Watch Brand Report: The best watches to buy in 2021

By H&T Pawnbrokers Wed, Aug 03, 2022
For any watch lover, deciding which watch brand to buy into is the golden question. Whether you have a budget of £150 or £15,000 the right brand could provide a return should you ever choose to part with your timepiece.

Buying into brands like Rolex is often seen as the height of luxury with new watches increasing in value each year. However, brands throughout each level of the market can make great purchases, with limited-run lower-priced watches often being more in demand than most luxury brands.

So which watch brand should you buy in 2021 or which model should you have valued if you’re already a collector? We’ve analysed second-hand sales data and information from our watch data to measure which brands are trending this year.

Our study ranks watches using their average resale value above the RRP, the average sale price today and the stability of the market for each brand/model, with the higher stability figure meaning the market is more unstable.

The top watch brands 2021

Rank Watch Stability Resale Value Avg. Sale
1 Rolex 7% 70.% £10,398.00
2 Omega 9% 55% £2,913.57
3 IWC 4% 17% £4,076.00
4 Tudor 7% 7% £2,156.21
5 Seiko 14% 55% £211.30
6 Tag Heuer 8% 12% £1,419.89
7 Timex 16% 64% £117.37
8 Jacob & Co. 21% 14% £13,467.00
9 Casio 14% 45% £182.95


Our research has ranked Rolex as the best watch brand to buy into. With iconic models such as the Datejust, Daytona, and Sea-Dweller consistently in high demand, our research found the resale of a Rolex to be 70% above the RRP. Rolex is one of the most famous watch brands known for using the highest quality materials including ceramics, gold, stainless steel, and mother-of-pearl. Finally, with an average sale price of £10,398, there is the scope to make a larger sum with this timeless brand.

Another luxury swiss brand, Omega, comes in second place. Omega watches had a resale price of 55% above the RRP and an average second hand sale price of £2,913, with some Speedmaster models fetching over £6,000. Omegas are one of the best options if you’re looking for a long term purchase with prices only fluctuating by 9%.

Our third best watch brand to purchase is IWC Schaffhausen. IWC’s have a resale price of 17% above RRP, meaning they are one of the safest brands to purchase. The average second-hand model sells for £4,076 meaning it's one of the more accessible luxury brands to purchase.

Rounding off our top five watch brands to buy into are Tudor and Seiko. Tudor watches have a lower resale value of 7% above RRP but were pulled into fourth place due to their lower average sale price. Similarly, Seiko watches have a lower sale price which means there is less cash to be made on the models, however, this does make them more accessible. The average return on watches from the brand is 55% with most models holding onto their value and selling for way above their original RRP.

Casio’s G-Shock x NASA is the highest returning watch model

Rank Watch RRP Avg Asking Price Price Premium
1 Rolex Daytona 116500 White Dial £10,500.00 £28,995.00 176%
2 Rolex Oyster perpetual 124300 Turquoise dial £4,700.00 £12,750.00 171%
3 Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV £6,850 £18,000.00 163%
4 Rolex Submariner Date 126610LV £7,650.00 £17,950.00 135%
5 Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR £6,550 £14,950.00 128%
6 Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO £7,550.00 £16,000.00 112%
7 Rolex Submariner 114060 £5,500 £11,000.00 100%
8 Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 (Blue dial) £12,000.00 £23,750.00 98%
9 Rolex Explorer II 216570 (White dial) £6,350 £11,450.00 80%
10 Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN £6,550 £11,500.00 76%

Thinking of buying a Rolex? We’ve ranked Rolex models based on their average resale value to reveal the models which could be best for a long term purchase. Alternatively, if you’re looking to part with your current model, Rolex watches are one of the best items to pawn and sell on due to their outstanding quality and increasing value.

Coming out on top is the Daytona 116500 white dial which is currently selling for an average of £28,995 on the second-hand market. The model was initially created by the Swiss watchmaker to meet the needs of racing drivers by measuring elapsed time and calculating average speed within the dial. Now a classic, the Daytona is one of the harder models to get your hands on but with a resale value of 176%, it could be a safe option within the brand.

In second place is the Oyster Perpetual 124300 turquoise dial rounds off our top three. This unique model featured a bright blue face, ideal for those wanting to make a statement. The watch also has a high selling value of 171% meaning this bolder choice could be a smart choice if you’re looking to hold onto your timepiece.

Rounding off the top three is the Submariner Date 116610LV due to its high resale value. Our research names it the top Rolex model to consider buying due to its dependable resale value and high average sale price. Initially created for ‘Drivers who Dive’ the watch features a rotational bezel that allows divers to monitor diving time.

Another Submariner comes in fourth place, with the Rolex Submariner 16610LV being one of the best models on our list. Nicknamed ‘Kermit' by Rolex enthusiasts, this Submariner features a green ceramic bezel and was launched in 2003 to celebrate 50 years of the model.

Have your own timepiece piece you’d like us to value? Get in touch with an expert.

If you’re looking to buy a classic timepiece take a look at our watch selection.


While the rankings in our study are based on sales data and our expert knowledge, research into each model should be conducted before buying any watch. A love for the model you’re purchasing should be your most valued factor as price premiums are not guaranteed and are usually subject to a mint-condition model, valid papers and an original box.


Numbers were gathered from second-hand sales sources and our internal data.

Each watch was measured on the following:

  • Price Premium - A measure of how much more a new, unworn item has sold for in the last 12 months, as compared to its original retail price. An item with a Price Premium of 100% means that the average price of that item right now sells for twice as much as its original retail price.
  • Avg. Sale - The average sales price over the past twelve months. We've removed fakes, outliers, and auctions with multiple listings.
  • Stability - A measure of how much price fluctuates. It is calculated as the standard deviation divided by the average price. The higher the percentage the more unstable the brand. A $200 product with 40% stability results in an average price range of $120 to $280.

Representative 165.5 %APR.

Pawnbroking Loans are secured on your items, if the loan is not repaid it will be sold to pay the debt.

Please note that Cheque Cashing, buyback, FX, retail purchases and sales are not regulated by the FCA.