It doesn’t take an expert to know that Rolex and Patek Philippe claim the lion’s share of the market. Blue-chip watches, like the Daytona and GMT-Master II, simply do not sit around in stores waiting to be picked up. Rolex is notoriously tight-fisted with these models, doling them out only to the best retailers who then place direct calls to their best clients. It is said that the wait for some models lasts years.
Likewise, Patek Philippe’s sport models, like the Nautilus Ref 5711, its minute repeaters and grand complications, are watches that money alone cannot buy. These are known as application watches and they’re strictly reserved for Patek VIPs.
Thankfully there is a world beyond Rolex and Patek Philippe. Going by the latest auction results—because auctions are the best barometers of true market demand— collectors are flocking to Tudor for its trendy Black Bay models, particularly the special editions made in collaboration with retailers such as Harrods and Bucherer. Need more proof of Tudor’s red-hot popularity? A unique piece made for the Only Watch auction in 2017 closed for a record-breaking SGD478,120, obliterating its high estimate of SGD7,513.
Other hot favourites include the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, which returned to the limelight after a successful run with the 2017 Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC. Hublot too is making waves with exciting collaborations and limited editions. Special editions done right almost always do well—remember the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award? It’s going for more than double its MSRP on the resale market now.
Offering a balance of good value proposition and exclusivity, these are the rising stars of haute horlogerie that are worth investing in right now.