Collecting has always been for the chosen few, for those people who love an object to the point of worshipping it but not only, because collecting means research, time, investment of money. The subject of vintage watches is a reality that gathers an important number of lovers and connoisseurs of the sector.
Vintage watches are certainly popular, an object always on the market found in basements, recovered from the attics, inherited from grandparents are pieces called and considered vintage from the 80s and going backwards. We speak clearly of wristwatches; the most beloved are those of the 50s that are better identified with the current ones for size and characteristics such as the use of steel that has longevity important; also they are cared for in detail.
The watch has always talked about time not only with the hands but as a story that tells a rebirth in an object if we think of the post-war period, looking for something to exhibit as a value of an era that has preserved the detail in a watch handed down from father to son. In short, the wrist is enriched with a story, or rather more lives, living from generation to generation. They are objects that have wear and tear, and this makes them important, of course, the defect is the change of the small pieces that halve their value, the change of a crown glass for the winding and the hands. Finding a piece in perfect condition and with all the original parts is not easy.
Collectors certainly love the original, so they approach more recent times with shapes and characteristics of the 70s revolutionary for the period because the design had been changed with a different case, all in an industrial watch but no less perfect than the others. The concept of perfection for a watch is geographically engraved in marvellous Switzerland by many brands, including Breitling, with unique and ambitious projects, so to speak in the avant-garde. To mention as a reminder the collaboration of 1969 that with the Chronomatic consortium presented the project under the name Calibre 12 and the variants Calibre 11, Calibre 14 and Calibre 15. Thus was born the Soria of the calibre that saw collectors go mad.
In the world of vintage, it is necessary to know the characteristics of the watch in which we are interested and to know its history. A piece that I particularly love the 1955 Rolex Submariner, an undisputed luxury watch in the history of watchmaking, considered iconic, it is a symbol of great prestige, born from the passion for diving of the then director of the Maison, it becomes a symbol of sportsmanship but also from everyday wear. Its history began in 1926 when Rolex patented the Oyster case that required little care on the part of men who were always careless about the object. Officially presented in Basel in 1954, with reference 6204, it had a rotating bezel with a 5-minute scale, was driven by the A260 calibre and represented an important step for underwater watchmaking.
The pieces, then, to say niche pieces, are instead reminiscent of the 40s. Still, you have to be a true expert and know what you are looking for, know the materials and their origin, in circulation there are unfortunately many fake models reproduced to perfection and difficult to recognize for a less expert eye. A careful evaluation in this area offers the guarantee of the absolute value of the watch we want to buy, giving an adequate economic value, we think that a vintage piece can cost thousands of euros, there are many auctions with important pieces to invest in, think of an Enicar that is a little known brand but has marked the history of Swiss watchmaking, a timepiece with perfect technical quality and construction.
Founded in 1913 by Ariste Racine created an object with its name backwards, it was a model intended for military use with a small window on the case to insert a compass or a photo. Between the 50s and 60s, the company saw these watches marking time reliably and decided to deposit the Sherpa trademark, which from then on would be used for professional and sports watches. Prestige and success have accompanied this company for years, but with the quartz watches it was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1988.
For a collector or watch enthusiast, they are objects of attention and respect for a past that runs on the hands.
Edit by Antonella Malizia