What Does Luxury Mean in Watchmaking?

People often use the term "luxury" to describe the top of the line products and services. But, what does it mean when consumers are willing to pay a premium to own a luxury timepiece? Is the expense justified or is it simply hype and a short-lived fashion trend? Discover five descriptives of high-end watches that may have you rethinking about what constitutes luxury in the watchmaking industry.

A couple shopping for luxury watchesTimeless 
The first adjective that comes to mind when you hear the word "luxury" may not be "timeless" or "ageless", but the most coveted timepieces in the world are often decades or even centuries old. Plus, despite living in a digital age, mechanical watches are always in vogue. Year after year, images of successful businessmen and women on the covers of magazines are often depicted sporting a high-end wristwatch and entertainers frequently mention the best-known watch brands in their song lyrics and performances.  

Why all the fuss? What's so great about a mechanical watch? It is much easier to afford a top-of-the-line digital timepiece. However, owning a luxury mechanical or hybrid watch is something to reach for, study, and appreciate. This is perhaps the main reason collectors can enjoy their passion for high-end watches without feeling overly guilty about the expense. They never fall out of style, make the perfect heirloom to hand down to the next generation, and chances are good the item will appreciate over time, unlike comparable expenditures such as cars. 

Of course, what difference does it make to own a nice watch if it does not keep accurate time or perform at the highest standards? To be considered a luxury item, the watchmaker must strive for nothing short of excellence in all aspects of the design and manufacturing process, which often involves hundreds of tiny parts working together in a smooth harmonious symphony of mechanics. Here is where the true test lies for watchmakers and where consumers take notice of those that rise above their peers. But, these manufacturers are not satisfied with competing for the average consumer's attention. They have a legacy of making history in the watchmaking industry that earned the attention of such clients as NASA, NASCAR, the military, and royalty around the world.

With so much fierce competition to be noticed around the world as the best, luxury watches must triumph beyond performance. They must possess something unique that attracts a targetted audience. It could be the band material, the face design that could take a year or longer to produce, the shape of the crown, or the reputation of manufacturing each of the hundreds of parts in-house. It is truly a piece of art combined with a useful purpose that must be carefully produced for a small population of buyers to prove worthy of the luxury status and attract the attention of serious collectors from around the globe. After all, if everyone had one it would no longer be something to work towards owning.

When a one-of-a-kind design meets top performance in a limited quantity, a luxury timepiece is introduced to the market. However, the watch must demonstrate dependability to stay on top. A reputation for poor quality, functionality, or time-tested reliability is the worst nightmare of every luxury watchmaker brand. This is because part of the appeal is the investment aspect.  Brand or model fans get excited about the prospect of handing down an item they have worn and loved that will not take up much room to store, will catch the eye of other watch enthusiasts for networking purposes, and will typically appreciate in value with each generation that wears it. Hence, mechanical watches must measure up to the dependability test to continue performing for multiple generations when the item has been well-maintained.

Therefore, "luxury" in the watchmaking world is not a term that is lightly tossed about. It is a symbol of success, an investment in the future, a trusted function for today, and an ageless piece of art to enjoy for decades. Does luxury have to come with such a high price? In the words of Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe, “Luxury is not about being expensive. It’s really about something that can last.” Does your timepiece have what it takes to measure up? Whether you have your grandfather's watch you would like restored or you are interested in a routine maintenance plan to preserve your watch so that it may be worn through many years of memorable occasions, we have been offering unique care and in-house servicing by expert technicians from start-to-finish you can trust for generations. Use our online form or call us at 1-833-4-A-WATCH to seize the opportunity to make the most out of your luxury investment starting today.

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