Wouldn’t life be great if you could buy your dream luxury timepiece at a significantly lower price than you would’ve expected? Well, you can and it is all down to knowing who to talk to. The British family-owned firm Xupes specialises in pre-loved high-value watches and the good news is their team of ‘Xuperheroes’ is on hand to offer some expert advice.
Some mechanical watches are akin to a work of art on the wrist. Over the years, certain brands have proven to be very wise investments, and the good news is they appear to be immune from governments and lobbyists insisting they need to switch to a sustainable energy source to make them work! This means that if you buy wisely, your timepiece stands a decent chance of increasing in value over the years ahead.
One way of doing this is by purchasing a luxury watch such as a Patek-Philippe or Audemars Piguet at a significantly lower value than the original price tag. This is easier than you think as there is a growing market in pre-owned, pre-loved high-value watches, just like with cars and yachts.
Xupes, a family firm set up in 2009, has the people to guide you through your search and purchase so you don’t make any mistakes.
The McKenzie family formed the company at their home in Bishops Stortford, where founders Joe and Frank embarked on establishing an online business selling watches, art and antiques. Combining Joe’s passion and vision and Frank’s business experience, they set out to offer something unique in an emerging market.
“How the customer is treated is of the utmost importance to me. I dislike the typical pushy sales environment associated with our industry and believe in offering our clients a friendly and honest experience.” – Xupes founder and CEO Joseph McKenzie.
Xupes believe in making the aspirational accessible and enjoyed with the same warranties and assurances as the day it was initially sold, at the same time as being an investment for the future. Over a decade of experience buying and selling watches, the staff have been privileged to have handled and seen it all.
We asked Xupes which of their wide range of fine timepieces we should consider if we were in the market for a luxury watch, and their in-house ‘Xuperheroes’ suggested the following.
Patek Philippe 5204R-001
Patek is the king of balance, proportion and complexity. The 5204 in rose gold is the epitome of this. While this may be one of the few modern references trading slightly below retail, this will change. From 2019 to now, prices exceeded £175,000 – while undoubtedly a significant investment, you need only to turn the watch over, and you will quickly see why.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Tuscan Dial
AP has been on a steady incline over the past decade. Celebrity and sporting endorsements and real watchmaking pedigree have lead to growing brand awareness. The references that are really gathering momentum are these rare, highly complicated perpetual calendar Royal Oaks. The so-called “Tuscan” dial finish is right at the top of the list for collectors globally.
Jaeger-LeCoultre – Septantieme Reverso
I love a classic, and the Reverso is just that. This is a timepiece with an enduring design that has stood the test of time since 1931. Not only is this reference hand finished with beautiful Arabic markers, but it is limited to 500 watches and in platinum – does it get much better?
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – 15202ST
The ultimate Royal Oak. The one that still commands year-long waitlists and is the closest to the original from 1972 AP has ever produced. A stunning blue dial and the ultra-thin case makes it a must for any serious collector’s watch box. Climbing from £20k in 2017 to £30k in 2019 and mid £ 40’s in 2021. This model will continue increasing in price as the 5711 departs.
Cartier PANTHÈRE XL
Cartier’s Panther sprang to new prominence in the 1980s and 1990. This iconic timepiece has been winning fans since the 1910s and is synonymous with a collection of instantly recognisable square cased timepieces with screw-down crowns and metal bracelets. In the early 2000s, the collection disappeared from the radar, and it wasn’t until 2017 that the Panthère de Cartier reappeared, and it did so with a bang.
It wasn’t just the one timepiece that returned; no fewer than 17 styles in two sizes became available in 22mm and 27 mm sizes with the option of gold or steel or a combination of both.
The yellow gold XL shown is from the late 1990s, at the end of its run, priced at £4,699, from £2/3k. There is renewed interest in vintage and neo-vintage Cartier; for a good reason, these offer style and class with an accurate value for your money. I see these becoming more interesting price-wise in the next few years.
F.P. Journe Chronometre Bleu
The combination of the rise in interest in independents, specifically Journe, with his bold DNA and top-notch finishing makes this watch desirable. The Chrono bleu is a beauty with a beautiful blue dial yet rugged in equal measure. Prices have gone from the mid £20k mark to the mid £40k mark as of 2021.
Patek Philippe 5711
Xupes have sold 5711’s for many years, able to spectate upon the rise of this horological icon. While waitlists have escalated to, some say, over ten years, Patek has finally announced that the steel, blue dial, integrated bracelet, steel sports chic 5711 will no longer be seen in the catalogues.
It was first introduced in 2006; it was a real looker – and the first Nautilus to sport the now signature blue dial. While its good looks and versatility played a role, it was also the beneficiary of Patek’s world-class storytelling capability. Prices crept up into the 40k mark in 2018, only to climb to over 90k now following the recent announcement that the Stainless-Steel 5711 will no longer be in production.
If I were searching to buy a high-value watch, I would want advice from people with individual watches’ knowledge and experience across many brands. Xupes has these people, and they treat you like a friend rather than a customer. They believe you will return to use their services if they look after you correctly.
Xupes- Where and How?
The Xupes HQ is based in Bishop’s Stortford in England. In addition to this, they have a luxury boutique in the world-famous Royal Exchange Buildings in London and a second Xupes HQ based in Amsterdam, Holland. To view their current range of timepieces and for further information on how to purchase, visit www.xupes.com.
Read more articles on current and pre-owned fine timepieces here.