The price of watches in 2023 revolves around a few key luxury watch brands including Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, and Patek Philippe. Arguably the watchmaker among this group with the most diversified product line, Patek builds watches broadly sought and commonly referenced by watch collectors who follow market prices. Tonight, Tim Mosso reviews Patek Philippe watches to determine whether they are too expensive -- or not expensive enough!
Few words in the luxury watch marketplace command the same level of attention as "Patek Philippe Nautilus." Although the core Patek Philippe 5711 Nautilus "jumbo" was discontinued in 2021, a new Nautilus 5811 arrived for 2022. Although not available in steel - the 5811G is white gold-only for now - the the newest Patek Nautilus already has made its mark among watch buyers.
Although the Patek 5811 has a retail price of $69,750, preowned watches already have stabilized between $185,000 and $200,000 depending on the source. The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5811 is exclusive - there's no doubt - but its retail price of under $70,000 means Patek Philippe is leaving a large amount of potential money on the table.
While the Patek Nautilus gains value the moment it leaves the authorized dealer, not every Patek Philippe watch gains value. The extraordinary 5520P Calatrava Travel Time Alarm costs $281,000 when new, and its quality seems to justify the price. However, this GMT watch with minute repeater quality alarm chimes loses up to $81,000 of its value after leaving the dealer.
While the quality of the watch justifies its price, most consumers are unable to differentiate the 5520P from the similar $57,000 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. Moreover, watch collectors appear to associate the alarm complication with mid-market brands like JLC and Vulcain or even entry-level watches from Seiko and Tudor.
The same can be said for the Patek Philippe 5320G-011. This salmon dial variant of the 5320 launched in 2022, but preowned watches already struggle to recoup their original $97,000 retail price. That isn't to say the 5320G is overpriced, only that the price buys more than a watch. While models such as the Patek Philippe 5231 and 5373P Perpetual Calendar Split Seconds Chronograph are sold only upon approval of a client's application, Patek Philippe uses sales of models such as the 5320G to determine a client's prior commitment to the brand.
In this sense, buying a 5320G perpetual calendar can be considered analogous to buying a V8 Ferrari Roma in hopes of earning a Ferrari 812 Superfast allocation in the future. Both the Roma and the 5320G will lose some value on the aftermarket, but they help to open doors to the investment-grade machines.
Finally the recent Patek Philippe Calatrava 5226G offers an impressive example of an entry-level watch that outperforms its retail price as a used watch. The $40,220 Calatrava 5226G sells for $5,000-$10,00 more than its retail price as a preowned watch. This is true despite the fact that the watch is available upon request without an allocation, and examples of this Patek Calatrava can even be found ready and waiting in dealer cases. With its handsome textured charcoal gradient dial, syringe hands, ecru features, and case-back mounted lugs, the 5226G is a strikingly handsome watch.
Are Patek Philippe watches too expensive? Find out in tonight's show!
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