mid-range daily go-to, there are plenty of options you can accomplish this with. Below are the top on our list that can be acquired for $5,000 and below.
Officine Panerai as the brand is officially known, has gained a loyal following in the past decades. Mostly due to the presence of being on the wrists of famous actors & athletes. The watches are from Italian origin and were originally made for the Italian Navy to withstand treacherous conditions at sea.
On the higher end of the scale, you can also pick up select Panerai Luminor 1950 models which have cases modeled after the heritage pieces created in 1950 by Officine Panerai.
In the past decade, Omega as a brand has made a climb up the prestige ladder and is now fast approaching the prowess of Rolex. Their franchise classic, the Omega Seamaster, is a beautiful timepiece which has several model variations. Many of the models they produce can be acquired under the $5,000 mark. The limited edition James Bond models of the Seamaster will run you a little higher, and are often highly sought after due to their ties with the legendary movie franchise.
There is also the Omega Speedmaster which is the other franchise model. The Speedmaster has so many variations it’s hard to keep track. You can find them in almost every serious collector’s repertoire, and rare variations trade hands at prices well above this $5,000 threshold. Originally renowned for being the first watch on the moon when Buzz Aldrin landed there, this model has grown quite the following.
Rolex timepieces need no introduction. Their brand and heritage have long been envied and sought after by adults and children who watched (no pun intended) their role models wear them as a symbol of status and power.
The best part about Rolex, is their designs are so desirable, that they haven’t changed the look of them in decades! What does this all mean in regards to this list and you? Well, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual (one of the timeless classics) can be acquired and flipped for a profit. Oyster Perpetual is a reference to the automatic rotor winding movement and bracelets that come with these timepieces. There are versions with or without a date Cyclops, and they look slightly newer than some of the vintage DateJust models you’ll find made in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Another model within the $5,000 budget is the Explorer I & II. The Explorer models were created for adventure seeking individuals and have a high secondary market presence. They are on the entry-level end of Rolexes sports model line, and their dials typically come in either black or polar white. The Polar white dial is more sought after but the black dial is a favorite as well. Stay away from crazy dial colors on the Explorer.
Cartier is a French company that you may recognize from their long heritage of creating fine jewels for some of the world’s most elite and royal clientele. Beyond the diamonds and pearls mostly favoring the female gender, Cartier has designed luxury timepieces for decades that men and women revere.
One particular model which is their franchise piece is the Ballon Bleu. The Cartier Ballon Bleu comes in different sizes and has different movements. The top seller is the 42mm unisex Ballon Bleu and can comes in different combinations of metals like stainless steel, gold & steel, or full gold.
Another well-known model by Cartier is the Santos. The XL versions are slightly larger than the original models. Both have the signature square casing that provides a bold and unique wrist presence. You can pick one up anywhere from $0.2 – $0.4 on the dollar and still make good money.
Hublot is a Swiss watch company founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco. They are well known these days for their wrist presence on athletes, rappers, actors, and high profile business men of the younger generation.
One of Hublot’s signature pieces can be acquired for under $5,000, and that model is the Classic Fusion. Simple & elegant in design, it can trade hands at a price point way below the $5,000 mark. If bought at the right price, you can make a handsome profit on this timepiece and even enjoy wearing it for as long as you want. Although not as high in demand as their other models like the Big Bang, the Classic Fusion is a simple, elegant, and clean entry level Hublot that can still make you feel like a six-figure baller.
Breitling is a name synonymous with aviation. The roots of their brand are providing flight instruments to pilots. From this design focus, they produced some awesome timepieces with more functions then you’ll ever need unless you’re in flight or at sea.
There are a few models which have killer wrist presence and can be acquired for pennies on the dollar of their retail value. When you can pay up to $5,000 for a Breitling, you can really get some bang for your buck in the pre-owned market. Two models in particular are worth trying. One is the Breitling Chronomat. It’s a beast at 44mm, and has many variations when it comes to the models. The B01 specifically is highly sought after. They are a great heavyweight chronograph and can make you some money if bought at ~$0.3 on the dollar.
The other model that is highly sought after is the Navitimer. These amazing instruments have an insane amount of complications and functionality. They truly represent Breitling’s credo of being a navigation instrument. Folks love buying Navitimers in the secondary market.
IWC (International Watch Company) was founded in 1868 by an American watch maker and is based out of Schaffhausen Switzerland. They have a long history of producing impeccable and beautiful timepieces desired by collectors, enthusiasts, and even novices.
IWC produces several high-end timepieces that are great for flipping and should be in any serious collector’s repertoire. There are some excellent models you can snag under $5,000 that are sure to make you fall in love with the brand, and still make you money.
The first is the IWC Pilot. The variations of this model include Big Pilot, Pilot chronograph, and simply the Pilot. Certain dial colors and variations are in high demand on the secondary market and if you can pick one up between $0.30 – $0.35 on the dollar you should be able to make a decent margin.
The other model is the Aquatimer. The IWC Aquatimer has several models (new and old) that are worth investing in. Specifically, rare models like the Jacques Cousteau tribute to Calypso and models with desirable dial colors like accent yellow at the right price can be very lucrative.
There are many more watch models that can be acquired for enjoyment and profit under the $5,000 mark. These are just some of the best ones we’ve found that not only give the owner that amazing luxury feel, but will also allow them to profit when they want to resell them in the future.