Why Are Watches So Expensive? Let's Talk About Luxury Timepieces
You might find that mechanical watches come at a significantly higher price than quartz models. In some cases, although a watch manufacturer may offer a similar watch with your choice of a mechanical or quartz movement, the mechanical one will be more expensive.
If cheap watches like a $50 quartz watch can keep time better than either a $60,000 Rolex or many other luxury watches, aren’t they better?
This is not a question that can be answered easily, and there are many reasons for the price of a watch.
If you don’t know the reasons why watches are so expensive, naturally you’ll think they are expensive, or overpriced, in a negative sense.
Luxury Watches - Why Do They Exist?
There’s a threshold between expensive and overpriced in any market.
Expensive means something costs a lot but there's a good reason for the price. Meanwhile, overpriced means that something simply has a price that is vastly more than its cost to produce, or the perceived value of its intended user. Watches can be expensive without being overpriced.
If you fail to see the value in a watch or any object for that matter, you will think of it as overpriced even though someone else who sees the true value in an object may see it as cheap. Seeing it as overpriced means that you are not the target market for the watch.
The interesting part about the difference between expensive, cheap, and overpriced has a lot to do with perception. This doesn’t just go for a luxury watch, but the whole luxury industry. Perception about price has a lot to do with the question of why luxury watches or why luxury cars/bags/clothes/etc exist.
Buying a luxury watch can be very daunting due to the very high prices of some of the models. However, you’ll consider the item expensive, and worth it, if you see the value in the watch.
A luxury watch can be used to mark a milestone or special occasion in your life such as a birthday, anniversary, wedding, graduation, or retirement.
In addition, a timepiece is also a great way to express personal style for some. As such, a watch lover can select the design, style, color, and strap of a watch to align it with his own tastes and style.
Or in simple words, timepieces can express a little piece of your personality.
This is why we’ll share some of the top reasons for the high price tags of luxury watches so that you can get a better understanding of what makes them so expensive.
What Makes Watches Expensive?
Craftsmanship and Materials
The best timepieces require enormous amounts of hand craftsmanship and labor. Thus, high-end watches employ teams of people to go over each piece of the watch, and finish every part to a high standard.
You know, some brands spend hundreds of hours building a single timepiece to ensure that each watch is built to the highest quality possible.
Craftsmanship will ensure that the watch not only will be able to last for decades but also will be able to be passed onto future generations in the watch enthusiast community.
The high price of a luxury watch can be daunting, but it is well worth it for the longevity that the quality provides. A luxury watch built with the best materials can ensure that it is reliable and a joy to wear.
Luxury watches use advanced mechanics, and developing a new movement is a lot of work. Making an accurate movement from hundreds of parts is quite a challenge.
There is a big difference between the battery-powered movements in cheap watches and the cost of a good mechanical movement is much higher for a reason.
By making movements in-house, luxury watch brands can add another layer of appeal to a watch.
Source: A Blog to Watch
Luxury watch brands often invest millions of dollars, maybe even hundreds of millions of dollars, only in the development of new movements and other elements for their watches.
Actually, they could simply be satisfied with the existing innovations or even off-the-shelf movements, but because they constantly want to innovate and make new movements that are better and which meet their vision, they still make these sizable investments into development of their in-house movements.
This dynamic also shows that luxury watch brands never compromise and always try to push the boundaries of quality. To achieve this, a company needs highly skilled people, including watchmakers and other engineers who know their craft enough to innovate it.
There are not a lot of people who have the skill and expertise to do this, which also means companies have to pay a higher salary for people who do have the know-how needed.
The more complications and the greater innovation that a watch company is looking to do, the longer it’s going to take.
In addition, the team who is going to develop a movement normally may consist of 10, 30, 50, or even more people. Sometimes, if everything fails, the company will have paid millions of dollars, and gotten nothing from it.
Exclusivity and Rarity
Making an advanced mechanical movement is difficult so luxury items are often made in limited numbers. Unlike other things, luxury watch brands cannot just ramp up production when the demand increases, because there are simply not enough resources.
Source: High Snobiety
Moreover, there’s a correlation between low production and high prices when it comes to the luxury industry. Many luxury watchmakers make limited edition models and these watches tend to cost more than regular watches due to their low quantity.
People always want what they cannot have. Producing a limited model makes getting a hold of certain timepieces will be increasingly difficult and in some cases impossible.
When people become more desperate to get a special model, the brands will be able to increase their prices without the demand for the watches decreasing.
When talking about people who are truly passionate about watches, the brand means something different to them, therefore, they will be prepared to pay more for a luxury watch brand.
Buying a product that is known as luxurious and sought-after, which few people have, makes people willing to pay more just to buy into the acclaim that comes with other people knowing what’s on their wrist.
Source: Branding Forum
A well-known brand will be able to give the wearer respect from peers.
The brand also stands for different things, including the history of the brand and the guarantee that its clients are getting an amazing, high-quality product that is a true piece of craftsmanship.
Is It Worth Owning A Luxury Watch?
What affects whether or not something is “worth it” is your perceived value of luxury watches like a Rolex or Patek Philippe.
There’s an endless number of things that affect a watch’s price from the brand, material, reputation, and many more. If you can justify the cost of a specific watch based on what you are getting, a luxury watch makes sense.
On the other hand, you can also start looking at other watches or Seiko mod watches. Here at namokiMODS, we have anything from quality watch spare parts to some nice ideas for Seiko mods to get you started. It is something you can spend many hours in, and make many “1 of 1” limited edition timepieces.
There are loads of watch mod parts with which you can make your own luxury watch for a fraction of what most Swiss watches cost to buy. Be sure to give our catalog a peek!