Smart fashion is now a wise investment. – The hedge fund on your wrist.

Investment-quality timepieces gain popularity amid market turmoil.

The world’s economies and stock markets have come to resemble the house of horrors and roller coaster, but there is nothing amusing about the summer of 2011 for investors. Bonds yields are at record lows even after Standard and Poor’s historic downgrade of the USA’s credit rating. Precious metals have risen steeply and then nosedived. Demand for gemstones and ethical issues are causing doubt. All of this leaves you with few vehicles to protect the assets.

gold

One shining ray of light in the darkness is the fine watch market. Unlike art and antiques, which require more expertise and carry more risk due to the volatile nature of the market, high-quality genuine watches are attracting investors interested in stability and an investment they can understand. Even those strapped for cash are benefitting from selling what was once strapped to their wrist.

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Fashion is less of an issue with a timepiece because more people wear great watches than collect great art, and a beautiful timepiece is more likely than painting or sculpture to be regarded highly by future generations and become an heirloom. Experts in horology are relatively easy to find, and their value assessments are likely to be an accurate reflection of the real market value for a given timepiece.

Many news sources, finance pundits, and investment advisors are reporting that alternative investments are gaining in popularity, but investors find few categories they can trust in troubled times. Add the advantage of being able to wear an elegant timepiece that has an actual function and owning an investment-value timepiece becomes a very attractive notion.

Worldwide increased demand has made the stock prices of manufacturers and retailers high enough to be reported by numerous sources. The following articles mention the record high prices of auctioned art, antiques, and jewelry (including luxury watches), the rising stock prices of watchmakers and dealers, and the sale of watches by some who have been hit hard by the global recession:

AOL Daily Finance’s The Motley Fool – Is Fossil the Perfect Stock?http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/08/11/is-fossil-the-perfect-stock/

Bloomberg – Swatch First-Half Profit Rises 24%; Increases Hengdeli Stake – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-28/swatch-first-half-profit-rises-24-increases-hengdeli-stake-3-.html

Bloomberg – Packard’s Vacheron Constantin Watch Triples to $1.8 Million at Christie’s – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-15/packard-s-vacheron-constantin-watch-triples-to-1-8-million-at-christie-s.html

Bloomberg – Christie’s $5.8 Million Singing-Bird Pistols Lift Watch Salehttp://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-31/christie-s-5-8-million-singing-bird-pistols-lift-hong-kong-sale-to-record.html

Boston Irish Reporter – Hangzhou store sales data: luxury half a year of links of London gold jewellery or surprising – http://www.bostonirish.com/node/15280

Chicago Sun-Times – Lou Gehrig items bring nearly $1M at Rosemont auction – http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/6880321-417/lou-gehrig-items-bring-nearly-1m-at-rosemont-auction.htm

CNN Money – Pawning Rolexes to make payroll – http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/02/smallbusiness/small_business_loans_pawn_shop/index.htm

Yahoo! News – The Collections of Movie Icon Tony Curtis Are to be Offered at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills – http://news.yahoo.com/collections-movie-icon-tony-curtis-offered-juliens-auctions-070858914.html

 

Cover image courtesy of Alon Ben Joseph