So you have been reading magazines and newspapers, maybe browsing social media and it seems that all of a sudden… Vintage is EVERYWHERE! Retro styles are coming back, classic cars continue breaking records in auctions etc, but more than anything else? The watch industry. There has been a huge upsurge in the popularity of vintage watches, to the point where the giants of the watch world are producing carbon copies of their most sought after vintage pieces. It seems that finally the trend of enormous blocks of metal adorning the wrists of celebrities and footballers is drawing to a close and that classic styles are returning, prompting endless homages to the back catalogues. However, ‘You’ are not to be placated by the reproductions; ‘you’ are the next vintage watch connoisseur, and as such, only an original vintage piece will do! And so beggars the question, in the rich yet danger fraught realm of vintage watch collecting, where does one begin?
It is a question that every single watch collector has asked him or herself once. Whether it be a conscious decision to start from scratch, or a progression from simply owning a vintage watch to wanting to build up a collection from that starting point. But what direction to go and how to approach it are the first hurdles to overcome.
In my opinion, the best way to start is to address a few core points:
Firstly, and I would be kidding myself if I were to say this isn’t most people’s primary concern: budget. Realistically, how much are you looking to invest in a vintage watch? There is no magic number which says ‘You must spend X on a watch for it to be good.’ There are watches in every price bracket which are good watches and a £15,000 watch may be worse than a £5,000 watch. The main objective here is to find a price that suits you and a watch that fits that number. Also, bear in mind that it is your first foray into an incredibly complex and organic market, so rather than trying to eke out an investment opportunity on your first try and making a profit on it, buy something you love. I say this because no matter who advises you or how much you choose to invest, there is NEVER a guarantee that what you buy will appreciate. This way, at the very least, whatever happens to the value, you have a watch that you bought because you liked it.
Stay tuned for part 2!