The Vintage Proposition

The Vintage Proposition

It was a bitterly cold evening in Palm Beach. Everyone was in their finest fur and mink coats, bundled up like the polar vortex had arrived. “I can’t believe we are even out tonight, it is so cold.” I had never seen anything like it. 50 degrees seemed nice to me.

I was there for the grand opening of a store I was working with. There was great buzz and excitement surrounding the beautiful selection of vintage watches. I was greeted with a variety of questions, some more interesting than others. Near the end of the evening, a socialite posed this question to me: “So why vintage? Everyone seems to want the new ones.” I responded, “You know, that is really a great question. Let me tell you why I love vintage watches.” I proceeded to highlight the points below to the woman in mink and her husband.

The Style. There is something special about the style of a vintage watch. It does not look brand new. It has character and sportiness. It is timeless and classic, yet playful and fun.

The Fit. Vintage watches were made with somewhat different proportions than new watches today. Sure, some of the case sizes are the same. But the case shapes, bracelet styles, and design elements fit well and are generally lower profile, chic, and refined.

The Design. So many choices and options. Amazing shapes, stunning lines, intricate details, gorgeous dials, and craftsmanship that is rarely replicated today. These watches have rich historical inspirations and characterize a generation of storied designers and artists. Today’s watches draw inspiration from models created in the past. Vintage watches are a representation of a bygone era.

The Dials. Vintage watches have amazing dials, from beautiful colors, textures, and gemstones to intricate hand-crafted details. Over time, dials age differently and the result is that no two watches are alike. You may find patina or tropical dials, some of which have aged so uniquely that they look like works of art.

Optionality. One of our favorite things about vintage watches is you can find amazing watches from so many different eras. Over time and across brands, there have been changes in styles, design, materials, dials, and sizes. You are not constrained by what the brands make now with their limited dial offerings, bracelet options, and sizes.

Straps. You can change the look and feel of a vintage watch in no time. A simple strap change across colors and materials can allow you to go from sporty to formal. You can literally create your own look on any given day. It is amazing the difference a strap can make in the look and feel of a watch.

The Stories and Memories. Vintage watches have history. They have been worn and loved. They have a story and you are continuing to write it. Many vintage watches have been passed down over generations. We create and make memories in these watches. They are a means to link the past to the present and future.

Quality. Vintage watches were made to last. They are enduring and from a time when extreme attention was paid to workmanship and craftsmanship. Skilled watchmakers had the expertise, pride, and passion to create the finest products. Vintage cases, movements, and design elements are the basis for watches made today. Brands are drawing from their heritage, with the reproduction of vintage designs, movements, and models. 

The Value Proposition. We firmly believe vintage watches have great value. A classic is a classic. Vintage watches are not made anymore. As the years pass, fewer and fewer are available. There are some incredible vintage watches available at a fraction of the cost of a brand new watch, with some potential upside with proper care and maintenance. The most important things are to know who you are dealing with, have a plan, and above all else, buy what you like.

When I finished explaining why I loved vintage watches, I thought I had closed them on a sale. Then the woman said, “Well I am vintage, and my parts work better than the new ones.” Aghast, I composed myself and asked, “So do you want to buy a watch?”

Needless to say, I sold the couple.

 

Carl Cohen

Founder, Veralet 

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