Taste and investment

dear all,

I am a bit frustrated to see so few nice Vacheron Constantin in the next Christies Geneva auction's catalog.

Does not my taste for Vacheron & Constantin vintage watches fit with the nowadays crisis ?

Is Patek & Philippe (& private joke for Doc !) the only good value for investment at present time ?

Any actions from the brand ?

I hope to get your reactions, feedbacks and thoughts about that matter.

All the best to my fellow loungers,


BTW a very interesting Art Deco Vacheron Constantin pocket watch in Dr Crott's next auction (lot Nr 98, unfortunately with diamonds for me).
Follow with interest....
10/24/2009 - 19:20
I'll be checking the results of that auction with interest as they have two pieces similar to my collection; an aluminum pocket watch and steel/gold 4178 chronograph.  The Art Deco PW is in very good condition too, but the undersized movement just isn't to taste . Berny, I do agree there is not as much auction activity with VC pieces as Patek, but even less for vintage Audemars.  Did you know there was a year in the 1930's when Audemars only produced two pieces?   My fear is that many vintage VC are being (or should be) scrapped, having been neglected for so many years due to lack of market interest and foregone service.  Some that are appearing on less prestigious auction sites and dealer websites are not worth purchasing once you factor in the costs of restoration. So as to investment value; as we have often bemoaned here, the lack of reference data on vintage VC means that great deal of research is required to validate a piece as original and complete.  For those that are pristine and correct, there will always be good market value IMHO...but the rest.
Re: Taste and investment
10/25/2009 - 00:15
Hi Berny, No surprise here. PP has had for a long time the dominant position in the auction market. Many are bought simply for investment and PP has hyped their brand for a long time (just like Rolex). So its no wonder that they are in the greatest numbers in most auctions. This one in particular has a relatively large number of excellent vintage pieces from Patek, but clearly someone is cashing in his treasure chest. As far as VC is concerned, even at the 2005 Antiquorum auction which had a large number of Vacherons (all of them), the selection was really a cross section of pieces with a few really prestigious pieces (not counting the ones made for the anniversary). There are some really spectacular pieces in the old catalogues and books but one never sees them any more at auction. I agree with Dean, and I have thought this for sometime... the VC's and others such as AP were not bought for long term investment and many gorgeous pieces have long disappeared into the gold refiner's smelter. Probably the only decent collection nowadays is in the VC museum. That's why I've felt that it would be a good idea for VC to bring some of these pieces back into production in a modern setting. Joseph
Patek, Rolex...and the rest
10/25/2009 - 08:51
There is one major factor that should be kept in mind and that is that the high majority of watches sold at auction are not by collectors but by dealers and they tend to sell (and buy) for investment purposes. There is no denying that PP (and to a lesser extent Rolex as currently the sports watch Rolex prices are dropping) is king of auctions but that's because the brand created data around their vintage pieces and that they have been supporting auction prices for over two decades! PP knows that a great auction result is good for modern watch sales and they do what it takes. VC on the other hand can't/doesn't want to walk this road thus less pieces on offer and lower prices.
its a vicious circle, Patek sells so more come to the market and the
10/25/2009 - 11:32
more come to the market the more sells etc... However I'm always surprised by the condition of many of the PPs that come to the market, seems like some one bought them 50 years ago and just let them sleep in a safe!!!
Berny, I said this before,
10/25/2009 - 14:04
it's only a sign of that V&C will be more highly valued than any other brand, and that is in a short time. Demand and supply. There ARE so few V&C's on the market and it stays in the families. How many questions have we had here at HL about what's been found in different homes? I know that Patek & Philllipppes, about 50% right Berny ? and Rolex will soon be history in the market. This because there are to many who have 'speculated' in these brands. I true collector never speculate, he collect what he want to have I personally know noone who speculated in V&C. Is there anyone who knows?? BTW, after some years the oldest Swedish watchdealer Nymans Ur 1851, will again be AD for VC Just hold on to your fortunes, if I'm wrong you may pull my legs, but if I'm right I hope these few words will be reminded. And don't forget pocket watches, I heard from some real big guys, yep, bigger than me,  that pw's are cheaper than ever... Doc 100% sure
Doc,the anatomy of collecting !
10/26/2009 - 01:28
Well,I always follow these discussions with great interest.What motivates a collector - some collect only one brand,some collect complications,some sporty chronographs and others collect the different calibers of a brand.What I love about this forum is that it is very democratic - I feel I can contribute and engage in enjoying all the topics listed,even though my budget is limited - we are united in our love of this wonderful brand and vintage watch collecting generally. I have defined my interest into collecting what are refered to as iconic/grail movements,though sadly,I could not always afford VC. I have a VC Cal.1003, an AP Ultra Thin Cal.2120 Automatic ( as shared by PP,AP,VC) and finally a column wheel caliber 321 Omega Chronograph Moon Watch.What unifies these models is that in their heyday,they were exteremely expensive movements to produce and the truth be told,it would be hard to imagine a current manufacturer ever re-launching these iconic movements,despite the fact that they would certainly be of considerable interest - they remain a product of the way high end watch movements were made in the 50's and 60's - now there is a move to modular caliber/case construction - though it will be interesting to se what happens now AP have the tooling for Cal 2120  - you can be certain if they get into production,it will not be at the price I paid for my vintage model ! The point is with regards to intrinsic brand collecting,you have got to hand it to PP and Rolex - what thay have is an extremely well honed marketing/branding tool that sells the 'aspirational lifestye' - it says,I have arrived,I am accepted,its a right of passage - just like other luxury brands,whereas AP and VC remain the 'thinking mans's watch choice'.I think PP and Rolex's triumph is that there interlectual value as a brand,far outweighs the intrinsic value horologically - especially in Rolex's case.
there might not be a lot of VCs
10/26/2009 - 00:19
but some of the PPs are really stunning. And I think that looking at the price range of some of the other brands, there are some potentially really good deals to be made. Shame I don't have any spare cash.
Re: Taste and investment
10/26/2009 - 13:31
On the other hand, in Sothebys catalogue: three nice V&C IMHO: lots #111, # 113 & #114 : two x yellow gold Ciocolatone and 13' Pink Gold Repeater ! I would love to pick up the last one ! All the best to my fellow loungers, Berny