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Dec 10, 2021

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Why Collect Vintage Watches?

Here we share the reasons why demand for vintage watches has been increasing dynamically for the past 3-4 years, a phenomenon that doesn’t seem to diminish anytime soon.

A “Living with Covid” Edit

The vintage watch market exploded in recent years and despite the outbreak of COVID-19, the overall performance of the watch industry is surprisingly healthy. The positive performance of the industry applies to all categories, whether it’s new or pre-loved watches but the medal would definitely go to vintage watches. Let’s look at the reasons why, from the perspective as an investor and as a collector.

Good Investment

The pandemic has swayed investors and market forecasts around the world towards a more conservative posture and marred the outlook of economic prosperity for years. Collectors, investors and even flippers have identified collectible vintage watches as a less volatile investment and feels more confident in parking their money on something that holds value. Classics from Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Rolex are considered blue chip watches.

In fact, the intrinsic value of some vintages points towards that of an appreciating asset, due to hyped-up auction records in recent years. The advent of e-commerce and fibre technologies, allowed sources, prices and information to be propagated globally. Accessibility and speed further fuelled the surge in market pricing. So let’s say; an established luxury Maison announces the cessation of a particular model, we can expect to see the market bustling with activities, buying, selling, and increasing in price etc., almost immediately. These factors certainly bode well with collectors, dealers and auction houses alike.

The Waiting Game

The Waiting List is now like a communicable disease, spreading like a pandemic. Some collectors prefer to be on the waiting list while there are some who simply opt for an alternative, which tend to be a more lucrative option nowadays. When these brands release their new model, prices may soar and not everyone is willing to pay more than what they originally have to.

Some brands simply ride along the trend of implementing waiting-list or offer time-limited, pre-order models and when the much anticipated watch becomes available in the market, the value fail to match with expectations. Given that the pandemic offered all of us time to reflect on how we have missed opportunities and great moments amidst the hectic lifestyle we used to lead, citizens of the world now have more time to shop for watches! With the time for research and nowhere to spend the money on, we are seeing new entrants into the vintage market seeking the rare and the precious.

History on the Wrist

Vintage Watches as the name suggests, are old watches. However, these watches bear witness to the events happening in its time, and survived. When you put on a vintage timepiece, you are wearing a part of history on your wrist. Although you might not really be wearing the piece that went to the moon, the piece that reached the peak of Mount Everest, or even the piece that broke the speed record at Daytona 500 NASCAR race, it is the concept of association that appeals to collectors as he is wearing the same model, with the same calibre, or a direct descendant of the actual legendary piece. The culture of watch collecting appreciates and honours the marvel of engineering, human ingenuity and the spirit of innovation. It is a poetic or romantic proposition that new contemporary watches can never offer.

Collecting Surprises

Vintage watch collectors enjoy the hunt for the multitude of renditions a single watch model may offer. It is in the discovery of small, intricate and sometimes, significant details on each piece that makes watch collecting fun. “It’s all in the small details”, collectors like to say.

Vintage watches produced between the 1950s and the 1970s in particular, tend to offer a single model with variations differentiated by material, colour, dial details, bezels, sizes and even lugs. Each vintage timepiece possesses its own unique persona and collectability, and for that it becomes a more popular hobby than simply purchasing the latest model off the shelf. A good example would be the seemingly non-exhaustive variations of Rolex Day-Date or better known as the President. The post-war era of watchmaking was a competitive landscape where each brand aggressively seek to feed the raging consumerism.

At the Pinnacle

In recent years, the showroom have received a steady increase in individuals who are more likely to take an interest in vintage pieces than contemporaries. The shift in taste and preference among a younger generation of watch aficionados is brought about by a lack of innovation and surprise in modern pieces. These individuals usually express disappointment over new launches that seem to offer just a slight improvement, or a variation of the model they already own. The stagnation in technical innovations is getting obvious. “If we are to be purchasing remodels of vintage watches or variations of a modern piece, I might as well collect real vintage watches that may very well become an auction-grade timepiece.” Says one of our new Gen-Y customer.

Old is Gold

Collecting Vintage Watches is an enriching experience and a sound investment alternative to the volatile market of securities. In the process of searching for that watch that talks to you, it will be a delightful journey into the history of the watch, the brand and an era which makes the watch even more precious when you finally find it. In our opinion, it is also a fashion statement or a way to stand out from the mainstream as you may find another bloke with the same model but your piece will never look the same as his. With its very own character and stories, wear out your vintage watch and send off the message of your appreciation for quality, design and of course, heritage.

Enjoy your watch!

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