As you all noticed, watches, cars and real estate are our passion and we believe in the education of wealth. Having money is not about spending it without looking, it is about understanding how to make it and valuing its importance. The wealthier people get the more likely they are to spend but in most cases for those of us that have earned our share, we are also very cautious about not losing money especially on luxuries.
We had first discussed the best bargain supercar under $100,000 and now we discuss the best watch under $3000. There are many watch brands out there and all may seem as easy to pick as the design you like but the reality remains that buying your first nice timepiece can be as difficult as buying your first exotic car. The watches need servicing, may or may not have warranty and share many similarities but yet all remain unique due to their trademarked characteristics.
So who are the key players and what are they famous for?
Breitling Watches: The famous Breitling Aviator watches, known to be worn by just about every celebrity and known for its big faced shinny design coupled with a bling factor. The Breitling watches are famous and notorious for drawing attention to your wrist and are British designed with a Swiss movement. The expensive factor is based on the fact that they are the most expensive watches along with Rolex sitting at your local jewelry store. They are a retail type watch, some models rare than others but for the most part very common. The models depreciate about 50% in their first year, meaning a $8000 model can be found for $4000-$5000 very easily. The models that can be found used and are a great value for the money are: The Navitimer, Avenger, Emergency Mission, and the Chronomatic. Those are all fantastic value for the money and in most cases can be found for about $3000 or less depending on their age. When buying a Breitling, keep in mind that some of them are very hard to service, due to the chrono sandwich dial. Breitling service usually costs about $500-$700 depending on the model and is required every 3-4 years.
Omega Watches: The James Bond watch, Omega is famous for being the official bond watch, they have over 5 models all available with 007 special insignia models and are also know to be a superb divers watch. Highly resistant to impact and very reliable, the Omega watches are fantastic daily watches. Most Omega watches can be found for less than $2000 on the used market as they retail new for about $3500. Omega does make watches that cost over $10,000 but are not as common and offered through your local retailer. The watches often come on stainless steel bracelet and very rarely come with a leather or alligator strap. The servicing is limited to once in 5 years and costs about $200, making this watch the best bang for the buck when it comes to a daily piece. Some of their more famous models under $3000 include the Planet Ocean, Planet Ocean Chrono, Seamaster and Speedmaster lines.
Chopard Watches: The Formula one derived watch, Chopard mainly known for its jewelry designs and expensive diamonds is also in the watch business. Their watches have been affiliated with formula one for a few years now since the launch of their famous line the Mille 1000. It consists of several models that are big faced with complex chrono designs and are fully automatic just like the Omegas and Breitlings but come on a rubber strap. That’s right, the strap is made from the same rubber as a Ferrari tire. A great piece by all means but know for its huge depreciation factor. A new Chopard costs about $8000 but is worth no more than $2000 on the used market after a year. The lack of demand for the watch makes it a hard seller on the used watch market. The design is not for everyday, the servicing is expensive at $800 for 3 years and the depreciation is horrible. We recommend Chopard only to those that posses a collection and are looking for a great bargain timepiece, not to those looking for their first expensive watch. Famous models in this lineup under $3000 would be almost every Chopard over 2 years old, our favorite the Mille Miglia Xl.
IWC Watches: The most prestigious time pieces on the planet, IWC have and always will be my favorite line of watches, having a major lineup going from $5000 to over $100,000. IWC makes the nicest and most precise business timepieces and are very reasonably priced for what you get. IWC is also known for its sister company Officine Panerai which is world famous for its prestige status. The IWC line has some really nice pieces like the Portuguese, Ingenieur, and the Chrono which all can be had under $3000 after being 3-4 years old. IWC isn’t cheap in terms of service but $600 every 4 years is reasonable for what you get. Known for its Italian design and Swiss movement the timeless classic designs look very elegant with any suit or GQ look and are only known by connoisseurs. This in my opinion is timeless as the models are rarer and have more exclusivity to them.
That concludes our lineup of watches you can buy under $3000. Simply remember that the complexity of watches is far more than what meets the eye but a well worth investment that will not depreciate much if purchased properly. Do not buy Grey market watches and do not buy new retail watches as you will lose the most, instead buy used watches that are in mint condition with receipts and service records from reputable sellers on watch forums, car forums and local listings.
So enjoy your new exotic car by making sure you have the right watch on hanging out the window and let us know what you buy.