10 affordable watches with classic-status potential

Complications and limited-edition models from the likes of A. Lange & Söhne and Patek Philippe are almost sure-fire investments, but they call for deep pockets. We’ve searched the Classic Driver Market to bring you 10 inexpensive timepieces with the potential to gain ‘classic’ status…

To forecast which watches will become ‘blue-chip classics’ in the future is almost impossible – but the key factors to look for include brand image, design, origin of the movement, number produced, and the number of parts made in-house. Timepieces that feature a new technical development or are backed by an interesting story are more likely to be embraced by the collector market. For example, IWC’s early-70s ‘Electronic’ uses a tuning fork whose vibrations are converted into rotational movement – and the watch can be found on the market today for around €2,000. In the early 2000s, before it was recognised as a truly ground-breaking piece, examples complete with boxes and papers would command only €400 or so. Likewise, it has become increasingly difficult to trace good examples of the Chrono 1 or Kompassuhr, a sign that they are being snapped up by collectors.

However, as is the case with cars, your first consideration should be your personal preference, rather than investment potential. Also important is that the watch is in good condition, and whether it comes with its original box and papers. Below we’ve selected 10 inexpensive watches that you might appreciate.