Vintage watches have classic design, a unique look and that intangible sense of history so important to collectors. But what of modern-day pieces? We take a look at the watch manufacturers of today, some new, some well-established, that offer investors the opportunity to own a classic of the future for a modest sum.
Born in 1957, François-Paul Journe is a comparative upstart to the watchmaking scene. His company was founded in just 1999 but has already made big waves due to its array of new movements and systems, such as the resonance chronometer.
Aurel Bacs, the international co-head of Christie's Watch Department, thinks highly of the Frenchman.
"FP Journe has my respect because he did not want to go and copy successful watch manufacturers that already existed," Bacs told Paul Fraser Collectibles in an exclusive interview, last month.
"He has his inspiration in French chronograph making of the 18th century and he went his own way. He has his style. He brought new ideas to the market."
The old classic Omega has been around since 1848 and is one of the world's most recognisable watch brands. Despite its ubiquity, watches are much sought after among collectors, including modern variations. This is in part due to Omega's development of the Caliber 2500 movement. Incorporated into timepieces in 1999, it enabled Omega to become the first company to offer mass-produced watches with co-axial escapement.
International Watch Company
The luxury manufacturer, better known simply as IWC, has been in the business since 1868 and is a rarity among Swiss manufacturers in that is situated in the east, Swiss-German speaking region.
The IWC Portuguese Chrono Automatic is one of the company's most popular ranges and can be obtained for less than £4,000.
Collectors looking to make an entry level investment into the watch sector will find the Jaeger LeCoultre brand highly desirable. Some older items made by the Swiss manufacturer can go for extraordinary sums but new pieces, such as some of the recent Reverso lines, can be found for £3,600.
Very much at the expensive end of 'entry level' watch investment, Richard Mille's watches have been highly desirable since he set up his eponymous company in 2001. Endorsed by tennis star Rafael Nadal, Mille's watches are inspired by the car and aviation industries.