Understanding Watch Collecting
Not all watch buyers are watch collectors. There is a group called watch enthusiasts: they just love watches. Watch collectors learn all they can by reading books and magazines and following the auctions and from local authorized retailers.
Which watches to collect are all a matter of taste and money. There is no right or wrong way to build a watch collection. Some collectors stay within one brand, while others collect one style. Most start their collection with watches they take pleasure in wearing; there is one thing all collectors have in common — they love their watches. These are not meant to sit in a vault, they are art for the wrist, to be enjoyed every day, wherever you go.
Manufacturers have come to realize and embrace the trend of watch collecting. As such, many brands release their new models in very limited quantities or in numbered sets. This is done to promote the "collect-ability" of their product. In some cases it is very effective in others, it is really not as the "limited number" is so large. Remember that certain Manufactures specialize in producing certain complications. Generally the more complicated or hand finished a timepiece is, the more limited it will be in production. Numerous brands produce limited numbers of a certain model in quantities of 50,100 or 500. When you consider that these numbers are for the entire world, even those numbers are not huge.
The important things to remember are: develop a "collecting criteria," buy what you like, what evokes emotion and not what some expert or magazine said you should buy. And wherever you buy, buy authorized, get the proper paperwork and protect the value of your collection. Timepieces worth collecting are like art, they should be treated and respected as such and will provide you years of enjoyment.
Haute Horology As An Investment
The auction houses claim record prices for investment quality pieces. Picking which watch will be the big winner in the future is not easy. Watch auctions resemble art auctions, and sticking with a prestigious brand is a safe bet. Look for limited edition or production. The more complicated a watches' movement the more rare it will be. Rarity is crucial, serious collectors are investing in these timepieces because In the auction houses they are outperforming conventional assets, plus they are tangible assets and fun to wear.
Beginning Your Collection
Whether you're on a budget or the sky's the limit, there are a few rules to follow. Buy the most traditional Swiss made watch. This is important for investment purposes . Whether you go for sporty timepieces or rare technical works of art, it is important to research your choice. Remember, you're not only buying something to wear now, but that will increase in value in the future. Now that you're ready to buy a watch, the next step is to find the right place to buy.
Buy From A Respected Retailer
Part of the pleasure of buying a fine watch is the experience. Talking with people who are knowledgeable , taking your time to find out which watch is perfect for you, trying them on your wrist and seeing how they feel is an important part of the purchasing event and what makes watch collecting so much fun. Develop a relationship with a retailer so if you have problems, someone is committed to helping you, and you will be first in line for the rare, hard to get pieces. Also, the best part of watch collecting is meeting other collectors. You will find watch collectors hang out at their retails store as if it were a club, they meet, compare their collections and form lasting relationships.
Morays Jewelers are a sixth generation jeweler that arrived in New York in 1900 and have been in Miami since 1944. We have been named by the New York Times as one of the best watch retailers in the USA and The Best Watch Store in Miami by Ocean Drive Magazine. We even have a club called the Societe Haute Horological dedicated to watch collectors. Morays Jewelers is authorized agents of every brand we carry and have a factory trained staff to help you select your watch.
You might be able to find a slightly better price on the internet or at an exchange. Many people thought they knew what they were buying, only to find out the watches were really counterfeit, smuggled, used or even stolen. No high-end watch brands allow their watches to be sold on the internet or through unauthorized retailers. If the deal sounds too be good to be true, it probably is! An authorized retailer is obligated to stand behind the manufacturer's warranty, has been trained by the factory and guarantees that the watch you are buying is the real deal. Always buy from an authorized retailer. Always insist on the complete box and papers, factory warranty and certificate of authenticity. This is crucial if you should ever decide to sell your timepiece........watches will full box and papers from an authorized retailer are always considered more valuable than those without. Additionally, collectors should always make sure that they keep all links, buckles and additional straps that may have originally come with the watch.
The new fake watches look as good as the originals. Sometimes it is easy to tell the difference, sometimes even the experts have trouble. Recently, a client brought his famous Swiss watch in for service; the distributor had to send it to Switzerland to verify its authenticity: the fake was that good. Although they may look similar, the movement is a cheap knock off made in Asia, and worth $10. Make sure you are getting what you are paying for.
Service And Repair
Mechanical watches need periodic maintenance and service. An authorized retailer has been trained by the factory, so you can be confident they will be able to take care of your investment. Another pitfall to buying a questionable watch is, when the watch is taken in for service, the manufacturer researches the serial number and seizes the watch. Whether the watch was smuggled or stolen, the buyer looses his investment The good news is the stolen watch is returned to their rightful owner.
The History Of Watches
Before watches, there were clocks. Before clocks, there was simply mechanism to tell and measure time. Sundials told time by shadows. Hourglasses measured time by predictable rates of sand moving through a narrow channel.
Some would say that early Egyptians were the first to create a mechanical way of measuring time by the flow of running water. The earliest accurate clocks were built by monks in Italy to simply tell you what time to pray. Theses clocks told time audibly with bells and had no hand indicators.
In the 16th century pocket watches were invented in Tudor, England. The watches were incredibly big and were generally worn around the neck because of their girth. It is rumored that in the famous painting of Henry VIII, it was not a medallion around his neck, but a pocket watch he owned. While pocket watches were invented in the 16th century, it was not until the 17th century that they became more common and accurate.
In the 1700's, Queen Anne of England wanted to extend her vast maritime power and offered a huge reward of 20,000 pounds for anyone who invented something that reliably calculated longitude.
A self-taught watchmaker by the name of John Harrison discovered that a precise reading of a ships longitude could only happen if you knew the exact time. At this point, Harrison decided that he needed to create a watch that was far more accurate then what was available at that time. He worked for more then ten years to create 4 versions of the Harrison Marine Chronometer. He presented his plate sized watch to the royal academy and had his chronometers tested by people like Captain Cook. Harrison's Marine Chronometer went through many trials and eventually was accepted by the Queen who then paid him his prize money of 20,000 pounds.
It took until the 19th century for the wristwatch technology to come to fruition. The wristwatch was invented by Patek Philippe. From the time of its invention until world war one, the wristwatch was mainly considered something that a woman would wear. Men, to that point had generally used pocket watches. In the midst of war, some armies soon realized that it was much easier to glance at your wrist to check the time, than it was to fumble around in your jacket to find your pocket watch. When the war ended, the soldiers got to keep their army issued wristwatches. They must have gotten used to wearing a wristwatch everyday, because soon after the war ended, it became common to see civilian men wearing wristwatches in public. Some might argue that World War 1 was the one single event that spurred the entire wristwatch industry, and I guess the rest, is what we call history.