Vintage Watch Blog.
Okay Ladies and Gents, I understand that you may not be a watch collector, or know really anything about watches, their history, mechanics, brands etc. Most people I talk with never heard of a Vacheron or Patek or Piaget... The only thing people heard of is Rolex....in general. So, I get it - your "watch stupid" but you do like watches; and that's okay...I think battleships are cool but I know nothing about them. What prompted me to make this blog is that I was doing some updating SEO for my site. I started googling different vintage items of interest and alas, almost the entire first page of google (which are mostly paid ads) are retailers of "cool men's products." So I started looking at them. I search, "Vintage Military Watches" and a lot of ads come up from companies I never heard of; and they are selling watches that they are calling vintage military watches (they even include dates like "1960's") and they are brand new watches made in China or somewhere foreign. The rest of the page had a lot more of this. I don't even want to describe the carnage I saw when I searched for Rolex. Now, these fake watchmakers have been getting smart and calling their watches that are duplicates of other real more expensive watches by another brand names. These "brands" you never heard of usually aren't real. That keeps things under the radar and prevents lawsuits in some cases.
To give you the readers digest version, I get it. You like the style, you don't know about watches, it's hard to invest in things you don't know about, you hear horror stories from people that had bad experiences... - so you get something a tenth of the price that's new and looks the same. Here lies the problem. Most (not all) of these so called companies are not companies at all. They are selling you watches made by people with ties to terrorist organizations and most of the profit is used to kill innocent people like you and I. In fact, the entire industry of rip off fake luxury goods is one of the top revenue sources for these people and the terrorist organizations they represent. Go ahead and google it if you don't believe me. All the major legitimate publications have written about the proof that exists at some point over the past 10 years.
Please educate yourself on these things. England just yesterday had a major terror attack...Europe is littered with terrorists waiting to strike and it will be on our shores if it's not already. These people need money. Where do you think it comes from? They aren't working on farms. As consumers and citizens, if you are one, we live in a Republic not a democracy. It is our job to pay attention to these things. It is our job to hold congress accountable for the lack of regulations on imports or smuggling. But at the very least, please remember this post. If all you can afford to buy is a Fossil or Timex, than by all means just do that or save money for the watch you want that is real. And shop at a reputable dealer if vintage and an authorized retailer if new. I take the time to write this because, yes I need to make a living, but more important I love our country and we must protect it. Our founding fathers knew that; and they knew we would forget one day, which is why it is in the largest possible font on our constitution "We the People". God bless America and our allies. Aside from working in the vintage watch business, I also do work for National Write Your Congressman. A truly great organization that gives you the tools to use your influence in congress.. Yes, you actually have influence. You can learn more about it on my personal site adamdubilo.com . I hope everyone has a wonderful day! I'm mostly video blogging now so please subscribe to my YouTube channel to keep updated on new inventory and anything else I want to rant about.
Hi everyone. I hope you watch freaks out there like me have been having a good time and living life to its fullest; while being punctual of course. So over the past week there's been a lot of changes to AdamVintage. We've added about 30% more to our in-stock vintage watch inventory, Invested in a new category of pocket watches, brought on a gift jewelry dealership Andrew Gordon Jewelry, launched apps for Google Play and Apple Store and did some redesigns to help navigate the site better. And, oh yeah, I've been making videos on YouTube. God help us all.
So, the short story is, we've been expanding and growing thanks to awesome clients like you; especially clients that come back all the time. We love you all! Below is a taste of some new items and some of the ridiculous YouTube videos I've done. Actually I have a lot of fun with them except I need way more people subscribing to my channel and watching a film or two. Some of these you really might enjoy; and subscribing just give you a heads up on when there's a new film.
Thank you all for helping create a good start to the year with new whimsical items and newer ways to interact with me. I usually put out an official report of the projection of the vintage watch market in the first quarter of each year. I did this last year and man was I right. This year, the vintage market will continue to expand while the new mid-market Swiss watch market will contract. We'll see once undervalued vintage watches become cultish and going up triple digit percentage in some cases; while the more common collectable watches will grow slightly. These are my observations for the past five months and there is a lot of momentum behind it. Next blog piece, I will be highlighting some watches from the 80's and 90's that will become hot vintage pieces in the near future. I think you'll be surprised at what I predict. Stay tooned.
Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know I'm still working hard to bring you informative fun content. I've just been focusing on video lately. Here are some recent watch reviews... and a slide show of my most recent artistic pictures. So...first slide show and then three of my videos below...you don't even have to go to the movies tonight! Please subscribe to my YouTube channel - I'll be writing soon.
So, I hope by now, you've learned enough that you can never make a new first impression. To make things even more difficult, people size you up and make judgements in the matter of seconds. Everyone does it; it's build into our DNA as a defense mechanism. But nowadays, this amazing Human skill is used more to determine possible relationships, business dealings and possible friendships. Okay, so what do men look at when they size up other men. Now, there is the obvious: body language, confidence, clothing, cufflinks, car, position of power... The list goes long, and it all happens in seconds.
If you're a Woman reading this, you may wonder..., why are guys sizing each other up anyway? Men want to know what they're up against. Can I trust this person? May a friendship develope? Can I see myself doing business with him? Do I even want to listen to him? Is this dude cool?
Over the course of several years, I've noticed two things that almost all men look for other than the obvious. Either the shoes he is wearing, his watch, or both. They do say you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. And I've heard many men say you can tell a lot about a man by his watch - Robert Downey, Jr. has noted to say this many times publicly. But who cares about him.
Guys, before you go out and buy some new shoe at the local discount shoe store for $50, think twice. I know not everyone can afford this, but the reality is, good dress shoes for men start at around $200. If you're paying less but have the money, stop what you're doing. And if you don't have the money - save for it or take a zero interest deal or something. If a cobbler cannot resole the shoe it's likely junk. Look for shoes made in the USA or in Europe. Good shoes should be real leather both inside and out. Shoes are a big deal. And in business, many studies suggest that shoes can make the second most important impression after body language, while watches usually come in third. What we say is toward the bottom of the list believe it or not.
It's a competitive world out there gentleman. I find I win everytime when I'm not afraid to be myself when choosing these items. Sometimes conservative and classic, while other times eccentric and interesting. When you be yourself and not try to be another person; you're confident in yourself. When you can get to the point where your style is your own, that is when you can stop worrying about these things or even worst, ask advice from a friend or spouse. Not that their opinion doesn't matter, but it shouldn't make the decision. It's your world guys, make the best of it and design it yourself; remember you're the architect. Peace out.
For anyone that’s been paying attention to the market, auctions, dealer’s inventory, and such; you’ll notice something peculiar. Pocket watches that were once shunned by vintage watch collectors are some, now, becoming the crown jewel of a gentlemen's collection. For me, it’ no surprise really; my first fascination with watches started with pocket watches from the early 20th century. Many of these watches seduce with their beautiful and plentiful variety of cases and more importantly what lies inside. Pocket watches from the 20th century; both Swiss and American were in heavy competition for market share during times of peace. Therefore, no expense was spared to create some of the highest quality calibers with no shortage of ruby jewels, adjustments, Cotes de Genève, stippling, engraving, fire blued screws and hands, porcelain dials, gold set screwed in jewels, innovative hairsprings and high grade plating. I guess I could go on, but I think you get my point. At the core of these watches, was the apogee of the highest grade watches using antiquated, mostly by hand, watchmaking techniques that took much time and the highest level of craftsmanship. Please pardon my bias; however, it’s my opinion that American manufacturers such as Hamilton, Illinois and Howard did this best – not the Swiss. In fact, many of these watches, especially those made for utility such as railroad and military use, were of better finish and chronometer grade when compared to some of today’s most expensive wrist watches. Nearly every railroad watch I own is between 120-70 years old and still keeps chronometer spec time and probably always will. Sadly, many pocket watches where disassembled and scrapped for their gold value when wristwatches became the norm and at various times in history when gold was of high value.
Vintage Illinois Bunn Railroad Size 16S 21 Jewel Rare 3-Hinge Highly Decorated Pocket Watch
Here comes the problem for most. Yes, these rare birds are beautiful; nonetheless, many collectors like to wear their collection from time to time. Wear you say? No problem. I laugh with anyone that says wearing / using a pocket watch is uncool. In fact, the trend is just the opposite. Vests and the three piece suits are also back in favor…problem solved. And if you’re not into dressing up, a pocket watch can be securely held in the pocket of any jeans and t-shirt ensemble. Furthermore, men are looking for ways to be perceived as more interesting and unique; pulling out a stunning pocket watch to check the reservation time on a first date can make a real impression that will be noted – and dare I say a great conversation starter. Just make sure you do it right. Pocket watches aren’t fanny packs or pagers, so keep them off your belt. You’ll need a nice chain or soft leather pouch to keep it in a vest or pant pocket; otherwise I recommend keeping them home on a first date.
Now that we’ve had a little fun, here are some fun historical facts about pocket watches. The History of pocket watches started in early late 1400s and early 1500s when mechanical engineering reached the state when simple spring devices could be made. By using the invention of mainspring, German inventor Peter Henlein was finally able to create watches that did not require falling weights as the source of their power. This invention gave birth to the first wave of small portable watches, which were in the beginning worn as a pendant on a chain around the neck. Marie Antoinette commissioned a gold Breguet pocket watch, ca. 1827. It took 44 years to complete after it was first commissioned in 1793. Marie Antoinette never saw the watch through to its completion, as she was sent to the guillotine 10 years before its completion. It is referred to as the Queen/Mona Lisa of watches. Inside Lincoln's watch, the Smithsonian Institute discovered inscriptions made by Dillon; the maker of the watch. The inscription reads: “Jonathan Dillon April 13-1861 Fort Sumpter [sic] was attacked by the rebels on the
Okay guys, this isn't your traditional blog piece from me. But I spent so much research on a particular Museum Watch I have for sale, that I just had to share. So Here you go, my official description of this watch. It's a fun historical watch fact to read.
11/14/2016 TBD - in research.
11/15/2016 100% original Movado Museum high beat manual wind in 14k Solid Yellow gold; with original crystal, crown, strap and buckle. This could be a very rare piece. Please stand by for more information as I gather it - or you may just purchase it. Thank you.
11/19/2016 - okay, after much research, and I will tell you I wish I took pictures of the movement before my watchmaker serviced it because it appears to be a top loader with a 1 piece case; and the research would have been so much easier. This watch appears to be one of the original unauthorised versions of the Museum Watch circa 50s. The case construction is suggestive of the 50s, along with several other elements of the watch like it's original acrylic crystal and the fact that it's a manual wind movement with a frequency of 21600; which puts it in the caliber 15-18 family, a suitable caliber for this watch, - which was produced in the 50s and before any Zenith collaborations. This would be considered high beat at the time because most Movado calibers only had a frequency of 18000. Further support for this evidence, is that the original dial is signed just movado...while 60s and 70s and maybe even some 80s pieces were co-branded Movado Zenith. So at this point you may be like, okay Adam why is this so important? Well, let's start with the sorted story of how this watch was conceived.
Designed in 1947 by Bauhaus-influenced artist Nathan George Horwitt, the watch dial has a very simple design dial defined by a solitary dot at 12, symbolizing the sun at high noon. This design created a crazy phenomenon for at least 40 years, starting in the 60s, and is now making a comeback. When the design was conceived, it was well received by the elite modern art designers at the time, but the general public just wasn't ready to wear anything like this...I mean just look at every design from the 40s-50s and you'll see nothing like this because people wouldn't buy it. So, Horwitt, well known for attempting to sell his wildly modern designs, approached Vacheron Constantin-Jaeger LeCoultre and they must have struck a deal to produce a few to test the market. This was very short lived and the partnership on this design must have crumbled quickly because production stopped and there are almost none of these watches found on the market - it is however in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1960, the first watch dial ever awarded this distinction.
So how did Movado get involved? Well, it appears that the folks at Movado loved the design and saw a bright future for the watch. They literally copied the design without permission and started producing what now is known as the most recognized watch in modern history; and very few people know that this was actually an exact copy of the original design and not the original design itself. That said, it fairly went unnoticed in the 50s; but in the 60s and moving forward, this design took the watch world by storm - likely because it earned the distinction it did coining it the Museum Watch. Rightfully so, the actual Museum Watch in the Museum of Modern Art, was produced by Vacheron.
As you can imagine, Horwitt was not too happy that Movado, who he never officially sold the design to, was reaping all the benefits. Finally in 1975; Horwitt and Movado settled; making Movado the official owner of the design. Surprisingly, the settlement was for a small sum of $29,000.
Okay, now back to why this watch is so important. It represents this sorted story before the story really took form. It's one of the original Museum Watches in which the design was sort of stolen in a way by Movado. They are extremely hard to find because people still didn't accept them in the 50s, therefore very few were produced. This is an exciting piece to have in any vintage watch collection.
If you are interested in another perspective, Ariel Adams did a really nice write up about the Movado Museum Watch.
This is a piece I've been thinking about writing for quite some time. First let's define Nostalgia; according to the Webster Dictionary, Nostalgia is "pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again". Wow, for those who have interests rooted in history, this can be a very powerful effect. But everyone either takes pleasure in or suffers from Nostalgia several times a day. In fact I would argue that nostalgia has nothing to do with remembering something from the past. We put an emotional state within an era, or a specific frame, and choose to idealize that specific time. We deduce that because we remember the feeling of happiness at the park; our childhood must have been better than right now or at least we hope it was.
When I pick up and wear a vintage watch such as the one for sale at adamvintage.com, it makes me have feelings of being there, imagining what this man was like and the story behind how this was received. This particular piece had belonged to the famous producer Daniel Mann which certainly makes it more exciting, but in addition to that, this oval Men's Jaeger-Lecoultre model is very tough to find in the market because so few were made. Rarity, and the emotions that brings to certain people is a totally different topic I suppose. But the power of nostalgia can in fact, emotionally, bring you back in time just like a time machine (yet to be invented).
Like I said earlier, Nostalgia's effect on a person can be powerful indeed. When I pickup up the pocket watch shown below (right) for the first time, I was mesmerized by several things. I saw the incredible hand craftsmanship of the dial and how much time and skill that was put into the extreme personalization. The pocket watch on the inside is also inscripted, revealing that this watch was given by Julia and Imogene to their Dad on Christmas 1903. It's a super fine pocket watch, made by one of the most exclusive Swiss manufacturers of that time, an expensive gift indeed as the lettering on the dial is not applied but hand integrated into the rest of the design. It makes me feel like I have something with meaning, I imagine the excitement of giving this gift at this period of time and how much it must have been appreciated and cherished by their dad. A time when gifts really had meaning and purchased with the idea that they will last forever, because back then, that's how things were made.
Notalgia doesn't have to come from personalization. If fact, the picture to the upper left shows a rare Piaget automatic ultrathin which was and still is the thinnest automatic ultrathin ever produced. To own one of the originals is so fun to have because it tells a story that everyone can enjoy. That's why the luxury watch industry has focussed on the re-making of some of their most coveted vintage pieces as a modern watch - and they've been extremely successful in doing so...why? the power of nostalgia.
I really don't like admitting this because it's not percieved as a positive thing for business; however, the truth is that a vintage watch is a personal purchase. In fact, during the holiday season, I sell the least amount of watches, while during the spring, summer and fall (I'm in New England) things couldn't be busier. One thing I've learned not only from personal experience but from talking to hundreds of clients and friends about this; is that
Men want what they want and something else just doesn't cut it...
while women, seem so much more gracious and accepting of a gift that; perhaps isn't quite what they wanted. Now I know there are exceptions - so please don't take this the wrong way. Many women have purchased watches from me as gifts for their man. Some get returned because they don't like it; some love them and some the woman keeps for herself and wears because she loved it but he didn't. There are just too many chooses, styles and brands etc in vintage watches to make a gift purchase without any input. If you REALLY want it to be a surprise, contact me I'm very good at asking questions and determining the best possible options.
Let's face it, vintage men's watches actually are super cool for women to wear. I mean, when (rarely) I see it, I'm like...okay this woman is cool and I obviously would love to talk with her about it; and it's a trend that I think will start to catch fire. I was in Paris, Nice and London several months ago and I saw many fashion conscious woman wearing men's or ladies (but mostly men's) vintage watches. So as they say, fashion trends start in Europe...right?
Now back to men. Look, if you're a woman and you think it's a good idea to buy a vintage watch for your loved one, get him (or her) involved in the purchase. Find out what they like and don't make it such a surprise; you'll all be happier when the package arrives...believe me. If you a man, don't just tell her I want a vintage watch - you need to be involved in the purchase or at least show her examples if you want to be happy about the gift.
Men and Women shopping for themselves; hey, you know what you want - shop away my friends because the vintage watch market is getting more expensive every day and great pieces are getting harder to find.
Adam J. Dubilo, founder of Adam Vintage
Phone: +1 413 219 1104
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