Is It a Good Time to Buy Vintage Watches?

Friday, May 1, 2020

Is it a good time to buy vintage watches? In general, you should always buy what you like, what you love and what brings you joy -- and watches are no exception, sure. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to make life fun and interesting by adding or changing one or two piece to the collection. So, in general the answer to the question would be "Yes!" -- always.

Or almost always. Today, things are not that easy.

Global economic situation is at least interesting and nobody knows for sure what the future has in store for us. And the same is true for vintage watches and their prices -- nobody knows for sure, where they are moving in future and whether current price level is low or high, compared to tomorrows prices. Sure thing. However, there are several factors that will influence price development of classic watches:

  • current aggressive monetary policy will lead to rising prices in almost any asset class: different to the years 2008 - 2019 money is now injected directly into "Main Street" instead of "Wall Street" -- this, and counter-party risks will change trend from intangible to tangible assets;

  • limited supply: especially given and limited supply is a strong supporting factor for the price of vintage watches -- when you sell your Rolex Hulk for liquidity reasons, then it is easy to buy another one anytime in future when the sun is brighter, as there are thousands around; different story with most vintage watches -- especially the ones rare and unusual;

  • unusual watches will out-perform the standard ones: on-going trend to individualization especially in Asia increases demand for unusual, limited or unique watches;

  • many new collectors are entering the field or have entered lately -- and they are here to stay; this is a relatively young generation of collectors: so things they buy, will disappear from the market for quite a long time;

These are factors that will lead to rising prices and there might be more, yes. Now, the economic uncertainty and a possible economic contraction could at the same time lead to price-pressure to the down-side as well, simply because many people prefer or need liquidity to fulfill obligations even with reduced cash-flows. So they prefer liquidity / cash. And how strong this pressure on prices will become, is not easy to estimate but there is as well a positive aspect on this preference of liquidity of many actors: it flushes a lot of very nice and very interesting and unusual watches to the surface which were un-available in the months before!

Now, which aspect is the most dominant one and where prices are heading is unclear as most things related to future. However, we are currently buying unusual watches both hands despite economic uncertainty and we would be happy to have a look at your interesting timepiece! Please get in touch and let us know what you want to offer.