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There seem to be quite a few popular non-big-name watches out there offered by small companies that presumably will stop making watches when their principals retire. Do people have opinions on whether these watches nonetheless are likely to retain their long term value? I was thinking particularly about buying an RGM watch, but the question could equally apply to many brands. Thanks for any input.
 

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Watches will take an initial hit when bought new, so you'll be paying something to be the first person to wear it.

Me? I don't care. I buy used, so someone else takes that depreciation and, if I buy smart, I don't lose money.

Look up what watch you want new, then look it up used. See f the difference is something you're willing to pay.
 

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RGM with inhouse movement, and other brands like that should retain the value.
The ones using a basic ETA or eqvivalent - i do not think so.

Just look back. There was a veritable sea of PLC brands in the 50's and 60's. Good quality stuff. Today unknown brands. Virtually worthless.

IMHO the best Vintage buys out there!
 
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I never buy a watch based on what its value might be now or later; I buy it because I like it. Specialty pieces will have value but who knows how much; it will be based on how the brand plays out over time; certainly not like purchasing a big brand where you know that ahead of time.
But, won't it be less than a big brand, and won't you like it?
Just for the record, I also buy most used.(gently)
 

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Interesting you mentioned RGM. When I think "microbrand" I look at the many companies like Helson which make high quality pieces but are really more assemblers (outsourced production of all parts) than they are actual watch makers. For that group I would say that their appeal will diminish to nothing as the company goes under. Value is a whole other animal. Only PP and Rolex have shown to go up/retain their value consistently. To think about the monetary value is a fools errand.

For true "watchmakers" like RGM that have a significant hand in the craft (their Guilloche is awesome) and do more than outsource the components there will always be a following. It likely will also go down as the company expires but for those that have the funds and passion, there is true art and authenticity in an RGM watch that you don't get in other microbrands. Nothing against other companies that assemble but they don't have the essence to keep them valuable long after the company goes dark.

Just my .02
 

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Depends on the micro brand...Kronos, probably not.... Precista, maybe.
 
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No chance micro brands retain their value. RGM is a different animal than Helson or Benarus.
Well Halson, Halios, Dievas, Stowa etc are much better priced than, say, a TAG Carrera than some eegiot might pay full MSRP for ( :-x ) so they lose much less upon resale. Some even sell for full retail as there are long lead times for new watches.

Dunno about RGM.
 

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Sure, they retain value, a tiny portion of it.

When you buy a micro-brand, you make the number of people who are willing to buy that watch really tiny. So, if they want the watch, they can afford to play the 'waiting game' knowing that very few people will be competing with them, and you'll generally be willing to part with it for less just because you won't have any other options other than keeping it.

Compare that with Rolex. How many people out there know them? Want them? Collect them? Tons. Subs are almost alternative currency.

Unless you have something with rarity AND huge provenance/fame (like some low-number Panerai or a notable Patek, for example) rarity works against you.
 

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Unless you have something with rarity AND huge provenance/fame... rarity works against you.
True that.
Micro schmicro.
Their only cache is their "esoterica" value - valued by watch geeks to/for/by/with/under/over/next to/ other watch geeks.

Every time I see people go gaga over the same millionth iteration of the typical diver - plongeur hands, ETA 2824 (whoopdeedoo), fat bezel, fat spring bars, etc - I see myself going gaga over Hot Wheels... as a kid.

Believe you me, only we cool kids in-the-know knew what we were looking at. Teachers and parents had NO idea what was what, the benighted fools... who only had real cars. How boring.
 

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Every time I see people go gaga over the same millionth iteration of the typical diver - plongeur hands, ETA 2824 (whoopdeedoo), fat bezel, fat spring bars, etc - I see me going gaga over Hot Wheels... as a kid.
Oh god.

I think you've just cracked the secret code. Watch collections are adult Hot Wheels collections. My third eye...it's...opening. I see it now. I see it all!
 

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Oh god.

I think you've just cracked the secret code. Watch collections are adult Hot Wheels collections. My third eye...it's...opening. I see it now. I see it all!

Man, I thought the world began and ended with them.
Those sleepless nights!
Wishing Bobby would drop dead or something and bequeath his entire collection to ME!!!! Dammmit!
While wondering if Lucy might like me mo better if I had more, cooler, HWs....
 

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Sounds like the world just came into focus.

As the owner of an RGM, it is not about owning a watch that will hold monetary value because the watch will not do so unless there is something about it that appeals to a very small buying public. The real value of ownership is in owning something that is not owned by everyone else, has a degree of uniqueness, and may lead to a conversation one day.
 

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Not sure how this applies to the original question but the value of my micro-brand watch is that it has a decent reliable movement, housed in a good looking (albeit homage) case made by a reputable German case-maker and it cost me less than one of the bracelets for my normal-branded watches.
 

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I have yet to own a watch longer than 6 months, micro or not. One day I will buy a watch I think I want to keep longer than 6 months, then I will not care how much value it retains in the future.
 

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I guess it depends of which models you're talking about. In my experience with many boutique watches, I have never lost a cent selling one (yet), and I almost always made a decent profit doing so. If it's not a limited edition, and if it's still available, well, you'll be loosing money because I don't see why someone would pay retail or higher for a used watch when they can purchased new. But if you have a limited edition of a popular model that is sold out, chances are you'll be making a few bucks if not a good profit, even if the company doesn't exist anymore.

The PRS-2 Dreadnought is a great example of a very popular boutique watch that went crazy in price on the sales forum after it sold out, selling easily 4 times it's original price a few years later. I know that this doesn't happen every day and the PRS-2 is rather an exception in reaching this kind of resale value, but their're others models that do very well, like the Halios Bluering.

Another advantage i find with these limited run, is the opportunity to buy on a pre-order price and get even more chance of making a profit if you ever decide to sell it later.
I obviously do not buy watches as an investment, but i know that a few LE I have will not loose value and some will even increase if I sell them. Others will loose, and it's ok. Thank god I'm not a serial flipper!

As for anything you sell, it all comes down to supply and demand. The best watch in the world doesn't worth much on the use market if nobody wants it or if it's available everywhere. Timing is everything.
 

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