Mechanical watches are, first and foremost, a lot of fun. The fun is in the hunt, the purchase, and ultimately in wearing the watch. The emotional connection we have to mechanical timepieces allows us to create our own personal stories about them. But there is no denying that watches have also become hot property as potential investments. In order to invest well, however, you need in-depth knowledge about brands, models, and specific editions or versions of a model. On top of that, you need patience, because you definitely won’t always get an immediate return on your investment. Lastly, the profit you might make on the watches from this list will be modest. Since they are not very expensive in the first place, the prices people will be willing to pay won’t be life-changing in the near term. Of course, there are some brands and models that might lead you to more extensive profits. This is most often the case with special or limited editions. So, let’s look at three smaller brands that are hot property at the moment if you have a budget of $2,000.
A watchmaker that is very popular among serious collectors is the Scottish brand anOrdain. The Glasgow-based manufacturer specializes in watches with enamel dials. There is a lot of craftsmanship that goes into making an enamel dial, and the people at anOrdain excel at it. Enamel dials are some of the most colorful and spectacular dials in the industry. With just 400-500 watches produced per year, these are some of the most exclusive and spectacular timepieces out there.
anOrdain produces two different watch models: the Model 1 and Model 2. The Model 1 is a nice, classic-looking watch available in three different sizes. The small is 35 mm, the medium 38 mm, and the large 41 mm. The case shape is straightforward, allowing the dial to take the spotlight. Take a look at the different options available – I promise you’ll be stunned by how beautiful these watches are. Prices for a Model 1 start just under $2,000 for the small size. The Model 2 was updated and reintroduced very recently as the Model 2 MKII. This model is the brand’s field watch. It comes in a medium (36 mm) and a large (39.5 mm) size. Both feature an updated case and dial design, but the absolutely spectacular dials have remained. The brand offers four different dial colors: white, gray, mustard, and racing green. The Model 2 is a smidge over $2,000, but don’t let that hold you back. Of course, anOrdain only produces 200 Model 2s per year as the silver enameled dials are very hard to make. You’ll probably have to be patient and join the waiting list before you can get your hands on one of these spectacular timepieces.
UNIMATIC is a young watch brand from Milan, Italy. The brand was founded by two Italian industrial designers Giovanni Moro and Simone Nunziato. The two men created a minimalist design philosophy that does without any form of unnecessary decoration, resulting in really interesting takes on familiar watch types. The first is the Modello Uno, their take on a classic diving watch. The Modello Due is a field watch modeled after military watches of the past. The Modello Tre is a quartz chronograph version of the Modello Uno, and the Modello Quattro is the brand’s modern military watch.
Up until recently, all UNIMATIC watches were limited editions produced in limited numbers and then discontinued. Due to the success of the brand, however, they decided to introduce a permanent collection of the four basic models. But the special editions get the most attention; these are either special versions of the four basic models or unique collaboration pieces. The collaboration timepieces, in particular, are often in high demand and sell out quickly. Some of the most popular examples are the Hodinkee collaboration, the SpongeBob limited editions, the NASA model, and the Massena LAB collab. The best thing is that all the watches are well under $2,000, so they don’t break the bank. What you get in return for your investment is a watch that is considered cool both among the watch crowd and the more fashion-oriented crowd.
3. BALTIC Watches
BALTIC Watches is a young French brand that has gained massive popularity with its retro-inspired timepieces. However, BALTIC doesn’t just copy familiar styles, they genuinely put their own twist on their timepieces. The designs make it clear that founders Etienne Malec, Paul Bienstman, and Clement Daniel love classic and analog timepieces. Their most famous collection is without a doubt the Aquascaphe line. It’s the brand’s take on a classic diving watch and it looks amazing. The great thing is that Aquascaphe models are currently available. Of course, that also means they likely won’t go up in value – unless you can get your hands on the recently sold out Aquascaphe Dual Crown 5th Anniversary model, that is.
Another really popular model that has recently made waves is the MR01. This classic-looking watch took social media by storm with its modest 36-mm case that stands just 9.9 mm tall. The combination of the elegant aesthetics and the stunning movement with a micro-rotor that is visible through the case back made the watch sell out instantly. Now, there will probably be more variations or re-issues of the MR01 in time, but it goes to show you how popular the brand is. The recent reintroduction of the brand’s Bicompax 002 offers further proof: The blue dial model sold out very quickly. Thanks to the appeal of their stylish timepieces that never cost more than $1,000, the brand was asked to create a special one-off timepiece for the prestigious Only Watch event for charity. The brand created the unique Monopusher Pulsometer chronograph using an old 1940s Venus 150 monopusher movement. The watch sold for a whopping €50,000 (approx. $52,500) – even more proof that the brand is hot.
Are watches under $2,000 worth investing in?
There you have it, three of the hottest brands of the moment that could be good investments if you are looking for a nice watch that won’t break the bank. If you buy any of the timepieces from these three brands, you will have an amazing watch to wear for the foreseeable future. If you buy the right watch from each of these three brands, you might even be able to make some money in the long term. As I said, however, it is not about quick wins when you are investing in watches. Buy a watch because you love it. If the investment turns out to be a good one, you might consider selling it. Well, that leaves me nothing more to say than happy hunting!