5 watches that outperformed Wall Street as an investment

by | May 2, 2022 - 6:00AM | Watches

Patek Philippe 5711 various models, hero image

The S&P500 is simply an index made up of the top 500 companies on the US stock exchange.

If you had invested $100 in the S&P500 in 2017, for example, you’d now have about $220, which is an excellent return.

However, the index is also used as a benchmark to discuss the market performance of just about anything from fine wine to watches to vintage cars.

READ MORE: 7 watches that cost more than a Bugatti Chiron

There are several watch models that have outperformed the S&P500 over the last few years but, for the sake of brevity, let’s start with these five.

1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo: $70,000 – $560,000*

The AP Royal Oak is a simple automatic sportswatch that’s been around since the early 1970s.

An icon in terms of design and made by one of the biggest names in the business but, at the end of the day, it’s all about supply and demand.

It’s never been cheap to begin with but it’s absolutely gone bonkers now, especially the Jumbo, which is actually the one people want.

It is becoming hard to find even for under $100,000 unless you’re willing to make sacrifices in terms of condition or production year.

Certain rarer iterations such as the extra-thin version are worth half a million now.

READ MORE: The $99 Casioak watch everyone’s obsessed with just got an upgrade

2. Rolex Submariner ‘Hulk’: $40,000 – $80,000*

Rolex never officially used the name ‘Hulk’ but collectors call it that because of the green bezel and face combo.

It was already pretty expensive to begin with but prices went through the roof after it was discontinued in 2020.

If you’d bought one for $15,000 to $20,000 before the announcement, you could now sell it for anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000, depending on condition and whether you’ve got box and papers.

That certainly sounds like a decent return.

3. Richard Mille RM 011: $200,000 – $950,000*

Richard Milles have always been far from cheap, especially the RM 011, which is basically unattainable now.

These days you can’t really buy an RM at retail, even if you can afford one, because they simply can’t keep up with demand.

So you’re gonna have to get it in the pre-owned market, where you will be charged a pretty penny.

If you bought one new in 2017, your investment has certainly doubled, unless it was a limited-edition piece, in which it’s quadrupled.

And that’s the worst case scenario.

4. Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time: $90,000 – $190,000*

There are two Patek Philippe models here, let’s start with the cheapest.

And that of course simply means the least insanely expensive.

The Aquanaut Travel Time is a simple and stylish sports with a GMT function to display two different time zones.

Collectors love it because A, it’s a Patek and B, it’s understated and elegant.

These days you can call yourself lucky if you manage to snatch one for under $100,000, nearly twice the price of the base model at retail just a few years ago.

5. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711: $190,000 – $1.3 million*

The Nautilus shares a few elements with the Aquanaut, including of course the brand, but it’s even more sought after.

Collectors love every Nautilus model, but they absolutely lose their mind when you mention the magic reference number ‘5711’, and they’re willing to pay for it.

It’s available in stainless steel as well as in precious metals such as rose gold and white gold, but it doesn’t matter anyway because they’re all phenomenally expensive.

You can’t really find the stainless steel version under $140,000. The rose gold model will set you back at least $350,000, and the platinum one? That’s gonna cost around $1 million or more.

If you bought one – any, to be frank – prior to 2016/2017, you’ve doubled your investment. And then some.

*Prices are current at the time of writing as per Chrono24

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