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Is Resale Value Important?

  • Resale Value is VERY important

    Votes: 6 10.9%
  • Resale value is a factor but not the most important

    Votes: 18 32.7%
  • Resale value - I don't feel either way about it

    Votes: 6 10.9%
  • Resale value - It's not THAT important really is it?

    Votes: 7 12.7%
  • Of total irrelevance - buy what you like and that is that

    Votes: 18 32.7%

  • Total voters
    55
  • Poll closed .
1 - 20 of 67 Posts

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Discussion Starter #1
I could have posted this in the public forum but given that a lot of people buy watches in the $100 to $750 range I don't think the replies would have been recipient to the point/question I want to make/ask.

Some posters in the High End forum grind my gears a bit when they say "resale value is of no consequence, I buy what I like" or/and write "resale value has no place in a topic about what watch to buy". The reason this boils my urine is that it is often written (or this is my perception anyway) in a kind of haughty 'I'm better than you' kind of way. Almost like the subject of money is somehow low grade and that horological purists just wouldn't consider it? Clearly I disagree with that.

My watch collection must have cost me about £250,000 (I've not added it up) - but to give you some background I was born in a VERY poor area in the UK (being the son of an immigrant where we were all shoved into one terribly run down region in the middle of the country). I've never forgotten where I came from - what money is worth - and whilst I don't feel guilty in treating myself (well sometimes I do) I do need to know that if everything went badly I could at least get a sensible return when liquifying assets. So if it is a marginal call between watch A and B but watch A will only depreciate (even after heavy discount) at 10% and watch B will lose 30% I would most likely go for watch A. For me some watches just depreciate too fast and too hard for me to justify the purchase price.

Now to be clear - I'm not saying I am right and others that don't consider this factor are wrong. Each to their own. But I do object to the aforementioned 'lecture' you often get in here about "buy what you like and resale is all irrelevant". If you think it is all nonsense then skip this consideration when it is posited and move on please. I'm a big boy and I don't need telling what should be important to me and what shouldn't.

I would be interested in the thoughts of everyone else - even if I am in the minority.

Regards,

GETS
 

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I think you are wise to not post this in the public area as id expect it be a public flogging / crap show of responses.

I read your post to say that you were from a poor immigrant family and have personally become wildly successful but want to hedge incase the world turns upside down (brexit?? J/K) so u still want to know what your downside is.
Im sure as well that you understand a collection as such is such a lavish way to spend your money - and of course you have every right to do just that, though I would assume(hope) that if you felt so confident that you were able to make those purchases to build that collection, well then you must have the rest of your house in order so to speak- which I certainly hope is your case as no matter how liquid something seems to be, in a real emergency can you really hope to flip the collection asap to save the day if need be?
This underlies some peoples comments, and is why I vote for the last option in your poll, I buy what I want and never intend to sell nor expect to rely on my tiny by comparison (maybe 40K US) collection. Sure it will continue to grow and perhaps get to about 100k when is all said and done, but these future luxury purchases are coming as I have stabilized all other financial aspects of my life and would not be needed in an emergency as I would not continue to acquire additional luxury pieces if this was not the case.
If you read back what you wrote, you say you have a collection worth more than $400K US which is massive by any measurement no matter what success you have personally, and to say to yourself or think it slightly in the back of your mind that they are part of an emergency fund seems a bit odd to be honest, and im sure some would post harsh things in that public forum though they would not be right to do so.

Now before some comment about other collections values and blah blah blah, I state some of this with the understanding that you live in the UK and not Asia where there are many other factors , socio-political what have you that factors into why some use high end luxury items (think PP) as a store of value because they cant show or save or acquire into the global financial system like you or I can.

Bottom line its your cash (quid) and do as you will, and never give an F what anyone on a messageboard says, dont let them get to you or make your blood boil, you dont want to give yourself a heart attack with a collection like that!

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think you are wise to not post this in the public area as id expect it be a public flogging / crap show of responses.

I read your post to say that you were from a poor immigrant family and have personally become wildly successful but want to hedge incase the world turns upside down (brexit?? J/K) so u still want to know what your downside is.
Im sure as well that you understand a collection as such is such a lavish way to spend your money - and of course you have every right to do just that, though I would assume(hope) that if you felt so confident that you were able to make those purchases to build that collection, well then you must have the rest of your house in order so to speak- which I certainly hope is your case as no matter how liquid something seems to be, in a real emergency can you really hope to flip the collection asap to save the day if need be?
This underlies some peoples comments, and is why I vote for the last option in your poll, I buy what I want and never intend to sell nor expect to rely on my tiny by comparison (maybe 40K US) collection. Sure it will continue to grow and perhaps get to about 100k when is all said and done, but these future luxury purchases are coming as I have stabilized all other financial aspects of my life and would not be needed in an emergency as I would not continue to acquire additional luxury pieces if this was not the case.
If you read back what you wrote, you say you have a collection worth more than $400K US which is massive by any measurement no matter what success you have personally, and to say to yourself or think it slightly in the back of your mind that they are part of an emergency fund seems a bit odd to be honest, and im sure some would post harsh things in that public forum though they would not be right to do so.

Now before some comment about other collections values and blah blah blah, I state some of this with the understanding that you live in the UK and not Asia where there are many other factors , socio-political what have you that factors into why some use high end luxury items (think PP) as a store of value because they cant show or save or acquire into the global financial system like you or I can.

Bottom line its your cash (quid) and do as you will, and never give an F what anyone on a messageboard says, dont let them get to you or make your blood boil, you dont want to give yourself a heart attack with a collection like that!

Cheers
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I wouldn't say I'm "wildly successful" but I don't owe anybody anything (banks included) but I try and respect money even when buying terribly unnecessary things (even if that comes across like some kind of oxymoron?)
 

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It's a great question and one that moves on to stuff here in the first world other than just watches. I guess if I could meld both your and m630's comments together that'd be perfect for me (now that is def an oxymoronic statement ;-)) .

Subjective for sure and a related example, I have a friend who is at least a multi millionaire, if not a billionaire, he never buys his cars new (marque names) so as to get the most value for his dollar. I, on the other hand, always buy new obviously taking the hit on depreciation at resale, just my personal emotional make up I guess. Anyway, interesting OP and look forward to other comments/opinions . . .
 
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I voted in the middle, but now I'm reconsidering.

I think it is a factor, but it wouldn't dissuade me from purchasing the watch. Rather, it would have an influence on my acquisition strategy. It would push me to either buy it new, on the one hand, or pre-owned on the other. But it doesn't change the fact that if I fall in love with a watch, I'm still intersted in it despite it's resale value. For example, I got a more or less unworn Lange 1815 up/down at a nice discount from a secondary market dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Because "money" has no reference and it's downhill for 'purchasing power', your lucky to break even.
I won't pretend to fully understand your post other than the last statement around breaking even.

I have no delusions around breaking even or making a profit. None whatsoever. But I am not reckless either and wouldn't buy a Chopard Tourbillon at MSRP and lose £60,000 the next day on depreciation either (even if I thought the watch was 'nice').
 

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I don't know how to vote. I'm with MrBlahBlah. Resale value is not a factor in my decision to buy or not buy a watch, but it is a huge (only?) factor in whether I buy it new or used.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't care either way. Also came up poor. Retired at 50. If I want it I get it but I never buy anything thinking of getting rid of it. Plus, I hate dealing with people looking to scrape the brown off a penny at my expense.
I totally agree with your last comment. Money has never been my God (if it was I wouldn't collect watches!) For the record I have only ever sold two watches of the 27 I have bought - and both times it was to upgrade (Navitimer ETA to Navitimer B01 and Omega AT to a Omega AT GMT)

I don't know how to vote. I'm with MrBlahBlah. Resale value is not a factor in my decision to buy or not buy a watch, but it is a huge (only?) factor in whether I buy it new or used.
That's a really great point and one I always think about but I didn't post on - new vs used.
 

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I agree with you! There are many watches that I love, but will not buy because I know I will loose too much money and I would regret it. To your point, it’s hard-earned money that I just don’t feel like throwing away.
Those who say don’t look at the money, are targeting folks on the other end of the spectrum - the ones who think of their watches as investments. That is silly indeed, given that one rarely can make lots of money from this hobby.


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Very interesting topic, thank you for starting this thread. Hopefully it will also attract all conversations related to resale value and allow other threads to thrive without this underlying question.

My take on this is very personal, and I believe it comes from each collector’s own history and affection towards watches and collecting. While I voted for the last option, I am absolutely aware of the value of each of my watches and how much my collection is worth (both in terms of MSRP and resale). I personally consider this hobby as a passion, something that grabs my feelings and in which I allow myself to make the wildest choices based on my preferences. If I put money in a watch, it means I can afford to loose 100% of its value tomorrow.

Now, I would lie to myself if I didn’t say that the resale value doesn’t impact me AT ALL, but this is mostly because I believe there is a reason behind each object’s value, and I find it interesting to understand if it’s purely speculative or based on the qualities of the piece. My biggest gripe with thinking mostly about value when collecting is that most collection inevitably end up looking similar. Nautilus, Daytona, RO and maybe a GMT master 2 are very common in collection, both from very knowledgeable people and people who know very little about the fine arts of watchmaking.

I tend to collect from the other perspective, by looking at under appreciated pieces that end up costing a lot less than their MSRP, would be super hard to resell but on which I would lose pretty much no money since I get them at such a discount in the first place. The downside being that it would take a long time to flip them if I wanted to.

All the best,
A.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My biggest gripe with thinking mostly about value when collecting is that most collection inevitably end up looking similar. Nautilus, Daytona, RO and maybe a GMT master 2 are very common in collection, both from very knowledgeable people and people who know very little about the fine arts of watchmaking.

I tend to collect from the other perspective, by looking at under appreciated pieces that end up costing a lot less than their MSRP, would be super hard to resell but on which I would lose pretty much no money since I get them at such a discount in the first place. The downside being that it would take a long time to flip them if I wanted to.

All the best,
A.
These are super interesting comments (for me at least) but you will notice I have cherry picked the last 50% of your post? Most of my reason why is probably vanity (I really think I don't have anywhere near a normal collection? Few people have 2 x Longines vs 4 x Patek for example). I really only buy what I like and I am not wedded to just buying pieces that are 'value' or by contrast watches over £15,000....

Your last point is also spot on. If you overpay you will move that watch on quickly, as it is popular, should you need cash. But you can buy cheaper (but move on less easily) if you have more individualistic taste.....

Thank you for your post.
 

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Very interesting topic, thank you for starting this thread. Hopefully it will also attract all conversations related to resale value and allow other threads to thrive without this underlying question.

My take on this is very personal, and I believe it comes from each collector’s own history and affection towards watches and collecting. While I voted for the last option, I am absolutely aware of the value of each of my watches and how much my collection is worth (both in terms of MSRP and resale). I personally consider this hobby as a passion, something that grabs my feelings and in which I allow myself to make the wildest choices based on my preferences. If I put money in a watch, it means I can afford to loose 100% of its value tomorrow.
Definitely a great topic, and absolutely this is a very personal matter. Like the OP, I came from humble beginnings and have been very fortunate over the years. The money I've spent on watches has all come from my share of "mad money" that my spouse and I set aside for ourselves (each with individual accounts for it), so like ar7iste, I could afford to get no resale value, since it's all disposable money.

I have to say as a caveat, though, I'm not much of a flipper, although I have done a couple of large consolidations to prune the collection and to get a couple of more expensive pieces. I definitely took a loss on my trades, but I was OK with that. I also have a couple of watches (Hulk, Silver Snoopy) that I could sell for a massive profit, sort of the flip side (no pun intended). But again, I love those two watches and have no desire to sell them, so the increased value is equally irrelevant to me.

But I recognize that I am probably in the minority (although most likely less so here than in F2) with this position. I don't think there's anything wrong with any of the choices in your poll--horses for courses, as they say.

P.S. Watchbreath's comment stems from the fact that he believes all paper money is pure fiat ever since the gold standard went poof, and therefore has no "real" value.
 

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Yep, and it doesn't even make good toilet paper.
Definitely a great topic, and absolutely this is a very personal matter. Like the OP, I came from humble beginnings and have been very fortunate over the years. The money I've spent on watches has all come from my share of "mad money" that my spouse and I set aside for ourselves (each with individual accounts for it), so like ar7iste, I could afford to get no resale value, since it's all disposable money.

I have to say as a caveat, though, I'm not much of a flipper, although I have done a couple of large consolidations to prune the collection and to get a couple of more expensive pieces. I definitely took a loss on my trades, but I was OK with that. I also have a couple of watches (Hulk, Silver Snoopy) that I could sell for a massive profit, sort of the flip side (no pun intended). But again, I love those two watches and have no desire to sell them, so the increased value is equally irrelevant to me.

But I recognize that I am probably in the minority (although most likely less so here than in F2) with this position. I don't think there's anything wrong with any of the choices in your poll--horses for courses, as they say.

P.S. Watchbreath's comment stems from the fact that he believes all paper money is pure fiat ever since the gold standard went poof, and therefore has no "real" value.
 

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For me, value retention and resale value is a double edged sword. Like most of us, money is not falling out of the trees like iguanas on a cold Florida morning for me. What I pay for a watch vs. what I percieve I may be able to get out of the watch if I have to liquidate is always in the back of my mind, and that ratio of cost/value cannot get too out of whack for me. I also like to trade, so the market value of some of my pieces is carefully watched.

On the other hand, being to conscious of resale value over brand and quality has also cost me. I think I really missed the boat on F.P Journe and some other independents, because I was too frozen to pull the trigger worrying about the future values. I also clearly liquidated my Rolex collection thinking the market was stagnant and stable over time. I think the lesson for me was, within reason, not to worry about it too much, as the values can be pertty unpredictable over the long term. You have to simply buy what you like and what you can afford, because in the end, you just dont know what the market is truly going to do, and some you'll win on and some you'll lose. I just try to not lose too big!
 

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I think you are wise to not post this in the public area as id expect it be a public flogging / crap show of responses.

Im sure as well that you understand a collection as such is such a lavish way to spend your money - and of course you have every right to do just that, though I would assume(hope) that if you felt so confident that you were able to make those purchases to build that collection, well then you must have the rest of your house in order so to speak- which I certainly hope is your case as no matter how liquid something seems to be, in a real emergency can you really hope to flip the collection asap to save the day if need be?... If you read back what you wrote, you say you have a collection worth more than $400K US which is massive by any measurement no matter what success you have personally, and to say to yourself or think it slightly in the back of your mind that they are part of an emergency fund seems a bit odd to be honest, and im sure some would post harsh things in that public forum though they would not be right to do so.
Normally, I’d agree, but wasn’t “Children of Men” set in the UK? ;-)
 

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What does resale value even mean?

Most of the time I get the impression that people mean if they buy it will they then be able to sell it at an amount that isn’t too much lower. I which case, the question isn’t resale, it’s whether the purchase price is too high.

Otherwise, is it a question of whether the price on the secondary market is trending downward or upward over time? Who really knows this? In 1987 could a person who bought a Rolex Daytona and an Ebel 1911 chronograph at roughly the same price know which one would stagnate? If I buy a Jaquet Droz and an Arnold & Sons now at the same selling price net of respective discounts, can I tell whether one of them will retain its value? Will it be the JD because it’s owned by the Swatch group and will likely have more durable support in the long run? But if that’s true wouldn’t that expectation be priced into the acquisition cost?

It seems to be there’s no such thing as resale value, only reasonable acquisition costs.
 
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