Wristwatches have become a staple in a man’s wardrobe, and the practice of collecting these unique items has exploded. While many vintage wristwatches hold sentimental to the owner and are passed down from generation to generation, the practice of collecting and trading vintage watches is quickly growing. Reyne Gauge shares everything you need to know about collecting vintage watches. Read on below.
Wristwatches date back to the late 1800s, a time when they were thought of as jewelry for women only. Originally, they were worn by a clasp on a woman’s lapel. Later, a silk cloth was wrapped around a pocket watch for ladies to wear on their wrists.
The wristwatch as we know it today was first designed by Patek Phillipe in 1868. It wasn’t until World War I that wristwatches became a timepiece for men. Pilots found it too difficult to reach into their pocket to retrieve their pocket watches, therefore, wearing a timepiece on their wrist made more sense.
It wasn’t until World War I that wristwatches became a timepiece for men.
Ironically, what was once thought to be “women’s wear” is now predominately collected by men. Men often collect wristwatches because they offer more than just a way to tell time.
For the traveler, there are watches offering numerous time zones. For the athlete, chronographs are the preferred option. Divers must have watches that are waterproof.
Not only are there different mechanical options, but you can also collect by maker or time period; or, you can collect different types of movements, such as manual wind, automatic, or electric.
Watches are small, meaning you can accumulate many without requiring a lot of space to house them, and they also come in a variety of price ranges. Early manual-wind watches can be purchased for as little as $40-50. Asymmetrical Hamilton Electrics can be bought for a few hundred dollars.
It’s not just the lower-end brands that are affordable. If you’ve been eyeing the latest Rolex watch, chances are you can buy one for a lot less if it’s “pre-owned” or vintage. The current “DATEJUST” model in gold and stainless retails for about $4,500. However, a pre-owned model can be had for as little as $2,800.
Regardless of how much you invest in a watch, it’s an opportunity to make a statement about your unique sense of style while investing in a collectible that boasts both form and function.
Click to view the full catalog of this week’s Jasper52 auction of vintage and luxury watches.
Adapted from original piece by Reyne Gauge on Auction Central News.