When you buy a high-end watch, you’re buying more than an expensive adornment — you’re investing in a lifetime relationship with the brand. Your watch is more than just a timekeeper – it’s a symbol of your personality. It sends out a message about your characteristics and taste.
Besides making a style statement, owning and wearing a timepiece also states a quality that you identify with — a quality that is you. Exclusive brands such as Ulysse Nardin, Leon Hatot, Breguet, Raymond Weil, Jaquet Droz, Piaget, Cartier, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe are not just beautiful ads in glossy magazines anymore; they can easily become a part of your collection.
A growing number of high net-worth individuals and a market for luxury goods make India a promising market for global brands. A number of high-end brands have entered the market.
You don’t have to import a Rolex or a Cartier anymore. Though that fancy watch is more accessible, it also makes the choice more difficult. Whether you’d like mechanical movement or quartz, a sports watch or an elegant piece of jewellery, the perpetual calendar or the chronograph — the choice is huge.
No matter what you choose, each watch makes a statement. Jai Ruparel, a Mumbai-based banker, owns an Omega Seamaster and believes it reflects his enthusiasm for sports. Many people prefer a pre-owned luxury watch. A pre owned Rolex watch makes a perfect choice for many watch collectors.
“I think a watch says a lot about the person wearing it. A guy wearing a good watch is someone who knows what he wants,” he says. For men, it’s more than a watch — it’s one of the few pieces of jewellery they wear. For women, it adds elegance and style to the sari and the stylish black dress.
Debra Wilson believes that her Longines watch reflects her personal taste and adds glamour to evening wear. “You have to have taste to pick out a smart, classy watch,” she says.
“It’s important because what you wear — your clothes, your tie and your watch — matter at business meetings and events.” Instead of bulking up on diamonds, try a subtle diamond-studded watch for a party.
If you’re wondering why you should invest in an expensive watch just to make a statement, it’s because these timepieces don’t just make a point. The value of a high-end watch only increases with time.
Though most brands launch new collections every season, old timepieces have heritage status. “Some of our watches have been passed on six times over to generations,” says Laurent Michaud, country manager, far-east, Ulysse Nardin.
In other words, these timepieces are masterpieces that are also collectors’ items and are an investment. Though fashionable, these timepieces are not dictated by fashion or season.
It’s almost like investing in jewellery — and in some cases, timepieces can be more expensive than jewellery. Franck Muller, Chopard, Tag Heuer, Baume & Mercier, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Breitling, Jaquet Droz, Breguet and Piaget are in a class of their own.
“A Rolex,” says Viraal Rajan of the watch boutique, Time Avenue, “is the Mercedes Benz of watches. The prestige and value attached to a Rolex are incomparable.” The Rolex, like most high-end mechanical watches, can last for over 25 years without any need for repair.
Even if you did have a problem with the watch, having it serviced is a pleasure. Once you’re a part of the brand, you’re treated like a member of the family.
“Those who patronise Mont Blanc are special to us, and once they buy a Mont Blanc, they are automatically welcomed as a member of our family worldwide,” says Anna Bredemeyer, spokesperson for Mont Blanc.
And once your name appears in the database of an exclusive brand, you can get your timepiece serviced every few years at any authorized service center of the brand, anywhere in the world.
Being attached to a brand and passing on the legacy of that luxury watch is far more prestigious than just showing off your timepiece.