How to invest in a Rolex watch with a rare “khanjar” dial
With such intriguing stories, it’s not hard to see why Khanjar watches are making big money. They also speak of the history of a people. Oman remains an absolute monarchy with socially conservative laws and customs, but, throughout his 50-year reign, Qaboos transformed the country from an insignificant backwater into a modern economy.
There is also a simpler reason for their popularity. They belong to a larger genre of sought-after “co-signed” dials. Aside from the khanjars, you can find dials printed with “Cartier”, say, or “Tiffany & Co” if the watch was retailed in one of those stores. There are Rolex stamped with the logo of the diving company Comex. And of course, other countries have also issued watches with royal coats of arms. Such a watch is attractive simply because it is different and rare. As Danny Pizzigoni, founder of the Mayfair Watch Club retailer, says: “Having said that, ‘I’m better informed than you’, ‘I have better contacts’ or ‘I have deeper pockets’. That’s what it’s about.
Pizzigoni claims that the growing popularity of fine watches has spurred the growth in demand for co-signed pieces – those with means are looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd. When it comes to khanjar watches in particular, it is possible to enter the market at a lower price if you look at less publicized watch models. In 2018, for example, Christie’s sold a simple 1977 Audemars Piguet with a khanjar dial for £ 7,000; Last year Sotheby’s sold a 1974 khanjar-style Rolex Day-Date for £ 31,000.
But if you want a “hot” watch with a khanjar – a Rolex Daytona, say, or an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – the headroom will be considerable, especially if it is a variant that few khanjar editions have. been manufactured. “A Rolex Day-Date with a khanjar on the dial?” Great. But there are thousands of them, ”says Pizzigoni. “But a reference 3700 Nautilus ‘Jumbo’ from 1976 with a khanjar on the dial, potentially with the box and papers? You have the perfect storm: a Nautilus, which is crazy anyway, and there was only a handful of vintage khanjar dial steel Nautilus ever made. All of a sudden you’re naming your price – it’s a quarter-million-pound watch today. Maybe even more. ”That’s why Pizzigoni himself got hold of a vintage Rolex Submariner with a khanjar red dial (shown in the top image) when offered to him by a film producer. “They say there are only two or three in the world. He estimates it to be worth between £ 350,000 and £ 500,000.
So if you want to buy a khanjar watch as an investment, what does Pizzigoni recommend? “In terms of what I think I am potentially undervalued, it would be the modern Khanjars,” he said. These are ordered through the Omani dealer Khimji Ramdas and do not feature a khanjar on the dial but on the caseback. “If you have a modern Khanjar [Rolex] Submariner or GMT, they go for anywhere between £ 25,000 and £ 35,000. These watches are offered as gifts to dignitaries at events, government seminars. As an investment, I think they have room to grow.
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