Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of JWR. (SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor.) Today, JWR asks: “What will be the Rolex Submariner Successor?” (See the Tangibles Investing section, near the end of this column.)

Precious Metals:

Gold and Silver Post Second Straight Weekly Increase

o  o  o

The Louder the Drums of War, the Greater the Allure of Safe-Haven Gold


Goldman Sachs Says You Must Own Commodities in These Tense Times


Economy & Finance:

At The Telegraph (UK): America faces a debt abyss but the politicians just sit on their hands

o  o  o

Next, at Zero Hedge: This Really Is The Everything Bubble: Even Subprime Mortgage Bonds Are Back


Hong Kong Monetary Authority buys HK$3.26 billion worth of own currency to head off declines

o  o  o

Currency funds trampled by bad volatility in dreadful 2018 start


Tangibles Investing (Rolex Submariner Successor):

What will be the 2020s or 2030s equivalent of a Rolex Submariner wristwatch?  Part of that depends on the changeable if not truly fickle tastes of American consumers and investors. But I am quite certain that the next watch to have that je ne sais quoi Rolex appeal will not be a smart watch. Those are over-priced, fragile, and doomed to obsolescence within a few years.

To become truly collectible and have good potential gain in value over the years a timepiece must have these traits:  Quality design, durability, excellent timekeeping, a high level of craftsmanship, superior materials, decent marketing, and most importantly: low production numbers. Mass-produced watches doom themselves to the mundane dustbin of history. Even though they were fairly well made, most Hamilton and Bulova wristwatches will never have true collector appeal. Why? There are just too many of them.

Watch for These Watches

In particular, I suggest that you:

1.) Research any up-and coming companies that pride themselves on their craftsmanship and that limit themselves on production. Of those, try to pick some of their more scarce and well-styled manly models, to collect. Brands to look for: Rado, Farer Leven, Breitling, Tag-Heuer, Oris, and Tudor. (Tudor is Rolex’s sister company.)

2.) Keep track of timepiece industry news.  If you hear of a watchmaking company that is going out of business, then that is a key indicator.  If the watches they produce are already collectible, then their appeal will go off the charts if the company folds. Once you have confirmation that a company is completely going out of business, then that is the time to pounce on any remaining inventory of “new in box” examples that you can afford. At teh same time, recommend them to family and friends.

3.) Also in timepiece industry news, be observant for announcements of Limited Edition production runs. If it is a design that will have long term appeal, then that is probably a good model to buy. Even a higher-production company like Omega does make some limited production models. Someday, one of your grandchildren will be featured on The Antique Roadshow, saying: “My grandfather had the wisdom to buy five of these, new in factory boxes, and tucked them away in our family vault.”  One good prospect that is now available: The Jaeger LeCoultre 2018 Memovox. It is a limited edition of 1,000 watches in honor of the 50th birthday of the Polaris model Jaeger-LeCoultre watch. Or perhaps it is even better to buy a certified pre-owned original!

4.) Try to find watches that have engravings showing that they were bought by or presented to celebrities.  But be absolutely certain to get letters of provenance from relatives or friends of that celebrity, and have them notarized. In my own family, we own a wristwatch that was worn by the famous physicist and Nobel Laureate Albert Michelson. (One of my distant relatives.)  This originally inexpensive production wristwatch is engraved “A.M.” on the back. But because we don’t have a provenance letter and because so many nephews were also named Albert Michelson (in his honor), the value of that watch is difficult to prove. In the “attributable” collectibles world, provenance is everything.

5.) Look for “high wear” but good-working specimens of collectible brands that have scratched crystals and/or missing their original bands. That is probbaly your only chance to buy an example of a Hermès, Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Parmigiani or Rolex. Unless the case itself is scratched, these watches can usually be restored.  And once restored, they can literally be worth twice as much.

A Closing Reminder: As always, do your homework before you buy, save the original box, papers/manual, and save your purchase receipt. (Or print out all of the order information in hard copy, if you buy online.)



SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. So please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often “get the scoop” on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. Have that exact same watch in the picture , bought for less than 800 used in 1983 .
    Didn’t know till this year the RED submariner was rare. Its a great watch !

    Hold on to something classic long enough it appreciates in value and
    is EMP proof and dose not need batteries.

  2. There is an ex Navy Seal making fairly high end watches called RESCOE. They seem very high quality and very low production. I don’t know if these fit the bill, but I’m saving my shekels to get one.

  3. While many investors worry about the stock market and what might cause it to melt down, they tend to overlook the much larger bond market. Bond markets run on confidence, and once confidence in one kind of bond is lost, it tends to spread. Once bond markets start collapsing, stock markets soon follow.

    If there’s another crisis, it will probably start in a bond market somewhere. If you read that some particular kind of fixed income security (credit default swaps, contingent convertible (coco) bonds, mortgage-backed securities, auto loan-backed securities, etc.) is collapsing, that investors are losing confidence in them and dumping them, get ready to get out of stocks.

    Of course, you should already have trailing stop-loss orders on all your stock positions, not in the market but on a website such as (I use them but am not otherwise connected to the company.) When a stock or stock fund hits its trailing stop, it should be sold.

    As long as the music’s playing, we need to keep dancing. However, we should dance near the door and avoid dancing with the devil.

  4. Another potential and interesting option is an Atmos clock made by Jaeger LeCoultre. These beautiful, mechanical clocks never have to be wound, keep excellent time, and will run continuously for decades if kept in a stable environment. EMP proof. They are expensive to buy new, $7,000.00 and up. Companies sometimes present them to employees as retirement gifts. I found one in a pawn shop for $500.00. Unbelievable. An operating and service manual is available on the internet. If you get one, be careful: they are fragile, and the mechanism must be locked before moving them. Mine runs for months at a time within a few seconds of the WWL atomic clock. Rare and truly amazing machines!

  5. Total global debt (meaning bonds and credit cards) has now nit $237 trillion. Add $750 trillion in bank-issued derivative securities, and total debt has now passed a quadrillion dollars. Something that can’t go on will have to stop, and the resulting pain will be immense. Governments will default on their bonds, corporations will go bankrupt, and many people will lose their life’s savings and homes.

  6. You tube has thousands of watch videos. In Shtf. Functional value will exceed collector value as possessor luxury of “Ihave it”will have a thin market. So mechanicals with sapphire crystal and anti magnetic and 200+/- water resistance and shock proof have function hi status

    Yeah specific Hamilton and marathon military and other have that…..but a good option or portfolio round out would be solar charge that has long years of proven history…..Citizen.( Unlikely to needbattery change)

    Note Self winding do need some cleaning average 3-5-7 years depending on use and are only fairly accurate..and less so if dirty

    But some citizen light (sun cloud) watches rechargeable, does have battery and capacitor so emp issue potentially

    Can fully charge in 11 hours of sunlight and that charge holds up for 6 months

    Battery part can last 10-15-20 years if it ever goes out…market experience . Not as cheap sun charge construction as some others

    Can get shock,water proof models. Suggest 200 meter minimum. 100 may be ok ??

    Very accurate only minuses:the emp thing, average at night lume , not a sapphire crystal

    Pluses not need batteries ( yeah could gets 7-10 year Casio etc and spare batteries but this article is more about collector , Status watches…. diff style and utility

    So get both a Rolex anti magnetic (50 years history) and citizen(s) solar and be prepared

    Ps Seiko has Some solar too but seems less a record a lasting for years and years

    For superior anti magnetic mechanical luxury style at lower price get newer model Omega! Instead of 15 or 20 citizens or 1/2— or whatever Rolex Only caution. The Omega Newer movement with anti mag has less real world wear experience than Rolex. And still requires some cleaning maintenance of a mechanical

Comments are closed.