April 21, 2024

Luxury watch designer shares her insider tips and tricks for finding the perfect watch that’ll get you the best return on your investment

By Margaret Abrams For Dailymail.Com

20:18 18 Feb 2024, updated 20:22 18 Feb 2024

  • Vieren founder Jess Chow explains how to find the perfect timepiece 
  • The Toronto-based entrepreneur’s parents met while working in the watch world
  • Now, Chow creates timeless, elevated pieces and buzzy limited collections 

A luxury watch expert has revealed her top tips and tricks for investing in a high-end timepiece – detailing exactly which brands and designs will earn you the best return on your purchase, while also sharing advice for those hoping to secure a more budget-friendly piece on the secondhand market.  

The luxury watch market has exploded of late, with a huge surge in interest in classic brands like Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, and Cartier. 

Celebrities have become more watch-obsessed than ever, with everyone from Nicole Kidman to Tom Brady seen flaunting luxury designs during public appearances. 

This recent obsession has made it next to impossible for buyers to get their hands on new designs from these brands – and has seen some timepiece fans forced to jump through multiple hoops in order to own a sought-after design. 

Having a luxury watch is a serious status symbol, which is one of the reasons it’s been harder to find upscale options from brands like Rolex. Nicole Kidman is seen wearing a timepiece
Celebrities often show off exclusive, hard-to-get watches, which has led to the rise of everyone wanting a classic watch from a buzzy brand
Kylie Jenner boasts an envy-inducing watch collection, and even bought her five-year-old daughter Stormi a Rolex
Jess Chow founded Vieren in Toronto in 2020 alongside creative director Sunny Fong, a past  Project Runway Canada winner, and now offers advice for investing in a luxurious watch

Indeed, premium watches are, these days, almost as hard to procure as the Hermes Birkin bags – which require an exhaustive buying process that sees fashion fans forced to befriend sales associates and splash a great deal of cash on other items from the brand until they are deemed ‘worthy’ enough to be offered the chance to buy a premium handbag. 

As a result, many have turned to the secondhand market in order to track down their dream watches. But while buying a used timepiece can help to lower the astronomical prices, opting for a vintage design can also come with its risks, including falling for a fake or landing yourself with a broken product.

In short, the world of watches has become increasingly broad – and thus, far more complicated. 

But thankfully, help is now at hand, courtesy of luxury watch expert and brand founder Jess Chow, who launched her own timepiece brand Vieren after watching her parents navigate the industry for years.  

Her parents, both watchmakers, met at Baselworld, the global watch and jewelry trade show that takes place each spring in Switzerland. 

Now, the Toronto-based entrepreneur independently makes watches that focus on form and function while pushing the boundaries of luxury watchmaking design. Chow works with the brand’s creative director, Sunny Fong, a previous winner of Project Runway Canada, to create elevated, limited-edition collections.

Chow, who has created a brand that is ‘on a mission to reinvent the automatic watch,’ tells DailyMail.com about bringing her vision to life and why customers should invest in timeless, elegant timepieces.


Is it really worth investing in a luxury timepiece?

With the rise of fast fashion, it’s easy for people to eschew expensive watches for less expensive options. 

Chow explains that ‘mechanical timepieces are a living piece of history and people are seeking to connect with something bigger than themselves,’ joking: ‘When AI takes over the world someday, you know you can still rely on an automatic timepiece on your wrist to keep you moving forward.’

Instead of purchasing cheap offerings, Chow believes it’s important to look for quiet luxury pieces that will stand the test of time, in monochromatic and metallic palettes that make it easy to wear. 

The luxury watch designer creates exclusive collections with a modern design and matches her manicure to the products to show them off


What are the benefits of buying an automatic watch?

Automatic watches are self-winding timepieces that don’t have to be manually wound when worn regularly – and while you might not see many day-to-day, Chow is working to bring them back. 

In the past, these timepieces were seen as being expensive and inaccessible, but Chow wants new generations to embrace the style.

‘Automatic watches are timeless modern luxury pieces that can tell time forever without a battery, and a craft honed over generations that is becoming increasingly lost in the world of digital today,’ Chow explains.

Chow is working to bring the ‘craftsmanship that has existed for forever to a generation that hasn’t had the experience of wearing an automatic watch.’

‘Although automatic timepieces are investment pieces that will last years, we believe that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle to experience this technology for the first time,’ the expert insists, which is why her timepieces start at about $2,000 or $3,000.

Automatic watches don’t require a battery and can power themselves as long as they’re worn quite regularly
According to Chow, Swiss craftsmanship makes a difference, and her watches are handcrafted in La-Chaux-de-Fonds and Certified Swiss made
Vieren creates unique timepieces, like a recent collection inspired by New York City’s famous Studio 54


How do you choose the right automatic watch?

Chow tells people to look for the ‘three Ms,’ which are movement, materials, and make. It’s best to invest in a watch made of stainless steel or scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with gold, gemstone or diamonds accents, because ‘these subtle details are what makes it a luxury watch.’

It’s also helpful to look for Certified Swiss made timepieces, which will have the label on the dial or the case back. Chow calls these ‘the world’s most well-made and reliable timepieces.’

Chow wants potential customers to search for ‘iconic styles are thoughtfully designed for long-lasting wear’ that are ‘big enough to make a statement, but not too big to fit under a nice suit or jacket.’

It might be tempting to try out new trends, but Chow thinks ‘a quality timepiece should be long-lasting and be relevant for decade.’ For those who do want to try a trend, Chow suggests ‘looking for quartz movements that use a battery to tell time,’ because they’re usually less expensive and require less maintenance.

If you want to start a collection, ‘look for discontinued watch models, which are very collectable and more sought after on the resale market.’


Does it make sense to buy a secondhand timepiece?

Buying a secondhand watch makes sense if you’re ‘collecting heritage watches,’ according to Chow. 

However, it’s extremely important to know you’re getting the real deal, which is why she recommends always looking for an Authorized Certification as well as working with reputable dealers.

Chow also advises inspecting the watch in person to make sure it looks the same, since photos aren’t always accurate and there are a lot of counterfeits.

The Canada-based brand carefully crafts each timepiece for more than six months to ensure it will stand the test of time
Chow advises in investing in watches that have gold, gemstone or diamond accents to make them stand out
It’s important to forego wearing your watch in the shower or if you go swimming, because while most luxury watches can survive getting wet, they can’t go underwater


Is it easy to maintain an automatic watch? 

While it might be tempting to only break out your new buy for special occasions, it’s actually better to wear your new bling daily.

‘Wearing an automatic watch every day ensures the gears are in use and lubricated for optimal performance,’ Chow says.

If you find yourself not always wearing the watch, a watch winder will keep it running.

And although many watches, including Vieren options, are water resistant, it’s best not to shower or bathe with your watch on, which could cause the gears to bend and warp. 

It’s also important to bring your watch in for service every three to five years, so the entire watch can be taken apart, cleaned and repaired.

If you plan on reselling the timepiece in the future, keep the watch in mint condition, and make sure to store the box, packaging and paperwork in a cool dry place. 

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