Mechanical watches are hot commodities! If you are a watch enthusiast, you’ve probably noticed that prices for some popular models have skyrocketed over the last 2-3 years. As a result, select timepieces have market values far above their list prices. We’ve analyzed the trends on Chrono24 to discover some popular models and how they’ve performed in the second quarter of 2021. Read on to find out more about these remarkable timepieces.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01 (+60% from March to July)
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the Genta-designed icon that created the category of modern luxury sports watches in 1972. The model in the current collection closest to the original Royal Oak ref. 5402 is the Royal Oak ref. 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01. Officially called the Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin, this timepiece honors the original Genta creation by incorporating every element that made the original watch so special. Earlier this year, however, it was announced that the ref. 15202ST would be replaced by a new model in 2022. This announcement is the reason behind the 60% increase in prices on Chrono24. The going rate for a Royal Oak ref. 15202ST on Chrono24 is now more than three times the current list price of $28,900. Are these prices a bit too crazy? I’ll let you be the judge. In any case, prices have seemed to level off in the last few weeks.
Cartier Tank Basculante Ref. 2390 (+48% from March to July)
One of the most remarkable Cartier Tank models is the Tank Basculante that was introduced in 1933. It features a unique case construction that the wearer can flip over to protect the dial side. Additionally, when mounted at an angle, the watch can be used as a desk clock. What makes this discontinued Tank Basculante ref. 2390 so highly sought-after today is its size. This XL-version features a 26 x 38-mm case, which is considered very modern dimensions for a Cartier. Moreover, its flat, manual Frederic Piguet caliber 6.10 is an extraordinary movement. The combination of unique design, wearability, and this movement has led to huge appreciation recently and a rise of nearly 48% on Chrono24. Current asking prices on Chrono24 are between $8,800 and $14,800.
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 30th Anniversary Ref. 3560.50.00 (+31% from March to July)
Special editions of the iconic Omega Speedmaster often see the largest price increases. The version that has seen the most incredible price increase on Chrono24 during the second quarter of 2021 is the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 30th Anniversary. This watch was released in 1999 to commemorate the Apollo 11 mission and the first Moon landing; however, it doesn’t differ very much from the regular Moonwatch from 1999 (ref. 3570.50.00). The only real difference is the case back, which features engraved text referencing the words Neil Armstrong spoke as he stepped onto the lunar surface. With a production run of 9,999 pieces, this watch is hardly rare, and prices are still only a couple hundred dollars higher than the regular model. Nevertheless, this model is a little more special, and it’s performed slightly better, too. While collectors had to pay around $6,200 in June, it is now selling on Chrono24 for closer to $5,000 or even less. That being said, that is still an increase of more than 30% compared to March 2021.
Omega Seamster 200M “Pre-Bond” Ref. 368.1042 (+26% from March to July)
The next watch on our list is the Omega Seamster 200M “Pre-Bond” ref. 368.1042 that was introduced in 1988. Of note is this model’s “Pre-Bond” nickname, which indicates the era during which the watch was available – assuming that you know that 1995’s GoldenEye was the first Bond film to feature the iconic Seamaster 300M. The Seamaster 200M is available in both quartz and mechanical versions, in steel and two-tone, and in two different sizes. This specific reference is the 38-mm automatic version. It has been entering the radar of an increasing number of collectors as it is the perfect affordable vintage Seamaster. While prices for the Seamaster “Pre-Bond” ref. 368.1042 have increased 26% in the last quarter, it is still an affordable watch with prices ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 on Chrono24.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167A-001 (+25.7% from March to July)
Patek Philippe is most famous for their iconic Nautilus, but the Aquanaut has also grown in popularity. The watch debuted in 1997 in an attempt to attract a younger audience to the brand. The more playful dial design and rubber strap give the Aquanaut its distinct character. Some 25 years later, the current stainless steel Aquanaut ref. 5167A-001 is still very closely related to the first-generation Aquanaut. With the incredible rise in prices for the Nautilus, it seemed like the Aquanaut was the more affordable option out there. Still, this watch has also seen massive appreciation over the last couple of years – and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Prices on Chrono24 have risen 25.7% in the second quarter of 2021. As a result, the average price of the Aquanaut ref. 5167A-001 on Chrono24 is almost three times its $21,650 list price.
There you have it: an overview of five models that have appreciated significantly in value on Chrono24 during the second quarter of 2021. Will you be buying one of these, or do you have your sights set on another model? Either way, happy hunting!