When we think on investments, thoughts often turn to bricks and mortar – yet the complications that come with property investment may see you risk more than you’re actually prepared to. The really clever money is placed on investments that can stand the test of time, weather turbulent economies and can also bring some happiness.
Patek Philippe watches currently represent some of the best investment opportunities around. Based in Geneva and with their focus clearly on pushing the boundaries of chronology, Patek Philippe builds their watches to last down through the generations. It’s the superlative levels of engineering excellence and design that are commanding Philippe Patek auction prices that are – quite frankly – out of this world.
Patek Philippe’s innovative approach to the development of their watches has resulted in some mind-blowing auction successes – recently hitting £9 million at auction. The Patek Philippe 1518 doesn’t come dripping with diamonds or boast elegant, intricate straps, but what makes stand out from other watches is that it was made from stainless steel in 1943, some three decades before Patek Philippe fully committed to working with stainless steel. With only four ever made, the Patek Philippe captures a moment in time when the Swiss watch brand was driving innovation and demanding more of themselves. Patek Philippe has retained the crown for highest price at auction, having previously secured a price of £5.8 million at a Geneva auction.
Is it such a surprise that watches make such outstanding investments? The Philippe Patek brand itself pre-dates the turmoils of Europe in the last century. Ironically born from a displaced Polish soldier’s journey across Europe in the 1830s and 1840s, Philippe Patek weathered two World Wars and the subsequent Cold War, excelling despite the long shadow of the Iron Curtain. Indeed, while European war raged around Switzerland in 1943, Patek Philippe was developing the very same watch – the 1815- that fetched £9 million recently. If a timepiece brand can triumph over adversity to this degree, it has to be a given that Brexit won’t trouble their stock unnecessarily.
The facts surrounding Patek Philippe’s success at auction houses are not hard to find. Neither are they a recent phenomenon. Finding recurring auction success in the brand’s home city of Geneva, the 1933 Patek Philippe Supercomplication pocket watch broke previous records breaker when it sold for US$24 million in 2014. Patek Philippe’s record speaks for itself, but could investing in a Patek Philippe futureproof your portfolio? We won’t make promises – nor should you seek any, but if you’re looking for a robust and reliable signpost, reach for the latest Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index. The news is very good for those who have – as well as those who are seriously considering – an investment in a prestige watch. The watch market has increased around 168 percent across the last 10 years.
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