Vintage Watch Blog.
Okay hold your horses, first I will say that my blog today has nothing to do with the band "Vintage Culture" in fact I didn't even know there was a band with that name, I was simply doing some research to get opposing views about today's vintage culture. By the way gentleman, great name for a band! Maybe I'll listen to a few songs and see if I like it...I'm a child of the 70's so I'm skeptical.
Now that I've taken your entire day clearing that up, let's continue. I was thinking the other day, as I often do, what causes trends...like fashion and social trends; and are they connected? Being in a business that appeals to people who value culture from whatever period it is, I thought maybe it would be good to know or at least have a hypothesis. Of course, not all vintage watch buyers buy for those reasons, but there is definitely a powerful subconscious voice in the background of most people. Did you notice something? A lot more vintage cars are on the road, people are wearing jean shirts again and vintage watches are on people's wrist. These watches represent something to people; it could be craftmanship, an important innovation, rarity, artististic value; many men believe that watchmaking is an art form (I'm not sure about Woman but I can be enlightened in the comments), I could go on. In my past blogs, I often speak of how well the vintage watch business is doing; and not just well, but has a long sustainable future ahead. The "vintage style" business in general is expanding like crazy with a huge shift to vintage fashion for both men and women that's been brewing over the past few years. Favored toys include watches, classic muscle cars, pens, guitars, eyeglasses, books, coins, and clothing.
The big questions are, does this shift to vintage fashion have boundaries? Are fashion and design shifts in general connected to current society? These are the questions I'll share my view on today. My views are typically matter of fact and do not contain bias. I do think that there is demographic boundaries to vintage culture. The unfortunate fact is that there are many people that cannot afford a ten thousand dollar vintage Patek Philippe Calatrava or a 1964 Ford Mustang. In order to obtain such objects, you need cash or good credit standing. But don't be in despair just yet, there are endless companies, established brands and emerging brands of just about anything new made to look like a real vintage product. Complete fakes aside, these items are usually made of inferior materials, sub-par craftsmanship and in countries with corrupt & harsh business practices and little concern for the environment. I have no opinion of this of course :). I don't like companies like this unless they are high quality and made by the original manufacturer. Like vintage styles of Levi's jeans sold today - probably made in China now. I feel like these other companies are feeding into the vintage culture frenzie by providing low cost and low quality merchandise to the people that cannot afford an original of something. In the world of luxury vintage watches I live in, these sort of things are discarded like the pesky daily paper thrown on my driveway. What I'm saying, is that these people just aren't in the club. Vintage Culture isn't cheap. So yes, I do think there are boundaries, especially socioeconomics.
Finally, the question of society's influence on fashion, design and commerce. Duh! Of course society influences fashion. They are the consumers, they provide supply and demand and determine what companies are going to make. My question goes a level deeper. What causes current culture to influence what people are interested in? In this case, all things vintage. I haven't quite come to a conclusion of my view on this. But I think part of the influence is due to the fact that the world has changed so much in the past 30 years, and for many, they see it not for the better. They keep nostalgia, memories and objects of times past to comfort them. I know for myself, I have a weird sense of comfort when wearing a vintage watch instead of one of my moderns. It's hard to describe, but it's just happier to look at. I'd love to hear some other ideas on this topic, for now - I've got to go because I have a ton of other work to do today. Hopefully I'll get a vlog done which are published on my YouTube channel @adamvintage. Please look me up on YouTube and subscribe to my channel and of course like us on facebook or I'll never forgive you. Peace out.
To me, the Hamilton Watch Co., prior to becoming a Swiss brand, was one of the greatest American manufacturers of the 20th century; and most certainly the most important American Watch Manufacturer. Vintage Hamilton watches are quite popular among all watch enthusiasts, especially American patriots, US citizens and dedicated Hamilton Watch collectors. Today we will learn some fun facts about the original Hamilton Watch Co. from Lancaster, PA and I hope you find it amusing and educational. Please write comments if you know more facts for the vintage watch community to read. And I promise, there are MANY more facts, so have at it.
As shown in the above advertising gallery, Hamilton was no amature to genius branding and brand loyalty. Much like Rolex, Hamilton employed almost every conceivable marketing strategy to appeal to both utilitarian timekeeping and pulled on consumer emotions as the perfect gift or necessity. Most notable, were a grand series of Hamilton "named" dress watches, another genius marketing strategy, that began in the 1930's and ran through the end of the 1950's with millions of what seems endless named watches produced. Many of these watches were named by watchmakers working for Hamilton with their approval of course. Below we see a few examples.
It wasn't just Hamilton's marketing prowess that made Hamilton the most important American Watch Manufacturer. Hamilton was a true manufacturer, producing some of the best and fine pocket watches, military watches, chronometers and wristwatch movements made both in the USA and abroad. Hamilton movements easily rivalled the Swiss during this period and was favored by American consumers among other important American companies like Waltham and Elgin to name a couple. There are so many patents, innovations and prestige that Hamilton enjoyed; that it would be impossible to name them all on this blog. Let's learn of a few uncommonly known facts.
Did you know that in 1961 Elvis Presley personally selected a Ventura in the film "Blue Hawaii"? wwwamiltonwat
Well, I could go on and on. In summary, Hamilton was considered the best among Railroad Grade Pocket Watches, Military Grade Pocket and Wristwatches, Flight Watches, and of course all the beloved watches made for consumers. Today, Hamilton is a Swiss company under the umbrella of the Swatch Group. Luckily, the Swatch Group, appears to have kept many Hamilton traditions in today's modern world. I hope some day, Hamilton will be sold to a US investor and once again prevail as an American watch manufacturer. Many thanks to the Hamilton Museum for some of these facts. At AdamVintage, we have a large variety of vintage Hamilton Watches for sale among other fine timepieces. Thank you for reading - Peace out.
People have all sorts of Tastes when it comes to vintage watches | Here's what's been IMPORTANT this year.
I will tell you this, it has been the most interesting year in the vintage watch business and I project it will continue to be. First, let me premise what I'm about to say with what is happening in the market. There are many newcomers starting to collect vintage watches. In large numbers in fact. Another much stranger phenomenon is happening; age demographics have made a major shift and appear to have limitless boundaries. Typically, the collector of a vintage watches are 40-60 year old men. That would be the largest demographic in the past, give or take a couple years. Today, men in their 80's and 90's, etc..are getting into this. Perhaps not as a primary hobby; however, they are wanting to buy the watches they remember from yesteryear. This especially includes dress watches in solid gold, both American and Swiss and also American military watches from almost any major US war - official orders and civilian pieces are both as popular. Collectors should remember this, official issues, I admit have cool factor due to their military engravings on the case back; however, civilian pieces were either the same watch and most were of better swiss watches. Military personnel in the US were required to pass in their watches when the battle was over. They were the property of the US Military after all. Many of the bravest men who fought in WWI and WWII purchased their own military grade watch - apparently they wanted their own. That's why we see the most famous advertising from Hamilton with its model 23 chronograph. There would be no need to advertise these to military personnel if there wasn't a large market. And it's not just the old men that like them. Professionals in their young 30's love them too as well as dive watches, dress watches and chronographs.
Now, let's talk about Women. I've been talking about this for about 10 years; that women will eventually going to enjoy the value, history and nostalgia that comes with a vintage watch. Well, they finally are. This year has been a significant uptick in women, young and mature, getting into the hobby. The most popular watches they enjoy are 32mm sports pieces that emerged in the 1940's and deco tanks or squares. They especially like "tropical" dials, those that dial changed in color to a more exotic color like brown (this is usually referred to as patina).
One more interesting phenomenon should be mentioned. Although there is still a massive market for vintage Rolex or Tudor and they keep growing in price, younger collectors are not buying them as much even if they have the money. I wonder if the younger generation perceives Rolex as an older mans watch or perhaps too frivolous. Or, many may not want to draw attention, which a Rolex sometimes will do. Either way, it's a stark difference between younger collectors and more mature collectors when it comes to Rolex. I think this is why you are seeing more dealers focus just on cult watches like Rolex, Tudor, Patek, VC and AP. While others like myself, cater to a much larger group. So, you would think, why is this happening? It doesn't sound like a great business strategy right? Not really. Collectors of cult watches, especially Rolex are usually not new collectors. They know how vintage watches are different than modern watches and they know what they are looking at. That frees up a lot of time speaking with clients, educating them and research on obscure watches for the dealer. I choose a different path; but to each his own.
To wrap this up, just about everything that is not junk has been important to collectors this year and I do not see this changing. This is a change in the business that will last for years.
Adam J. Dubilo, founder of Adam Vintage
Phone: +1 413 219 1104
Mailing: 7 E Circle Dr. E. Longmeadow, MA 01028
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Disclaimer: Any and all trademarks mentioned here are for descriptive purposes only and are the property of their respective owners. Adam Vintage Watch Co. and its owners and affiliates are not authorized agents for Rolex Watch Company and are not affiliated with them in any way.