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A Close Look at Breitling Watches: An Investment or a Depreciation?

September 14, 2023
2 mins read

Key takeaways:

  1. Not all Breitling watches retain their value; most experience a depreciation of 10%-40% after purchase.
  2. The brand, however, hosts certain models that have shown potential for value retention and even appreciation.
  3. Factors such as supply and demand, rarity, provenance, and condition significantly influence a watch’s resale value.
  4. Breitling watches can be considered a luxury, but they’re not typically considered a good investment.
  5. Understanding the target market for resale can maximize returns if you decide to sell your Breitling watch.

Are Breitling Watches Losing Time When It Comes to Value?

When you invest in a Breitling watch, it’s not just about purchasing a device to tell time. You’re acquiring a piece of heritage, an item that carries the weight of expert craftsmanship and a history spanning over a century. The question, however, remains – do these treasured timepieces hold their value?

The consensus isn’t as clear-cut as one might hope. While some Breitling models indeed retain or even appreciate in value, most experience a significant drop once they leave the boutique, ranging anywhere between 10%-40%. This depreciation comes as a surprise considering Breitling’s stature as one of the world’s most renowned watch brands, often synonymous with luxury and exclusivity.

The Crucial Factors That Determine Value Retention

Several factors play into whether a watch retains its value or depreciates. The interplay of supply and demand is a major determinant. Timepieces from brands like Rolex or Patek Phillipe, where the demand often outstrips supply, are more likely to appreciate in value over time.

Another key determinant is the rarity of the model. Watches produced in limited editions or featuring unique characteristics typically have a better chance of retaining value, as exemplified by the Breitling Emergency Orbiter 3, a model limited to just 1999 pieces worldwide.

Additionally, the condition and provenance of the watch are other crucial factors. A well-maintained piece with an intriguing backstory can command higher resale prices.

Breitling Models That Resist the Sands of Time

While the general trend for Breitling watches is towards depreciation, certain models stand out for their ability to hold, and sometimes even appreciate in value. These include:

  1. Breitling Emergency Orbiter 3: With only 1999 units produced, this model is a hot favorite among collectors. Its rarity and connection to the hot air balloon industry have enabled it to appreciate over time.
  2. Breitling Avenger II GMT: This model, characterized by a singular piece of laser-engraved steel, is known to retain its value relatively well, with an average depreciation of 15%-20%.
  3. Breitling Transocean: A sought-after dress watch, the Transocean retains considerable value over the years, thanks to its high-quality, COSC-certified movements.
  4. Breitling Colt: With its military roots, the Colt commands a higher demand than supply, helping it to retain a significant portion of its purchase price.
  5. Breitling Navitimer: Popular in the pilot’s industry, the Navitimer has a good track record of retaining value over the years.

Supply, Demand, and the Dynamics of Value Retention

The crux of value retention in the world of luxury watches often comes down to the basic economic principles of supply and demand. If a particular model is in high demand but has a limited supply, it is more likely to hold its value or even appreciate over time. Other contributing factors include rarity, noteworthy provenance, and the condition of the watch.

Breitling’s Emergency Orbiter 3 exemplifies these principles. With a limited production of just 1,999 units, the model’s exceptional rarity leads to higher demand than supply, which in turn, results in appreciating prices over time.

However, most Breitling watches do not enjoy such rarity or extraordinary demand, leading to a general trend of depreciation. For these pieces, a value drop of 10% to 40% is the norm, with an average decrease of about 30%.

Conclusion: The Timeless Allure of Breitling

Breitling watches might not always be the best choice for those seeking an investment that appreciates over time. However, for those who appreciate the brand’s legacy, craftsmanship, and unique style, owning a Breitling watch is about more than just financial gain. It’s about being part of a prestigious tradition of timekeeping and enjoying a piece of functional art. The right Breitling watch can provide the owner with a sense of luxury and a connection to a rich history, and for many, that’s an investment in its own right.

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About Levi Keswick

LeviKeswick serves as a vibrant hub for diverse individuals to share their stories, absorb and contribute to emerging fashion trends, lifestyle concepts, and innovative ideas. We offer valuable insights and advice, amalgamating information painstakingly curated by experts in the field, alongside fashion connoisseurs and influential social media personalities.