Collecting watches is hardly a full-contact sport, but there are perils for hapless buyers. As collectors we are victims of desire: we see pieces out in the wild or here on MONOCHROME and lust sets in. Getting new models is simple enough; you go directly to the boutiques that line the shopping districts of most major cities. What if your desire takes you beyond the new and pre-owned case into the realm of rare and vintage watches?
Twenty-five years ago, collectors fell into two categories: buyers of new watches directly from the showroom floor OR acquirers of vintage pieces that satisfied some stylistic or thematic criteria (pocket watches, railroad watches, aviator watches…etc.). Today a lot of the people that I speak to want to dedicate space in their watch cabinets to both new and vintage pieces. One friend told me that his next two purchases were going to be a Bvlgari/Bvlgari Solo-Tempo and “…any vintage Omega, as long as it had a 30T2 movement.” Fine – you love vintage watches, but where can you get one without the looming fear of the dreaded Franken-watch annihilating your dreams and your resale value?
Buy the Seller – Not Just the Watch!
Buying vintage is a matter of trust: you have to trust your seller. The first few major purchases in my collection were all brand new watches. No thought or concern required: just cash. My next few pieces were vintage pieces. I put about as much mental effort into buying them as I did any new piece and justified buying junk watches by the knowledge that I didn’t spend a lot of money. Now, I know that those first few vintage watches were a complete waste of money because none of them functioned correctly! I paid as little as possible and settled for the consequence of having lovely looking crap. If I had spent more time and money I might own many more meaningful and valuable pieces. But my resources back then (1995) were limited.
Fortunately, one of the most prestigious names in the luxury watch and jewellery industry has taken the guesswork out of this dilemma for you. Asprey’s on Bond Street, in London, has brought in two high-end dealers to pull together an impressive group of vintage horological candy. Alessandro (Alex) Ciani and Giulio Bonaccio have curated a selection of the finest and most exclusive watches from around the world as part of their in-house Asprey Watch Club, located on the main floor of this famous luxury house.
The two veteran dealers have amassed an impressive collection of watches that you simply won’t stumble over in any one place. The collection represents the pinnacle of refinement and condition. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piquet, Blancpain, and many other names are all available. The models on display are a wish-list of the most sought-after calibres and configurations for any serious collector.
Need an asymmetrical Patek Philippe …they have that. Need a Robin Egg Blue Stella dial Day-Date to go with your turquoise bolo-tie? …they have that. All your friends have started wearing ‘Cosmographs’ and you want to switch over to a Jean-Claude Killy to be different? … they can help. Want an original Bakelite bezel GMT Master? …they have that. With a tropical brown dial??… they have that too.
Doors were opened to the public on July 30th and will remain open until August 11th. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Asprey’s Watch Club or reach out directly to Alex Ciani ([email protected]) and Giulio Bonaccio ([email protected])