Vintage Watch Blog.
Aren't things that are old and rarer than their modern counterparts supposed to demand higher prices? Not necessarily; and I see it all the time when it comes to vintage watches. Take for example this IWC (above) which can be found for sale in the ADAM VINTAGE Watch Shop. This classic piece from the 1950s shares some similarities to the IWC ref. IW356504 (seen below) sold today for a retail price of $11,700 - nearly three times the cost of a similar vintage piece. There are some differences of course, some vintage pieces don't have the date function - and of course IWC has made changes in their usage of movements since the 1950s. The IWC Portofino shown below uses an automatic movement. One other significant difference is the size of modern watches; while some have only increased a few millimeters in the past few decades, others have chosen to double as dinner plates.
There are countless examples that exist - IWC is certainly not an anomaly. In fact, let's take a look at Rolex - one of the leaders in vintage watch prices. The Rolex Veriflat is so rare that some have written that there are only a couple dozen confirmed known sales of the watch. Yet, the Veriflat can be found and purchased at a price similar to what you might spend on a modern oyster style Rolex in solid gold.
So, what gives? Why is there so much value found in vintage watches? There are a few reasons to consider. First, let's take a close look at what modern fine watch companies spend money on: marketing and wages. Massive marketing budgets is something that doesn't exist with respect to vintage watches; and other than retailers, repair and service work, there are no wages to pay to make them available. Those are costs that do not have to be passed to the consumer in the vintage watch market.
There is also risk in vintage watches that does not exist with modern. You need to know what you're buying with respect to vintage watches and understand if you're paying a fair price. There is no authorized dealer network with set retail prices. You may need to factor in repair, restoration or service in the cost of acquisition. These risks have an impact on the overall vintage watch market.
All things considered, there is significant value in purchasing a fine vintage watch in today's market; perhaps one of the last hold-outs of huge value when it comes to fine watches.
Adam J. Dubilo, founder of Adam Vintage
Mailing: 7 E Circle Dr. E. Longmeadow, MA 01028
Phone: +1 413 219 1104
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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.