Nobody can predict the future, especially these days, but when it comes to watches there are certain things you can look for if you’re thinking of an investment piece. Big brands, limited runs, cool, hard-to-get releases and decent specs are all solid indicators that you have a future classic on your hands. Or hopefully, your wrists.
Here then are our picks for five 2020 releases that are worth investing in. We’re not guaranteeing they’ll go up in value – we may be called Oracle but we don’t have a crystal ball – but they’re as close to a safe bet as these things get.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41mm, £4,700
The latest clutch of pieces from Rolex might predominantly focus on their Submariners, but for us the one that’ll stand the test of time will be the new, brightly-coloured numbers under the Oyster Perpetual entry-level line. They have all the hallmarks of a future Rolex classic: steel cases, great movements and seriously funky dials. The yellow’s probably the safest of the lot, though the coral red is the most unusual (so potentially most collectible) of the lot.
More details at Rolex.
Breitling Superocean 57 Heritage, £3,750
Possibly the coolest Breitling of the past few years – re-issues included – is the Superocean 57 Heritage, a surfer-slanted throwback slice of retro goodness. That goes double for the rainbow-indexed version, which actually saw two different variations.
Initially there was the black-dialled number, followed by a blue version that’s quite possibly a future grail piece. The icing on the cake? Part of the proceeds went to help frontline staff in the fight against COVID 19. Limited release, great-looking watch and a unique story: it has everything.
More details at Breitling.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 7234G, £37,350
Any Patek Philippe is collectible; other than Rolex they’re one of the few watchmakers you can be confident in gaining value. Rarely though are they divisive; their military style pilots’ piece, originally launched in 2015, was. That should, in a few years, equate to serious auction heft.
This latest version is smaller and more in line with Patek Philippe’s overall personality, but it still has that tool watch, aviation look, making it stand out from the watchmaker’s other pieces. The original is already a collectors’ item; give it a little time and this slightly more wearable version will be too.
More details at Patek Philippe.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue, £2,760
Tudor is a big part of the reason retro divers are so big and the original Black Bay was already a vintage throwback. The Fifty-Eight though nails the archival vibe with nods to the 1958 Big Crown and a slimmer 39mm construction. Of the collection, the navy blue will likely come to be the defining model, so get in there while you still can. It’s no secret that Tudor watches are future classics, so the sooner you get on board the better.
More details at Tudor.
Omega Seamaster 300m Chronograph Tantalum, £16,540
Tantalum’s an odd, incredibly rare metal and one that’s starting to find a home in watchmaking. Omega though was ahead of the curve when they first used it in 1993 and remain so in this limited edition take on the iconic Bond watch.
The precious metal’s used sparingly, but paired with rose gold and titanium it makes for an impressive-looking piece with a twist. It’s these smaller variations that really make an investment piece and the Co-Axial movement inside ensures it’ll live to tell the tale when (or if) you do come to part with it.
More details at Omega.