We all know the name. The crown jewel (literally and figuratively) of the luxury timepiece world… ROLEX.
From being the universal social symbol of success, to the sentimental emotions it elicits, Rolex is by far the most recognized brand worldwide whether you’re just looking to flex in front of your friends, or you like to think you’re collecting assets that you can make money on/hand down to your children.
There is so much good that comes with trading, enjoying, and collecting Rolex timepieces. But there’s also a lot of profits, enjoyment, and experience you’re missing out on by not giving the other amazing luxury timepiece brands that hold value wrist time.
Some of the largest profits and best investment grade pieces are NOT Rolexes. You heard that right. The crown jewel brand although similar to a blue-chip stock where you can’t lose if you buy right has its downsides. Because Rolex is the most sought after brand in the world, everyone from a seasoned collector to a newbie who owns none knows something about the models. There is a plethora of information on the internet, in books, ads, etc that allows one to not only look up the prices of Rolexes, but also the market trends of where they sell at. This exorbitant amount of information makes it difficult to not only get one at a killer deal, but to command a large margin due to how much transparency is in the market.
This is especially true with the sport lineup of Rolex. Think, GMT Master II (Batman, Hulk, Pepsi), Daytona, Submariner, SkyDweller, etc. Most of these in demand models and color combos which we teach in Watch Trading Academy sell for MSRP retail sticker price new and trade well over that list price on the secondary market. The combination of the high demand plus seemingly scarcity of these watches at list price creates chaos in the market. To the point where people will pay 2-3X over what the watch goes for new.
Now this is obviously nice if you get one at list price. But most won’t, and so many fall into the trap of trying to snag one at $500-$1000 below the lowest comp on the market to try to make $500 profit. This is a silly investment. And it is not a sound one no matter how strong Rolex is as a brand. The intrinsic value simply isn’t there for the steel models, and even some of the gold/everose models are way overpriced to be considered strong investments.
That said, it’s obvious that the upside here is these models are hot and probably won’t sit long at a decent price. This is the paradox of Rolex and why it should only be a quiver in your entire portfolio of timepieces.
I’m a huge advocate of diversification in your luxury timepiece portfolio. Think of it like a stock portfolio. If you put all of your money in one blue-chip stock, sure you’ll probably be safe, but you won’t be doing much more than any other average Joe in terms of returns or showing off your collection. On the other hand, if you rotate through other amazing brands and pieces, not only are you enjoying new watches, you’re also balancing out your risk and simultaneously increasing your margins on each trade.
When I build out a collection or portfolio, I like to keep a little of everything to cover the gamut of what my customers may want to buy from me, and so that there is an option for each taste/price range.
You can do this with 5 watches, 50 watches, 500 watches, and so on. An example of some of these types of different options would be having at least one gold timepiece. Having a luxury sport steel model of some brand. Having at least one Rolex. Having a few watches under the $5K mark, $10K mark, and one or two above $15K. Having one with a precious metal bracelet and one with a leather strap. Covering some of these different aesthetics categories and price points ensures you have a little something for everyone. You should also consider having a ratio of quick flips and Holds as we teach you in Watch Trading Academy. I like to keep my portfolio around 70/30. 70% quick flips and 30% holds. This ensures the money keeps rolling and flowing while you patiently wait for the right buyer for the hold pieces. The hold pieces are the ones you can make killer margin on. Like $10K margin. But in order to even get to the point where you can make that kind of return on investment on a watch, you need to branch out from just Rolex.
I would suggest Panerai, Ulysse Nardin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier, Omega, Breitling, Bell & Ross, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, to name a few. There are so many great brands and timepieces out there and you should limit yourself to just one. It’s fun learning about the brands as you get to enjoy and experience them. We provide you the best brands that hold value in the Academy so you don’t have to sweat venturing into some unknown territory where you’ll be stuck in a piece of junk.
So push your limits, try something new, and who knows… maybe you’ll find a new brand that you didn’t even know you loved so much that will make you a fortune. For me that is Ulysse Nardin.