A luxury watch has become as much an investment opportunity as a chance to own and wear something truly timeless and iconic. Why is this? Because many of them are incredibly difficult to get hold of.
From Rolex watches to Patek Philippe pieces, Audemars Piguet timepieces, and more, many of the luxury designer brands on the market have garnered a reputation for both quality and exclusivity – bolstering their own status as coveted pieces through both a lack of supply and heightened demand.
In this article, we’re pinpointing both the brands and the individual models to look out for if you are after something truly unique and exclusive – sharing the most difficult watches to find on the market.
Which watch brands should you watch out for?
The watch market has become as much a hangout for savvy investors as it is a place where watch lovers, style-conscious buyers, and collectors hang out. Among the brands most likely to hold and increase in value over time, investors in particular tend to favour Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe, though other popular brands include Chanel and of course TAG, which garner interest among buyers from all walks of life.
When identifying the most difficult watches to find on the market today, the former three brands stand out – with certain models within the Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet collections making waves in the market. In fact, in a breakdown of the most expensive timepieces ever sold on the second-hand auction market, it is said that only 17 of them were not Patek Philippe watches – putting this brand up there as one of the highest in value.
With that said, let’s share some of the models which we believe are the hardest to find.
The hardest watches to find on the market
The following timepieces are from the aforementioned brands and are often regarded as the most exclusive in terms of both the limited availability and the refined craftsmanship, which makes them such coveted and in-demand pieces.
Many of these are pieces that we have either heard about or seen in store only once or twice, representing some of the most exciting days here at Love Luxury when we get to handle such iconic and truly unique timepieces.
The Rolex Daytona is the original Chronograph watch, with the capability and built-in function to measure speed and time elapsed, allowing the wearer to calculate their average speed. Designed with F1 race car driving in mind, the Daytona is popular for its optimum functionality as well as its sleek and timeless style – with specific colourways, metals, and finishes more coveted than others among buyers.
In fact, Paul Newman’s own Rolex Daytona boasted the vintage design, and remains the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction.
Typically, we tend to find that the most popular Rolex watches are the ones which fall into the professionals sports collection, though other models like the Daydate and Datejust are rising in demand at an exponential rate, given the recent increase in luxury watch investors.
The Submariner falls into the former category as the gold standard in timepiece waterproofing, though again, the design and style of the piece is timeless. In addition to its highly functional structure and design, the Submariner owes much of its high demand and popularity to A-listers, and in particular Daniel Craig’s James Bond, who wears a Rolex Submariner.
Richard Mille’s Rafael Nadal Watch No. 4
This watch is not only difficult to find on the market (with only 50 models created and released in 2021), but it is also one of the most expensive Richard Mille watches ever made. Costing $2.52 million in the USA, this watch boasts a manual winding movement and was part of Nadal’s fourth collaboration with the brand.
If you find one of the 50 limited pieces which were released, you can expect to pay a royally high price to purchase it.
Patek Philippe Commemorative Collection Grandmaster Chime
We couldn’t possibly create a list of the most expensive and exclusive timepieces on the market, and not talk a little about the iconic Patek Philippe multi-million pound Grandmaster Chime. The watch, which sold for the highest price ever at auction in 2019, was designed in celebration of the brand’s 175th anniversary – with the Ref. 5175 rose gold version one of only seven pieces which were made and released.
The rose gold case is exceptionally intricate, and hand carved with an ornate pattern – an exquisite example of craftsmanship at its best.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Complication
With an 18K white gold case and a built-in calendar that boasts a chronograph as well as the ability to share the date and time with the wearer, the Royal Oak Complication is both the most expensive Audemars Piguet watch on the market, and the most exclusive. It’s one that investment buyers and collectors alike can only dream of seeing, as this is the priciest model outside of the custom-made models that Audemars Piguet creates for specific clients.
Should you invest in a luxury watch?
As evidenced by all of the aforementioned watches and timepieces, there is big money in the luxury watch market – with all of the brands discussed in this article renowned for not only holding their value but far surpassing the purchase value on the second-hand market.
If you are looking for a tangible investment opportunity, one of these watches or any authentic model from one of these brands can be an excellent choice, provided you have the right authentication information and a valuation certificate to guarantee and protect your purchase.
Here at Love Luxury, these are just some of the brands that we love to see and buy in store, with our watches sitting alongside designer handbags and other jewellery items as well. Visit us in Knightsbridge in our boutique, or head online to browse our online shop and see what’s available.