It’s funny. A decade
or so ago many didn’t think it was possible to sell collectible watches online.
It was also about this time that we saw social media galvanising a group of
passionate watch lovers, who, for many years were left to chat and share in the
shadows on forums and the like. Since then, we have seen record after record
for vintage watches sold on the open market, a huge uptick in interest
(particularly of a younger demographic who appreciate the sustainability of
watchmaking) in watches. And of course, the sheer knowledge and scholarship of
these magical ticking machines. As we have come together – we have grown.
While new watches give you that buzz of walking out of a boutique with your name on the paperwork – there is something extra special in the hunt for something long sold out or discontinued. Ask any watch lover (or collector of anything for that matter) and they will tell you the same thing. The hunt is incredible fun. With the hunt comes the excitement of a watch’s past – who brought it? from where and when? how many models were made and where has it been on its travels? As well as this, pre-owned, also means pre-loved. The magic of watchmaking is that servicing sees new life being injected into an object long dormant. You then get to take that watch on your own adventures, adding stories along the way. It is also fair to say buying pre-owned is also just so, so much more interesting. The sheer variety, the span of various designs, decades and makers (some of whom may not even be around anymore) is addictive.
Take for example the 41mm stainless steel Royal Oak 5400ST. This reference is almost impossible to get new from AP. Why? Because they know it’s their best seller and they request clients to buy other models before they “have the right” to the peeves they couldn’t sell all day long. Crazy right? Well – maybe not – this tends to see desire skyrocket. The great bit for us here at Xupes is that one client maybe desperate for that Patek and keen to sell their Royal Oak which naturally allows somebody else the chance to pick one up.
In this instance, this A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia, now well discontinued wouldn’t be an option going into a boutique. Even new watches, which we do sell, have a story. They have been on a journey – sometimes sitting unopened and unworn for decades. Take for example the Rolex Daytona 116515LN, one of the most sought-after watches in the market place right now and certainly one you wouldn’t be able to pick up in a boutique. This watch is unworn and available. A remarkable opportunity to have exactly what you want – today. No waiting – no excessive spending to build a profile.
Vintage collecting has become a passion and likelihood for many. An example of a reference and a family that has gone from strength to strength in the last decade in Audemars Piguet and the Royal Oak. Having recently (2021) discontinued the iconic 15202st – has seen these complicated limited editions become the best examples of what AP does – high complication, great finishing and packaged in its iconic Royal Oak frame. Again, a watch that you will never see in the wild, but a watch that will continue climb in value and will always be a talking point.