Cartier Santos: The lies to yourself

At one point, we all come to the topic of value retention, and then we tell ourselves, 'Well, if the watch is retaining its value, then it's a safe purchase because I can sell it at any moment and get my money back when I really need it, right?’

This is what I'm actually thinking after doing my research on Cartier Santos: It seems to be true that around $7,000, it's really good at staying relevant over the years and retaining its value. It looks like you can either keep your money in a bank account and nothing special will happen, or you can invest your $7,000 in a Cartier Santos and have much more joy without taking on any serious financial risks.

But let's be real: Are you really going to sell your watch if you need the money? Has anyone actually done that? Or is value retention just another excuse to indulge yourself with something that's not actually necessary?

For me, $7,000 is not all my money, but it's some noticeable part of my savings. I already have some nice watches in my collection: Breguet Marine 5817 and Omega Seamaster Professional. So I'm just trying to be more rational in thinking about my next watch. So what are your thoughts on Cartier Santos? Is it worth it?

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Value retention is based on hype, perceived scarcity and demand. These things will change over time. It's just something we keep telling ourselves to justify a purchase. There are no guarantees.

People don't understand, watches have depreciation, it's not a commodity like gold that has tons of uses and is finite (by the way, price of gold also tanks), nor it's a unique item like a rare piece of art or a faberge egg. There is no basis to claim a piece of steel with some applied indices is similar at the end of the day.

If you can't take a risk that the price of a watch will decrease and it will be worthless in a few years you shouldn't buy it.

Also, if a purchase is a meaningful part of your savings you shouldn't buy it either. Just be real with yourself with what you can afford or willing to gamble away.

My advice as a financier, take the money and if its disposable within reason, invest it into low return financial instruments as interest rates have hiked. If you want to gamble it away, a poker table would be my preferred route.

Best of luck with your decision!

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above comment is good, almost nothing to add.

But couple other points to consider:

Resale value will greatly depend on the state of watch at sale. If you plan on wearing it frequently and not just keep in a box as an investment - likely there will be some wear and tear (no matter how careful you are). This might impact resale price

Resale value also depends on whether you have all purchase docs and original box, so be careful not to lose them.

Most likely at time of sale - watch will have no warranty. True, I guess you can service it at authorized dealer and get warranty for ~2 years, but not sure how much it costs for Cartier. Doubtful you can transfer full cost of repair on a new buyer…

I didn’t do a research, but I think watch prices would underperform inflation for most part. Buying a watch at 7k now and selling at 7.3K in 3 years is not really value retention due to high inflation. Yes, investment on the market bears many risks too, but I guess better chance of generating higher return.

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Buy it if you love it and would be happy with only 1/2 back if you decide to sell. Might be better than that, but no assurances. Don't forget Cartier is essentially made of warm butter in regards to scratches, so it will look like it's been through a war with 1 week of wearing.

With all those caveats... I still am very sweet on a Francoise! 🤣

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One thing I would say with something like the Santos is there are great deals to be had on used ones. That protects you even more (you may even make a profit.)

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Just buy the damn watch!

😅😅

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GT.Effect

Value retention is based on hype, perceived scarcity and demand. These things will change over time. It's just something we keep telling ourselves to justify a purchase. There are no guarantees.

People don't understand, watches have depreciation, it's not a commodity like gold that has tons of uses and is finite (by the way, price of gold also tanks), nor it's a unique item like a rare piece of art or a faberge egg. There is no basis to claim a piece of steel with some applied indices is similar at the end of the day.

If you can't take a risk that the price of a watch will decrease and it will be worthless in a few years you shouldn't buy it.

Also, if a purchase is a meaningful part of your savings you shouldn't buy it either. Just be real with yourself with what you can afford or willing to gamble away.

My advice as a financier, take the money and if its disposable within reason, invest it into low return financial instruments as interest rates have hiked. If you want to gamble it away, a poker table would be my preferred route.

Best of luck with your decision!

This was definitely wise advice that sounds 100% rational. Watches are not guaranteed to retain their current value. However, when we're talking about spending money on them as a hobby rather than a real investment, it's not a complete waste. It can even give some decent returns on the money spent.

For example, if wearing my Cartier for a couple of years results in a depreciation of 1-2k, that doesn't seem too bad!

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Another thing to consider is the transaction cost. A luxury watch will in many cases be sold through an intermediary, such as a watch dealer. There will be some form of commission or fee involved to facilitate the transaction.

Also, a watch doesn´t create a net cash flow, but invested money does. So don´t compare it against a bank account, but a reasonable and diversified investment strategy.

If $7,000 is a noticeable part of your savings, I would advise against the purchase.

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GT.Effect

Value retention is based on hype, perceived scarcity and demand. These things will change over time. It's just something we keep telling ourselves to justify a purchase. There are no guarantees.

People don't understand, watches have depreciation, it's not a commodity like gold that has tons of uses and is finite (by the way, price of gold also tanks), nor it's a unique item like a rare piece of art or a faberge egg. There is no basis to claim a piece of steel with some applied indices is similar at the end of the day.

If you can't take a risk that the price of a watch will decrease and it will be worthless in a few years you shouldn't buy it.

Also, if a purchase is a meaningful part of your savings you shouldn't buy it either. Just be real with yourself with what you can afford or willing to gamble away.

My advice as a financier, take the money and if its disposable within reason, invest it into low return financial instruments as interest rates have hiked. If you want to gamble it away, a poker table would be my preferred route.

Best of luck with your decision!

I agree! If buying that watch makes you worry about your financial condition. Then its best to put those disposable into safer places. A watch is a luxury, no matter what others say to you.

And as you also have other nice watches, perhaps it's time to switch up with some straps to make it fun again. I had been doing it to my Ginza Alpinist and Baby Alpinist. And when you saved up and when that $7,000 doesn't stress you out a single bit at all. Then it's time to spend it on that Santos you've been waiting for.

Also, everyone wanted Rolex. As we all believe we can be that one who walks out of the AD holding a watch that just doubled in value. But like 90% of the ppl, it is just a dream. If not sold properly, you'll likely lose your watch or even your life. Watch theft and robbery have risen significantly around the world. Even cities like Hong Kong had seen such a rise.

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Buy what you love that’s all that matters. Value retention comes and goes. Also depends if you buy used. I’m finding mint condition examples at about 20% less and at that price seem to be stable and loosing very little value - but if it is a watch for life then just enjoy it 👍 you deserve it !

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I just put my name in at my Cartier AD to reserve the first Santos large green dial that’s coming in June.

I don’t expect it will hold its value, but I’m expecting it will be beautiful and that I will love it.

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