Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage
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  1. #1
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    Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    I have around ten 25-75 year old watches that are beautiful and interesting, but only 2 or 3 ever see any wrist time. I appreciate the others but wonder if it would make more sense to sell them to someone who might actually wear them. I want to believe that they'll go up in value but speculation like that is just foolish (especially with the economy teetering right now). All of them were purchased in the last 2 years, so there hasn't been much time for the value to appreciate, but I can't help feeling like they're more of a liability than an asset (especially since I'm hesitant to wear them). Finally, a few are in the <36mm range, which doesn't work with my 7.5" wrist. What do the WIS's think, hold or sell???

  2. #2
    Nps
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    Re: Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    Send some pictures of them. I don't keep anything I dont wear personally.

    Sent from my SM-G892U using Tapatalk

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    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    If you're quite sure you're not going to wear them, I would sell them, unless you have a really pristine, rare, and desirable watch that is likely to be a good investment. Mediocre common examples are not likely to increase in value in the foreseeable future ... IMHO. Also, the longer you hold onto them, the more likely it is that some mechanical or cosmetic problems will develop, which will either require a repair or reduce the sales price dramatically. Unfortunately, as you mention, except for really special examples and certain brands, prices have been pretty flat recently, so you may have to take a small loss when you sell, once you account for eBay and/or PayPal fees.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcbooty83 View Post
    I want to believe that they'll go up in value but speculation like that is just foolish...
    Since watches ever exist, they are a more than lousy investment. But tupip bulbs became one of the best envestments for few years, millions of years after the evolution created them. With some luck watches need not wait so long.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  6. #5
    Member Adam2326's Avatar
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    Re: Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    I prefer to wear vintage watches, and like a new car cannot justify buying brand new when next year it loses 30% of its value so I purchase at the depreciated price. So I guess to me its either you buy the watch to wear it or pass it down to family... If the intention is not one of those, you owned it, tried it on, and hopefully sold it for what you paid and enjoyed your time with it. Don't hold onto it just for the sake of holding it and one day it becoming a McQueen piece, because its probably not going to happen and you will just be disapointed. Sell and use the money to buy pieces you can wear or pass down, my opinion.

  7. #6
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    At some point in a developing interest/collection everyone ends up where you are. Eventually you have as many watches as there are days in the year...in a collection like that I would say most people wear 20 or so semi-consistently and the rest are worn rarely if ever. Another point of consideration is whether you have a focus to your collection. Almost like a coin collection some of us try to fill sets or series of watches which can keep the hunt fun and fresh.

    Turn one way you will have a stable of things you wear and occasionally sell. Turn the other way and you have a collection which you find ways to enjoy without necessarily wearing everything.

  8. #7
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    Re: Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    I personally have no interest in just collecting things that sit there and collect dust. When my collection builds up beyond what I can wear in a regular rotation, I usually start whittling it down. Just my experience.
    Stowa 1938 | Speedy Pro 311 | Omega SMPc | 66 Omega SM | 65 Omega Cosmic | 54 Omega SM | 72 Speedy Mark II | 69 Tissot T.12 | 70 Tissot Super T.12 | 70 Seiko 6139 | 71 Seiko Yachtman | 77 Seiko Pogue | 70s Seiko Bullhead | 69 Bulova SK | Ventus Mori | Helm Khuraburi

  9. #8
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    Re: Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    I won't buy a watch I won't wear, and every watch in my collection gets at least SOME wrist/pocket time. I do have favorites, so I have to force myself to designate a theme for each week, to make sure I don't just wear the same 20 or so watches all the time. Two weeks ago, it was 'black dials'. Before that it was 'a different model of Elgin 760/761 automatic each day'.

    Some folks are happy to have a number of 'Vault Queens', rare or otherwise special watches they not only don't wear, but won't even have at home. That's not me - I'm not wealthy enough to buy a watch I'd be afraid to have in the house!

    WRT watches under 36mm 'not working' with a 7.5" wrist (same as mind, BTW), it's really what you're used to. Our fathers and grandfathers wore them without a problem, and I actually like the smaller size - no clonking it on doorjambs! But, de gustibus non est disputandum and all that.

    In the end, you have to decide why you own them. For me, it's not just about owning them. I want to enjoy them, to look down at my wrist and see them, to know that a piece of machinery made 60-150 years ago is still working, and still keeping good time. I also enjoy taking them apart, cleaning them, and getting them back in good working order, because then I feel like it's really mine. But that's me.
    QuartzCrisis, cortman and Droyal like this.
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    Re: Collecting Vintage vs Wearing Vintage

    Oh, and as far as value goes, it reminds me of the old joke they used to tell up in the Napa Valley: "How can you end up with a small fortune in the winery business? Start with a large fortune."
    Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent - Pogo

    My Elgin Blog...

  11. #10
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    I know I'm just echoing what others have already said, but I don't want to have pieces that I won't wear. My $.02 is just that when I wear my vintage pieces, my wrist tends to get noticed much more. People that I don't even think are watch people will ask me, "what is that what you're wearing." Vintage pieces just have a vibe about them that's cool. A vibe that shouldn't be put away in a case, or locked away in a safe. I've gotten rid of everything in my collection that's smaller than 36mm, so I've learned that I'm one who likes a larger presence on the wrist. Admittedly, vintage pieces are harder to find in that size, but when I do, they quickly become regulars in my rotation.
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