Vintage Watch Blog.
Not that I take watches super seriously, but I do get a little tense sometimes, deep into frustrating pursuits of valid information to properly curate a watch. Well, I suppose that's the life I chose, and you know what, I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything else. But man, sometimes between making sure your retail customers are more than satisfied, blogging, vlogging, social media posts and sipping on my green tea, there are too many times I forget that I enjoy what I do.
Hence the premise of this blog post, and the rest is a pretty simple but hard to see. So, one night not too far away, I was trolling facebook, as I often do, to read stupid political rants that don't solve any problems and don't seem to have any credible sources. Ugh. Anyway, enough with that, because to my surprise, I saw pictures of bright, well put together watches that made me smile. So I thought...geeze, it something as simple as seeing this makes me smile, why not copy this genius and do it myself? Last time I looked, that's still not offensive...right? Please let me know if I'm wrong, I'd love to hear that argument. Okay, back to fun. So I contacted this guy Dallas Chelick on facebook, and I was like, dude, I really need some pictures because I love sharing ideas, especially ones that make people smile.
,Com'on people, I need you to focus here. All right then, getting back to the story, so Dalass replied, and he was like dude, of course. You know, that's what I love about the watch community, vintage or otherwise, people love the hobbie so much, that they will go out of their way to share a brilliant idea that they can easily be like, no that's my idea...blah blah like other industries do all the time. Man, is it hard for me to stay on topic with all these colors. Okay, so I asked Dallas if he wanted to add anything to my blog.
So he says this, "After wearing pieces of all shapes, sizes, and colours, I realized that a "happy" watch could often remind me to relax, and take a step back. Since this realization, I've used my watch hobby to positively influence my perspective in regards to day to day stresses." Okay, this guy is obviously the next known prophet because, that is just poetic.
Dallas is really onto something. We all love this hobbie so much, why not get a little crazy and wild, and put some of our own artist thoughts into something that will make us smile?
That's it - I hope you have a great day!
I kind of enjoy it when my predictions come true. Every year I do a write up about where I see the market heading. But enough about me, let's discuss what's important moving forward in a marketplace that is changing rapidly.
I'm guessing from the pictures that you see, you might know where I'm going. Pocket watches, especially railroad or chronometer grade watches are hot. I predicted last year, and the previous year, based on what I see sell or purchased that the collectors' market (in the US) for pocket watches will make a comeback. Well they certainly did in a huge way. In previous years, I might sell one or two pocket watches and kept a low inventory due to a stale market. Now, pocket watches are becoming extremely popular and prices are rising quickly...perhaps too quickly. I think the pocket watch pricing in 2018 will stabilize and grow slower compared to 2017. But make no mistake, pocket watches are here to stay and we will see price and market growth over several years, I predict. Click here to see our pocket watch inventory.
Vintage Seiko? What!
I honestly didn't see this one coming as fast as it did. Vintage Seiko watches in 2017 boomed, creating a large following of collectors. This is especially true for dive watches, chronographs and their alarm watch. When examining closely, it is really the dive watches that have created this new market, and prices are rising fast. Early in 2017 we started carrying a small collection of Seiko watches to test the market. Yes, they sell; however, the prices for these popular dive watches has grown too quickly and I do predict a correction at some point - it may take a while.
Swiss Grail Watches
Every vintage watch enthusiast has their "grail" watch. They may have it already; however, typically a new "holy grail" arises in the mind of the collector, and so on we go. It's difficult to predict what watches will be the most popular grail watches; however, I see an uptick in rarer watches with low production, good pedigree, and something you probably would never see anyone else wearing. Vintage Rolex will always have a solid market; however, newer collectors seem to shy away from the brand and would rather have something (maybe a Rolex) that speaks to their personality or has some significant nestalgia. I used the Patek Philippe Neptune as an example; it's a very nice and solid watch to wear on a daily basis, and although it's not what we typically see from Patek, it is a very attractive watch on the wrist. You can see more pictures by clicking on the picture above. Bottom line is that vintage Swiss watches, well curated, will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future.
Vintage Timex Watches
Okay, I'm not sure why, but this brand in the vintage market is making huge waves. Perhaps it's the price point that is attractive to newer collectors or maybe this is a sign of the end of the world. I don't see significant price growth for these watches, but I do think collectors will continue to buy them in 2018. Why you ask... I have no idea other than price point and they did make some nice looking watches. These watches are typically low quality and I cannot see this continue; but it might. I would recommend saving your money for a Swiss watch that you love, with good pedigree and investment growth. I fear that Timex buyers won't see their money back when they decide they are trash and want something different. I would love intelligent comments on this phenomenon because I don't quite understand the desire for Timex from a collectors standpoint.
Anyhow, 2018 will be another strong market for vintage watches, with some shifts in what collectors are buying; especially Swiss grail or cult watches, like this chronograph. With the addition of a strong pocket watch market and Seiko.
Have a happy new year! Thank you for reading my blog.
Not too long ago, I discovered the discontinued Patek Philippe Neptune Ref. 5080. As a dealer of fine watches and always looking for good quality inventory, the all stainless steel Neptune with a pitch black dial, not only caught my eye but won my heart. I usually focus my efforts on finding great examples of vintage Calatrava's; but there was something about this obscure Patek that I couldn't let go of. It was strange that I had immediately took a liking to this rarely heard of Patek. Especially because, that for the most part, the Neptune was not a successful watch financially and quickly shuffled off the stage by PP. When available in the 90's along with a small line-up of other popular sports watches like the Nautilus, the Neptune was wildly different than Patek's other sports pieces and for good reason. When taking a close look at the marketing strategy surrounding this watch, I believe it was Patek's intention to create a hardy sports watch that may also be worn suited up; wetsuit or a fine Italian wool. That's right, this watch was obviously meant to break the barriers between a sports watch and a dress watch. Something the world was just not ready for, a God (Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea in Roman religion.) of tool watches that is also suitable for a king.
Just take a look at the bracelet and finish. The steel is finely finished in mostly polished surfaces along with edgy but elegant design elements. There was much attention given to design in fact. The dial, thin automatic movement, bezel and bracelet exhumes wealth while the hardy solid material and screw down protected crown said it's time for some fun. The dial is most appealing with dressy applied Roman numerals combined with luminous material and a seconds chapter ring. Is it a sports watch or a dress watch? Well, honestly I think that was not only what made the watch so special, but also the reason it was unpopular. After all, if you can afford to buy Patek Philippe, you should be able to have a sports watch and a separate dress watch. For the James Bond's of the world that need to throw on a suit and drink a martini just after disarming an underwater explosive device, the Neptune couldn't be more perfect. But then again, how many people are we talking about? Hence it's unpopular reception at the time.
Fast forward to 2017. The Neptune, considered nearly vintage now, is an extremely well rounded watch with much appeal. In today's busy world that takes a more minimalist approach to jewelry, I believe a relaunch would be a huge success.
I would compare this watch to a couple other modern sucessful watches, but, much better in terms of haute horology, pedigree, design and function. When wearing this watch, it reminds me of my first ever luxury watch purchase, the 36mm Rolex Explorer I and the watch I'm wearing right now, the Tudor Black Bay 36. The Neptune has a certain ruggedness to it like these pieces - you'll not be afraid to wear it as a daily wearer. The big difference is that unlike the Explorer or Black Bay, there is no question that the Neptune holds its own at a black tie event, plus it's a Patek Philippe...not a Rolex. As a bonus, the calibre 315 ultra-thin automatic makes it much less top heavy than any other luxury sports watches of the era and also presents larger on the wrist because of the thin profile of the case. It is one of the most comfortable sports watches I've ever worn.
So, by now you know I like this watch. The Neptune was made in several variations and also the ref. 5085 with two additional complications, moonphase and power reserve indicator. The simplicity of the 5080 in stainless with a black dial keeps the Neptune true to its intentions and is certainly the most desired iteration.
This watch is for sale in our inventory. You can check it out by clicking here: Patek Philippe Neptune
Adam J. Dubilo, founder of Adam Vintage
Adam J. Dubilo
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