Collection Of Antique Watches: Nostalgia And Investment In Parallel
Probably from 1985, celebrities in the upper classes of the United States suddenly wore old watches before the Second World War and became fashionable. Financiers in Manhattan prefer to wear Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin made in the 1940s. This trend was very nostalgic from the beginning, and soon it blew from the United States to Geneva, Paris, London … until Hong Kong, China and the mainland, forming an antique watch collection fever. The world’s earliest mechanical clock came out in Italy in 1335, and the first truly wearable watch was invented in Switzerland in 1587, until the first complete mechanical watch was born in 1902. Clocks started out as luxury items that only the royal and nobles could wear, and later became popular with the middle class.
Today’s antique watches mainly refer to pocket watches and old watches made of metal machinery, mostly clocks produced before the end of the 18th century to the 1950s.
Watch auction has always been an important category of international auction houses. The three major watch auction houses in the world are Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Antigoron. Among them, Antigoron in Geneva is recognized as the first in the industry for its professionalism. According to industry insiders, the number of lotteries sold by Antiguru is not large every year, but each auction will always collect rare antique watch varieties, and can attract the attention of the world’s top collectors.
Osvaldo Patrizzi, President of Antigoron, proudly introduced to the media: When the antique watch auction was first started, only a few hundred people around the world were interested. After more than 20 years, this group has expanded to more than one million.
Compared with the leader Ante Gullen, Christie’s and Sotheby’s are well-known for their comprehensive sales. Their special auctions include antique clocks, but also fashion brands, as well as clocks designed with the concept of luxury goods. Among them, the auction results of antique watches are very impressive. In 1999, the Sotheby’s Antique Watch in New York was special. A Patek Philippe gold watch from 1933 was sold for 11 million US dollars, which broke the record price of world famous watches at that time.
Watch auctions in the Hong Kong market began in the 1990s. They were first put together with jewellery. Although Hong Kong started late, its development is impressive. In 1997, Sotheby’s co-ordinated the first Asian independent watch auction in Hong Kong, with more than 250 lots sold for a total of HK $ 10 million. Fourteen years later, in the 2011 Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn Auction, the turnover of more than 400 watches reached HK $ 112 million. In other words, the turnover from 10 million to 112 million took only ten years.
Watch auctions in mainland China have been available since 2000. Shanghai Changjiang International Auction Co., Ltd. launched watch auctions in 2002. At the end of 2004, China Guardian took the lead in launching watch specials. Later, major auction houses such as Poly and Kuangshi began regular watch auctions. meeting.
Patek Philippe Antique Watch
‘There are not many antique watch collections in China. Objectively speaking, I collect antique watches on the one hand because I like them and on the other hand they invest.’ Zhang Hengrui, a collector who specializes in antique pocket watches, introduced this to reporters.
In Zhang Hengrui’s view, the new watch has no investment value. For example, top brands such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Lange are now very large in output. Although it is done well, if you look at the parts, the craftsmanship and materials cannot be compared with antique watches. First, the movement is vastly different. Lange’s antique pocket watches are all hand-carved. For example, sesame chain pocket watches from 1780 to 18-18 years, the sesame chain has been shrunk to be as thin as hair. Even if the mechanical level is very high, it is difficult to assemble it again. Today, Lange’s sesame chain watches cost millions, but the craftsmanship is far less than antique watches.
Zhang Hengrui told reporters that in the 1980s and 1990s, Chinese people bought watches for wearing, and they didn’t have a high awareness of watches. In the past 20 years, some world-renowned watches have successively set up specialty stores in big cities. In addition to advertising and media promotion, people have begun to use watches as a means of value preservation and investment. In this part of the crowd, 20-30% of people specialize in antique watches. People who really understand antique watches can be said to be people of the world. They have a deep understanding of Chinese and Western cultures, arts and concepts.
In addition, antique watch purchase objects in the international market, in addition to private collectors, there are major watch manufacturers. In order to enrich their antique watch museum, world-famous manufacturers have specially dispatched administrative staff to compete for high-priced antique watches.
In recent years, the rapid appreciation of antique clocks has been remarkable. Twenty years ago, an antique watch from Vacheron Constantin sold for only one to two thousand dollars, but now it costs more than five thousand dollars. Famous watches such as the Swiss Rolex imported in the 1940s were only a few hundred yuan at that time, and so far they have risen to ten thousand yuan and several hundred thousand yuan. Thirty years ago, a Swiss Ininger mechanical watch that cost only more than 200 yuan has now appreciated to thousands of yuan in the collection market. Even now, the first batch of products from many watch factories in China has become the object of collection. According to reports, the first batch of watch products from Shanghai Watch Factory has now been auctioned to more than 100,000 yuan.
Four points of collecting antique watches
First, whether the appearance is intact. First, pay attention to whether there are cracks in the appearance, whether the accessories are complete, and whether the travel time is accurate. Choose a strange and rare style, or inlaid with jewelry, painting and enamel. Second, whether the hands are assembled. Although there are many styles of clock hands, their design style and appearance should be consistent. For example, the moon shape, diamond shape, peach shape, etc., if you change the pointers of different sizes or styles together, you will …
First, whether the appearance is intact. First, pay attention to whether there are cracks in the appearance, whether the accessories are complete, and whether the travel time is accurate. Choose a strange and rare style, or inlaid with jewelry, painting and enamel.
Second, whether the hands are assembled. Although there are many styles of clock hands, their design style and appearance should be consistent. For example, the moon shape, diamond shape, peach shape, etc., if you change pointers of different sizes or styles together, it will be unnatural.
Third, whether the case is original. The bottom of the watch pot is usually marked with the name of the manufacturer. According to the identification of the text, you can determine whether the watch case is original. The materials used to make watch cases are diverse. On the case made of gold and silver, there are also metal stamps. Buyers should know before buying.
Fourth, whether the movement is original. Most watch movements have the manufacturer’s name engraved on the splint, and in early pocket watches, the name of the producer also appeared. On some watch movements, people can also see various numbers. Some of these numbers indicate the uniform specifications of the movement, and some indicate the year of production, which is very helpful for antique watch collection.