What’s happening in the luxury and collectable watch insurance market?

The-luxury-watch-insurance-marketplace-in-2019

Last month Watches of Switzerland confirmed the buoyant market for premium and collectable watches. Gone are the days when you might have only one or two watches and now, we see many customers with much broader collections.

Rising prices have also introduced a confident investment proposition. Brian Duffy, CEO of Aurum Holdings was quoted in an interview with the Financial Times as saying: “British people realise that they don’t need an expensive watch to be able to tell the time. They are becoming more and more appreciative of the fact that a watch can be a very resilient investment and family heirloom.” Rolex have just launched a new version of the classic Yacht-master 42 now available in white gold and 42mm for the first time. It is being snapped up at a price of £21,400. Rolex, Patek Phillippe, IWC and Citizen are the top sellers in USA. Blue faces and unusual quality brand models are currently high in demand but fashions can quickly change and the influence of what the celebrities of the day are wearing should not be underestimated.

Patek Phillippe intentionally limit certain models such as the Nautilus to just 2000 timepieces so that their exclusivity is protected. The range is highly prized and comes with a substantial price tag. The RRP for one of the 2017 Nautilus models was £88,960 but the second hand market price for the same watch today is £260,000-300,000!

Likewise, a discontinued Rolex model 116520 can fetch £17,500 in the second hand market, whereas its “equivalent” replacement model, the 116500 has a recommended retail price today of only £9,550. It is for reasons like this that the up to date valuation of specialist watches becomes very important and most significant if a customer happens to lose such a watch and needs to claim for replacement.

What value should they insure for?

If a customer has an up to date, professional valuation from a certified member of the Institute of Registered Valuers then they need not worry about the risk that they may not be able to replace their watch if something were to happen to it. These valuers guarantee high standards of professionalism and integrity and are also qualified, experienced and knowledgeable experts that provide a transparent and consistent service. They will be able to give a full and detailed valuation which as a minimum a watch valuation should be dated and signed, recording the Customer’s name and address, a full description of the item, an image of the item, its model and other reference numbers, the type of value given e.g. NRV (new replacement value) and bear the Registered Valuer’s qualifications and IRV number.

In the event of a claim, if a customer has this valuation, then there will be no delay in being able to settle a claim and the customer may be offered a direct replacement or perhaps a cash settlement depending on the customer’s preference and the availability of a replacement. Without this, the journey to settlement could take longer and the customer may also find that they are underinsured.

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