The Best Pre-Owned Watches to Invest In

Built to last a lifetime, and even beyond, a luxury watch from the likes of Rolex or Omega is a long-term investment. But have you thought about accessing this level of quality with a pre-owned watch? Making the elite brands more accessible, pre-owned watches from Charles Fish have all the luxury, beauty and reliability you expect from the world’s finest watch names. Our watch specialists have selected their pick of the best pre-owned watches to invest in, each offering incredible value and unrivalled quality for your money.
There is undoubtedly a unique pleasure that comes with wearing a quality watch. Solid, reliable, beautiful…and expensive, there is no denying that the prestige of wearing a watch the calibre of a Rolex comes at a price. And so it should; the craftsmanship and components of these watches is literally second to none.
This is what makes buying luxury pre-owned watches a sound investment. Rolex, Omega, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe all feature on our top-buy list, so let’s take a closer look at the models our experts have selected as the best pre-owned watches to invest in now.

Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner is the original diver’s watch. With a rotating bezel that gives it a classic rugged sports style, the Rolex Submariner isn’t just built for show. The original model was launched in 1953, offering a then ground-breaking waterproof depth of 100m, with modern versions now waterproof to 300m – more than enough whether you’re a pro-diver or leisure pool splasher.
You will discover models both with and without a date, and the Submariner also offers Rolex’s exclusive self-winding mechanism, meaning no batteries required – ever. It is the design of the Rolex Submariner that has set the standard for pretty much every diver’s style watch on the market since it’s launch almost 70 years ago. In the luxury pre-owned watch market you will find various colour options for both the watch face and even the bezel, especially in more modern pieces, however the Oyster stainless steel bracelet and case has barely changed over the years, meaning the overall look of the watch has remained very similar no matter the age of the pre-owned Rolex Submariner.

Rolex Daytona

Designed for the glamourous and demanding world of professional racing drivers, the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph is an icon. The three small dials on the watch face are designed to make this watch the ultimate timing tool, allowing drivers to measure elapsed time in hours, minutes and seconds – but if you’re not a Formula One driver, the biggest value of this design is that it is incredibly beautiful and sophisticated.
Launched in 1963, the iconic design offers a variety of metal colours and strap options that have been introduced to the collection over the years meaning there is opportunity to find various looks in the pre-owned Rolex Daytona watch market. Oystersteel, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and platinum, and combinations of each, are all metal options, and an Oysterflex bracelet is available if you want an alternative to a metal strap. All models offer Rolex’s exclusive self-winding mechanism.

Rolex GMT-Master II

Instantly recognisable even if you’re not familiar with the name, the Rolex GMT-Master II is, amongst many things, known for its red and blue ‘Pepsi’ bezel. Released in 1982, the watch was designed to show the time in two different time zones simultaneously. Since 2007, the two-colour bezel is manufactured from an ultra-hard ceramic replacing the previous generation of GMT's with their Bakelite and Aluminium bezel variations, and is divided into two halves – one representing daytime, the other night-time hours.
Coming in a range of metals and colour combinations, 2013 saw a two-colour graduated effect on the ceramic bezel also introduced as an option. A statement watch with roots in glamourous intercontinental aviation, the GMT-Master II is a timeless piece of design that is robust, stylish, and a true classic perfect if a pre-owned Rolex watch is your top choice.

Omega Seamaster

The longest running model in the Omega collection, the Seamaster gained massive popularity in 1995 when it became the official watch of 007 – yes that’s right, Bond, James Bond. And that reflects the heritage, quality and design of this diver-style watch. Introduced in 1948 to commemorate Omega’s 100th anniversary, the Seamaster is the brand's longest running model still in production. This alone is enough to cement this watch in the timepiece hall of fame, making it a great choice in pre-owned watches.
Within the Seamaster collection there is a vast range of styles and specs, however key models to look out for are the Seamaster Professional, launched in 1957 for professional divers and available in a range of more modern versions. The Seamaster Aqua Terra, with an elegant design that hints at luxury yachts and expensive boats, and the Seamaster Planet Ocean, introduced in 2005, and available in three sizes - 39.5mm, 43.5mm, and 45.5mm – to find a perfect fit and available with a range of bracelets including leather, rubber and metal. The Seamaster range is expansive and gives a huge choice of options in order to find the pre-owned Omega watch that suits you perfectly, all with hallmark quality and heritage.

Omega Speedmaster

Launched to complement Omega’s position as the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games, the Speedmaster was launched in 1957. With a fabulous history entwined with the world’s first manned space missions, the Omega Speedmaster was the only watch that passed NASA’s rigorous tests to find a timepiece that could withstand the trauma and stress of space travel.
Amazingly enough, these tests were carried out in secret and Omega only learnt their watches were being worn by astronauts after identifying the Speedmaster in a photograph of America’s first spacewalk in 1965. The Omega Speedmaster was also the first watch worn on the moon.
With such an illustrious history, it’s no wonder the Speedmaster is one of our pre-owned watches to look out for. The timeless design featuring three mini dials, signature bezel, and metal and leather strap options, all make this watch a great investment, and as relevant today as it has always been.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

With a distinctive octagonal bezel, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is a true classic. Created in 1972, the Royal Oak heralded the era of the modern steel sports watch. A watch company with small production, Audemars Piguet introduced a number of ‘firsts’ throughout the years: the minute repeater in 1882, and the thinnest wristwatch in 1946. A Swiss brand that pioneered the development of the wristwatch, the original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches were designed to be extremely durable, and yet ultra-thin.
The initial model was created only in stainless steel, and yet commanded a price 10 times greater than a Rolex Submariner of the same time, or a gold Patek Philippe. Why? Because it was an innovation – futuristic in design and mechanics. Find a pre-owned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and you will have found an iconic piece of design history. Manufactured through the years in stainless steel, gold, platinum, titanium, and with different dial colours and designs, the Royal Oak is prized amongst pre-owned watches, perfect for the connoisseur

Patek Phillippe Annual Calendar

A relative market newcomer in comparison to the other pre-owned watches in our list, the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar was launched in 1996. Crowned ‘Swiss Watch of the Year’ after its launch, the Annual Calendar was an instant hit with elegant design and unique functionality. Most models are identifiable by the ‘Moonphase Indicator’ on the watch face, which gives so much character to the design.
The Patek Philippe Annual Calendar collection features a number of limited-edition models, for example the Advanced Annual Calendar Ref. 5250, launched in 2005 with only 100 pieces ever created. Across the range, models feature self-winding mechanisms, and a choice of leather straps, bracelets and cases in stainless steel, platinum, yellow gold and rose gold, with some pieces featuring a rectangular face as opposed to the classic round.
A must for a watch collector, or simply if you want an exceptionally elegant timepiece, a pre-owned Patek Philippe Annual Calendar is an investment in quality and style.

At Charles Fish, our watch experts can help you discover the luxury pre-owned watch of your dreams. Got any questions? Get in touch with our watch specialists Luke & Ben today!

All pre-owned watches from Charles Fish come with an insurance valuation, free insured express shipping within Europe, and a 12-month mechanical warranty.

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