Vintage watches make sound investments

 In Editorial

The Chf1k to Chf5k bracket has plenty of true value Vintage Watches to offer


part from Rolex and Patek Philippe, very few watches sell at or above their original price tag. Similar to sports cars, they tend to depreciate rapidly. One complication outsmarts the previous one and aggressive intelligent marketing drives sales of new timepieces.


The Swiss luxury watch segment represents in excess of 2mio pieces a year (source FHH) for which buyers need to be found year-in, year-out.The market has been plagued by discounts due to the cost for non-house brand distributors of carrying inventory. Traditionally unsold items find their way into parallel distribution channels where luxury watches get sold at 25% to 35% discounts to high street prices. When prices cannot be guaranteed in the primary market, the ripple effect is felt in the secondary one. Finding a Rolex at a discount in the primary market has always been more difficult than for any other brand hence the “premium” thereafter.


Nonetheless, producers have been lukewarm about fighting the phenomenon but one efficient way has been to develop their own brand-retailers. These shops are jeopardizing the business of traditional distributors which have, as a result, been diversifying their business away from the Richemont/Swatch orbit. Three main axis are being pursued; lesser known innovative watch makers (Richard Mille…), jewelry where name recognition is less important and vintage timepieces.


Contrary to middle of the range sports cars (Audi R8, M6, Jaguar XJ…), a watch doesn’t dye of age. Its’ technology doesn’t get outlawed. Luxury timepieces are pretty resilient to fashion; a nice piece will remain so forever.


But an outdated worn bracelet can easily ruin its’ aesthetics. When compared to the size of the case, the bracelet often equals or surpasses it in covered surface. A bracelet will contribute to rejuvenating a vintage watch. A flashy bracelet will counterbalance outdated dials or out-of-fashion lunar phase complications. Flat design has been an ongoing trend in web-design and is now influencing the real world. Minimalist vintage watches are now sought-after (think super flat Piaget for instance). Pink gold is also something special. A really nice vintage watch can be bought within a Chf 1k to Chf 5k price range. For an extra Chf 200 to Chf 300, one can pimp-it up with a nice modern bracelet. Buying wisely can easily convert into paying a quarter of the price of something new and from these levels will not depreciate to much.Searching for the right vintage piece for you is fun, passionate sellers abound and advice is readily available. Don’t be put off by an old bracelet as it will be easy to change and catered precisely to your will.


Furthermore did you know that numerous auction houses fit vintage watches with new watch straps in order to increase the overall appeal. An old bracelet will support lower bids, an opportunity for the discerning buyer.