...it's nice to know watch snobs still exist! I remember the "Rolex wars" of the early internet days when guys like that sniffed happily at the supposed plaid sport coat wearing, Vegas dwelling Rolex owners. Then, a funny thing happened, Rolex owner/collectors turned out to be just about everyone. It was a rare aficionado that didn't have a sub or a DJ or a chronometer tucked away where the snobs couldn't see them. Then they began to gather and exchange information in places like this, serious research was done bringing in even more interest.
What makes watches valuable is provenance. A collector or investor wants to know exactly what he is buying. If you buy a three million dollar Patek you want to know that it is exactly what it is supposed to be and through Patek's superb record keeping and willingness to share those records the buyer can be assured he is getting his three million dollars worth.
It's no accident that COMEX and British Milwatches have reached six figure prices. They are the most researched and documented Rolex on earth and as such assure that collector/investor he is getting what he paid for. They have the advantage of having storied, exciting pasts. Rolex were used for those dangerous jobs because they were the best machines available for them at the time.
That Patek passed from perfumed hand to perfumed hand, an object of beauty, rarity and mechanical complexity, truth be known, a way to place cash with some hope of increase in value or at least more stability than a dollar or euro. There are too many of our little machines to ever reach that stratosphere but I would guess we haven't seen the end of appreciation yet.