It’s 2023, and luxury watches are still a hot commodity.
Impressive craftsmanship, technical innovations, and timeless elegance (not to mention their considerable investment potential) are just a few of the reasons watch lovers are so keen on collecting them.
Increasingly, people of every walk of life are adorning their wrists with extraordinary timepieces. Even Ed Sheeran can’t live without luxury watches, as his impressive watch collection demonstrates. But what’s the best way to start a collection? And which watches are more suitable for experienced collectors?
Let’s begin by taking a look at Ed Sheeran’s first watch, the Hublot Big Bang Rose Gold 341.PX.130.RX, which has increased in value by 35% since internal data collection.
To this, He recorded the largest increases with his holdings in Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. On the one hand, he owns a Royal Oak Offshore 26170ST.OO.D101CR.01, which has risen by +77%.
His most famous watch is the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-001, which has increased in value by 312%. He also owns a unique and sophisticated Patek Philippe timepiece, the Perpetual Calendar with an annual calendar complication.
It’s safe to say that Ed Sheeran went for pretty legendary watches right from the start.
But back to our original question:
What’s the perfect watch for each phase of your collecting journey? It’s always been a difficult question to answer – that is, until now.
Our Chrono24 Watch Collection Study determined the likelihood that a watch collector will add a specific brand model to their collection at any given point. The data reveal which brands are considered popular “entry level brands”, which “veteran brands” tend to be added to watch collections later, and what the “universally loved brands” are among collectors around the world.
On average, 37% of collectors choose a Rolex, regardless of whether it’s their first watch or their 20th.
Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet appeal more to experienced collectors: only about 2% of collectors start with these brands. However, by the 10th watch, the percentage of AP acquisitions doubles. Patek Philippe shows an almost linear growth and reaches a share of 7.5% by the 20th watch, which is the third-highest share of all brands (after Rolex and Omega).
TAG Heuer is a popular first watch with almost 6% of collectors and therefore strongly represented, but this percentage drops by half by watch number four, and by two-thirds by watch ten. Both Tissot and Breitling also show negative rates of change over time, losing much of their appeal by watch 20 (-1.8% and -2.1% respectively).
Ed Sheeran has taken a rather unconventional route in this regard, but with an estimated fortune of around $200 million, he can afford a little luxury. For others, TAG Heuer, under the leadership of its new CEO Frédéric Arnault, will certainly continue to be a popular choice for new collectors and may well be the brand to watch going forward.
It should be noted that Hublot, IWC, and Cartier are among the so-called “universally loved brands.” Which watch would you choose?