Part 3: High-End Watch Buying Guide ($15,000 and Above)

High-End Watch Buying Guide ($15,000 and Above)

Well well, who do we have here…. Why you, have made it. You have worked all day, and all night to be at this very moment. Kudos.

You are now past the ETA movements, Valjoux… You want something special. Something unique. A timepiece that will make a Submariner quiver in intimidation. You want a timepiece so special, the other person that may have one is in another continent.

You have come to the right article. Let us show you the land of the grandiose and we at GW will walk you through what watches you can get for the price of a mid-size sedan.



Many high end watches are made using quality materials, such as precious metals. Gold and platinum both have intrinsic value, and both are frequently used in these expensive watches. It’s important to know just how much of any given precious metal is on the watch you’re interested in purchasing.

It’s also important to know that gold can come in a variety of colors, although yellow and white are the most common.

Precious Stones

Many watches in this high end category have precious stones on them, with sapphires and diamonds being the most common. When a watch has precious stones, it’s important to find out their origin. Most people naturally think they come from the ground and are then cut and polished.

However, watch makers can also use stones that have been previously used on other watches or jewelry. This doesn’t change the value of the stone at all. There are also manufactured stones that have literally been grown at a laboratory.

These stones are nowhere near as valuable. So when you’re inquiring about the stones on any given watch, just remember that natural are the most valuable and what you should be expecting to get.

Precious stones should also be viewed the same as when you are buying jewelry. The larger and clearer the stone, the more the gem is worth.


Many watch companies don’t make the movements for their own watches. They mainly get them from ETA which is a European movement maker.

However, once they receive them they can modify them to make them more unique. They can also include any type of decoration to it to make their watches more appealing.

Few watch makers have their own movements, although a few of the higher end makers do, such as Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Sohne, and Patek Phiippe. Many people prefer these makers in their high end watch as it can be highly valued.


The Seal of Geneva

Many, but not all, high end watches have what’s known as the Seal of Geneva. This seal represents that the watch has movements that adhere to the strict rules as applied by the Swiss.

These movements are required to have a variety of technical and decorative aspects. It is difficult to get this seal, but if you have a watch that has it, you can be assured you are getting a high end luxury watch.

New Materials Being Introduced

As with many products, watches have begun to change over time. It used to be they were all made out of the same materials, but things are changing and even the higher end watch makers are using new, sometimes unheard of materials.

In many cases this is just to distinguish them from the other watch makers out there, but in some cases, the new materials are a matter of improving on the watches themselves. For example, silicum has been used by Patek Phillipe to increase the accuracy and longevity of movement, without needing lubrication.

In addition to the more common upscale materials such as gold and leather, you can now find carbon fibers, rubber, intricate sapphire crystals and many other materials.


Luxury watches are often hand made by watchmakers and can take months to complete. When you are interested in a certain watch, inquire how long it took to make, as this can give you an idea of the craftsmanship than went into the watch.

There are some watch makers who spend an entire year on just one, while some companies utilize robotics to aid in the process, such as Rolex. Most companies who rely on robotics will still have to have an individual set the gems by hand.

Complex Movements

Many higher end watches do more than just tell time, they can have a variety of functions ranging from moon phases to multiple time zones or even rattrapante chronographs. The more unique your watch is, the more it can be valued at.

Choosing additional movements should be something that is practical for daily use as well as appealing to the wearer.



As people say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to a high end watch, many people can agree. When you are looking for the perfect watch and think you’ve found it, look at others before making your final decision.

You can even ask the watch maker or salesperson to put it on to get a different perspective. If you like it as much on them as you do on yourself, you’ve probably found the one for you.

Production Quantities

When cars were first invented, they were very expensive. Then came the Model T Ford which was the first car mass produced. When this type of production took over, the prices of cars dramatically dropped.

The same is true with most products. The easier you can find it, the less it’s value. Unique and out of the ordinary watches are generally more expensive, and worth the price of being one of a kind.

A True Investment

When you are looking for the perfect high end watch, it’s important to know that some watches can increase in value. Many rare Patek Phillipe watches are like this, although they can be hard to come by.

It can be difficult to judge which watches will increase in value, but if you do your research before buying, there is a greater chance you’ll purchase one that will be valuable for years to come.

Part 1: Entry Level Watch Buying Guide ($1,000 and below)

Part 2: Mid Range Watch Buying Guide ($1,000 to $15,000)

Read More About Our Picks: 7 Affordable Swiss Watch Brands HERE

Read More About the History of Watches and popular luxury brands such as Rolex and Omega


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