Do OEM Seiko Watches Increase or Decrease Price in the Resale Market?
Today, most people want fast returns from an investment, but there are still some people who choose to seek both profit and passion from a purchase.
People may say that investing in watches is a way that one could waste their money. However, watches are not only items for collectors, but can also be a great store of value.
If you are still in doubt about investing in a watch, we will tell you why watches can be a lot of fun to own, but also may turn into capital gains in the future.
Of course, it all comes down to quality and desirability - which is why so many people choose to invest in Seiko products, and the aftermarket options we create here at namokiMODS!
Why Watches Are An Investment
Investing in watches is different from other investments, but it can be profitable to you. If you are a watch collector, you probably have long known that watch collecting is a profitable hobby on some occasions.
You have to be smart about what kinds of watches you buy – if you want to make a profit. In some cases, you can buy a watch for $1000, and can sell it for $1500 after only a few years of keeping it in your watch box. Sad fact, but scalpers even turn a few hundred dollars into a few thousand when a particularly hyped watch is released (Moonswatch, anyone?).
These aren't even limited edition!
The demand in a market for an item can go well beyond the production rate – if the watch is being produced at all in a few years. All of this is great for the value, especially if it is a desirable watch model.
In addition, watch investment is not restricted to luxury brands, because the best watches to invest in can be the ones that are very affordable. Of course, there’s always risk in anything that involves money and investing in watches isn't an exception.
However, taking risks with watch investments won't feel like a loss if you buy watches you like, and will wear no matter what. Even if your watch could make a profit for you, you may still want to keep it and pass it on to the next generation.
Watches are more than an investment, they can also be a family heirloom. Keep this in mind when you are shopping for a watch, and make sure you buy items that you can pass down to your family.
What Causes A Watch to Keep Its Value
A watch can be a part of history, personal memories, or interesting stories. There are some interesting reasons that can make a timepiece keep its value.
Watches started their evolution from pocket watches to wristwatches and from mechanical to quartz watches through the last century. A watch’s value comes from its rarity, and also from high demand.
Some brands will fetch a higher price than others, although some expensive models can lose value over time.
Grail watch of many, and perfect as an heirloom. Source: Hodinkee
If you’ve got deep pockets, it never hurts to have a Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, or any of the high-end Swiss watches in your collection. If you are looking for more affordable timepieces with similar quality, some collections from Seiko such as Grand Seiko would be the other best choices.
Watches owned by celebrities always seem to have a significantly higher price than others in the market.
Whether you’re a fan of celebrities or not, the fact that anything they touch turns into gold can’t be ignored.Some Seiko models that fall into this category are Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Seiko H558-5000 or Steve Job’s Seiko Quartz 6431-6030.
The innovator's choice. Source: Heritage Auctions via KeepTheTime Watches
In addition to creating financial returns, watch investments carry history and capture moments in our collective evolution. Models like the Omega Speedmaster, the “Moon Watch” are a perfect example of this.
Seiko Watches’ Value in The Resale Market
A collection of Grand Seiko watches from 1960 to 1975. Source: ABS-CBN
Seiko is one of the most respected watch brands in the world and offers amazing quality watches for affordable prices.
Most people think that many high-end watch brands retain or even gain value over time, while affordable brands like Seiko lose theirs over time. Let’s see if that’s true or if owning Seiko watches can be a great way to invest in watches.
As said, the value of watches is determined mostly by the brand, the rarity, and the demand of the market. In many cases, Seiko watches can be a great buy.
While some of the lower end models may not gain much in value, the middle and upper end of the Seiko line tend to appreciate over time.
Although some Seiko watches are manufactured in large quantities, and many stores will have Seiko watches available, some models such as Seiko diver’s watches or formal watches can rise substantially in value when cared for.
Taking a look at sites like eBay, Amazon, or Watch Patrol, you’ll find that models still hold their value to this day. If you bought early on, you could still sell your Seiko watch at least the equivalent to its original value - and in some cases - a lot more.
Let’s look at some iconic Seiko watches from recent history that have done very well in the secondary market.
Seiko SKX007 – The Most Popular Watch in Seiko History
The model that would become the SKX was introduced in 1965. The modern SKX007 was an iconic diver’s watch from Seiko which is still wildly popular many years after its discontinuation. It features a stainless steel case, luminescent markers, and an ISO rating of 6425 with water resistance up to 200 meters.
The older it is, the more expensive. Source: WatchUSeek
To date, you can still find this model in the secondhand market and its price seems to keep rising. In 2011, the SKX007 was sold for $140 on Amazon. The same watch today would sell for around $280 on the resale market. In addition, the price varies a lot ranging from $140 to $375 depending on the condition and origin of the watch.
Of course, the Japanese-made model is more expensive - like almost any JDM model from Seiko. If you ever have the chance to buy a NOS SKX007 from Japan - it would likely be a good idea to buy it!
Seiko SRPE33 - The King Samurai Watch
Another Seiko diver watch is SRPE33, also known as King Samurai, which comes from the Prospex collection. It was called the “Save The Ocean Manta Ray Edition”.
With that beautiful of a dial, it should be rare in the future. Source: Time and Tide Watches
The “King Samurai” got some nice touches like a new case design, ISO 200 meter water-resistance ratings, a 4R35 movement, 41 hours power reserve, and a sapphire crystal with ceramic bezel.
The average price of a Seiko SRPE33 on the private sales market is $408, while you can pay at least $500 for it from the secondary market. If you like the model, and can find it new, it may be a great pick-up as it is notable as a dive watch and can be worn as a daily beater too.
Grand Seiko SBGA211 – The Snowflake
Grand Seiko is the luxury line from Seiko. The Grand Seiko SBGA011 is better known to Grand Seiko fans simply as the “Snowflake”. First introduced in 2021, it has become the single most iconic model for the Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement.
It's a surprise that this was not an instant collectible. Source: Grand Seiko
Since its appearance, the SBGA211 was a huge fan favorite and a much-lauded darling with loads of praise lavished on its unique dial. This love is not quite reflected in the secondary market, however.
In terms of price, at $5,800 USD the Snowflake is not too expensive for a luxury watch, or unobtainable, especially second-hand. It is a 41mm sports watch along with a unique movement, the Seiko Spring Drive, which was one of the most interesting movements ever created by Seiko. As of April 2022, you can get one used for around $4,800 - a depreciation of 17%.
How to Keep The Value of Your Watch
First of all, taking care of your watch is probably the most important thing that you need to do to maintain the value of the Seiko watch. No matter how rare a watch may be - the condition is extremely important when it comes to value. If it is still covered by the warranty, have your watch regularly serviced to maintain its functionality. If not, only bring it to an authorized repair shop and one you can trust.
Let the experts handle it. Source: Seiko USA
In some cases, keeping the original parts can also make a big difference. If an heirloom watch’s parts are all OEM, even if they are already fragile with age, it is better not to swap them. In others, new OEM parts can help a watch to sell better on the secondary market.
If you don’t want it to lose value, keep it all-stock as they say in the car world. Any third party modification parts can lower the value of a watch especially for the luxury models.
Watch Modding As An Alternative
Modding a Seiko watch transforms a watch into something new that can be a source of income if you can find your niche and your market. Many people love Seiko Mods, and at namokiMODS, our parts allow your ideal watches to become real.
Our new SKX007 Titanium Cases allow you to build something truly unique. Since most watches are made of stainless steel, the Titanium material is novel and quite functional too. It’s lighter than steel and a better material for people with allergies.
In addition, The NMK934 MM300 SKX007 Titanium Case can also fit all OEM and aftermarket SKX007 parts - which makes it a great starting point for just about any kind of mod you can imagine.
If you can build a unique watch from mod parts, there will be someone out there who will be willing to pay the price you set as they see more value in the watch than the initial cost to build it.
Watch Investment - A Profitable Hobby?
If you are even remotely interested in financial investments, you may have heard of the famous American investor Kevin O’Leary, who aside from managing billions in funds, is also a known collector of high end horology pieces. One of his famous quotes is this:
“I like to take risks. That’s how I make money. But they are calculated risks.”
Even though he loves his watches, he knows that they are not the safest investments out there, and has to carefully select each one based on its future potential value, and how much he loves it.
If you are ever getting a watch with the intention of selling it, always think thrice or more so you don’t end up in the red.
And if you want to get a watch to start modding as a hobby, please do remember us when you are in need of parts to use.