A vintage watch may, at first glance, seem like an expensive investment. Many people choose to buy into the market knowing that in decades to come they’ll have purchased something that will only increase in value. Is this the only factor that is driving the current resurgence in the market for luxury vintage watches?
Are independent watchmakers worth considering?
Some of the most important watches in recent times are the ones that have been produced in limited quantities by very niche, independent watchmakers.
They’re often made with an incredible eye for detail and craftsmanship and are sought after, meaning that demand outstrips supply and years later they sell for enormous amounts at auction.
Independent watchmakers today are the people who will drive the vintage watch market of the future, by continuing to produce exquisite watches in limited runs that will inspire future generations of watch connoisseurs.
How important is the provenance of the watch?
Over time watch brands increase in significance and there are many that are instantly knowable and recognisable to us as consumers for their rare and vintage pieces that continue to rise in value, even though they might have been relatively inexpensive at the time they were bought.
These days, the luxury watch market has an abundance of quality manufacturers and styles that will never date or cease to be stylish. Brands such as Zenith watches and other speciality designers offer provenance and longevity in timepiece design. Provenance also comes down to the historical significance of the watch at the time it was made, not to mention the people who would have worn them and the journey it has made before it got to you, the new owner/buyer.
Provenance also requires physical documents to prove how authentic a vintage watch is. A receipt, a certificate, even a letter as one person hands it down to another. Those in the know will demand to see proof of authenticity before they buy and would be very wary of anything that could not have its authenticity proved.
Can younger generations be persuaded to buy?
The younger generations will be crucial in shaping the future of the vintage watch market. Of course, one of the major stumbling blocks facing the industry is the rise of the smartwatch and smartphone, meaning that youngsters increasingly rely on their devices to tell the time.
Watchmakers who want to market vintage timepieces to them might be better framing them as pieces of wearable art, rather than a device to tell the time. It’s a simple twist but one that could help to convince young investors to part with their cash.
Following on from this, dealers can use tactics like social media to market their vintage pieces and make them look more desirable and in doing so, appear more relatable to a newer audience.
Conversely, luxury watchmakers who are inventing and designing now are also shaping the vintage watch market of the future, by adapting their brands and introducing technology into their lines that may have the potential to become investment purchases over the coming decades.