The Tag Heuer company is a historic, lesser-known luxury watch brand that's been making watches since 1860. The watches are much prized by discerning watch lovers the world over and are affectionately known as 'Tags'. Unlike pop culture brands like Rolex who have infamously steep values, you probably don't know if Tag Heuer watches hold their value over time, but with a little research, you'll discover whether our retro wristwatches are worth big money.
Reasons That Tag Watches Hold Value Over Time
Luxury watches are inclined to hold a relatively stable value over the years, if not increasing, then at least maintaining a level that matches your original investment. Typically, this is because good quality and often valuable materials have been used to manufacture the watch, as well as a couple of other factors, such as:
- Made out of precious/semi-precious materials - A watch that's made from gold or other precious materials will have an inherently higher value over watches made with lesser-quality materials.
- Have reliable internal mechanisms - Another reason why they hold a reasonable value is because they're reliable and continue to maintain good time. This means that they can be sold as functioning timepieces when other watches simply fail to perform.
- At the mercy of alternating buyer trends - Another important factor to consider is the desirability of a watch. Some watches become collectors' pieces, and the value of these watches can become inflated over time.
Buying a Tag Heuer Watch as an Investment
Despite their extensive history in the chronometer market, not many Tag Heuer watches accrue value over time. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a booming buyer market for vintage Tag Heuer's in comparison to other, more popular, brands. However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't keep your mother's 1970s Tag Heuer to match your favorite baseball tee and bellbottoms. According to WatchCharts, Tag Heuer's most popular watch model is their Formula 1 series, first created in 1986 in honor of the fast-paced motor sport. Very similar to the Swatch, these brightly colored, vibrant watches continue to hold aesthetic appeal even thirty years later.
Yet, if you're thinking about how to make the most out of your older Tags or you want to purchase one that might have better buying power in the future, then it's important to buy wisely--whether that's vintage or modern editions. For example, limited edition watches often represent good investments; however, they can also command a higher price. Above all else, when buying a new Tag Heuer watch, it's vitally important to make sure that you're buying a genuine one. Nostalgic watches, such as Tag Heuers are often targeted by counterfeit watch producers thanks to their more easily replicated materials and designs. Of course, a counterfeit watch will never hold its value and people should make sure that they only buy from authorized dealers.
Finding the Value of a Tag Heuer Watch
There're many different reasons for why someone might need to find out how much an old Tag Heuer watch is worth; from insurance purposes to proving a cousin wrong, thousands of people try to hunt down how much their family heirlooms are worth every day. This includes people who've been given/inherited an old Tag that they're looking to resell and people who've invested in an expensive limited edition Tag and need to make some money off of their investment. Undoubtedly, the most reliable way to find out any vintage watch's value is to consult a horologist or jewelry appraiser. These professionals are trained in varying methods on how to evaluate watches and can also lend you some advice as to any repairs or maintenance that's required to keep the watch in good condition.
All of Tag Heuer watches tend to only be worth about $150-$250 for their basic models on the current market, with very special limited edition mint watches selling for substantially more to avid collectors. Additionally, models with more complex movements or multiple functions, such as their diving watches and chronographs, can sell for a few thousand at market. If you're unsure of which Tag you've got in your care, then you should cross-reference the watch's serial number (found on the back of the watch case) against documented Tags. You can also contact the company to check with their past inventory to see if you've got a real Tag and what year it was made.
For newcomers, the easiest way to keep up-to date on how different Tag Heuer watches are selling at auction is to check eBay's recently sold listings. To do this, you search whatever watch model, decade, and brand you're interested in, and select "sold items" in the filters menu. This gives you a snapshot as to the most recently sold watches that match that description. For instance, here are a couple of these watches that've recently sold on eBay:
- Average condition vintage Tag Heuer Formula 1 men's watch - Sold for $180
- Vintage Tag Heuer chronograph 'Big Eyes' manual watch - Sold for $1501
- Rare 1969 Tag Heuer Camero watch - Sold for about $5,883.73
Selling a Tag Heuer Watch
Wondering if Tag Heuer watches hold their value isn't going to get you any further with actually assessing your watch's value than flipping through image search after image search of like-designed watches on Google is. After doing a bit of research on what similar Tags are currently selling for, you've got to decide if you want to keep the watch or try to sell it to someone else. If you've got the selling itch, then there're only two options for you to consider: selling the watch yourself or selling it to a dealer.
Posting the watch yourself to a retailer like eBay, Etsy, or a specialty watch reseller might help you make a faster sale than finding a specialty dealer to take it off of your hands. Additionally, you might be able to make a bigger profit selling it on your own by finding a buyer who isn't well-versed in the current market and is willing to pay a premium price. However, if speed isn't a top priority for you, then selling to a dealer is probably a better option. Not only will they usually be able to give you more information about the watch, but you might get more money for watches that need repairs which individual people aren't interested in buying themselves.
No Time Like the Present for a Few Tags
Historic luxury watches such as Tag Heuers can be a good investment for creating future family heirlooms, though not usually for paying for anyone's kids' college funds. While these watches might not bring in high profits in the years after they've been sold, they can still bring a lot of joy to those who wear them.