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  • Luke Rottman's guide to deciding and finding that first item for your vintage watch collection


Written by: Luke RottmanFounder and Executive Editor of The Watch Adviser

Question: I am currently a freshman in college and I'm looking to buy my first vintage watch. Omega and Rolex interest me, but at my budget of $2000-$2500 there are so many watches to choose from that I can't differentiate what's worth the money and what's not. What are some good options for what I'm willing to spend? Thank you.
-Turner

Answer: Turner, great question. Before I go over some excellent wristwatches that best fit your ideal price range, I'd like to briefly share something with you.

Go back three and a half years and this is probably what I would've said to you if you asked me about Rolex's Submariner and Omega's Speedmaster: The Submariner is a time-only Rolex, originally intended to be worn by divers, and is widely-known for its appearance in eleven James Bond films. The Speedmaster is a classic Omega chronograph that earned a cult status after passing a series of NASA's intense qualification tests, sent on the first manned mission to the moon, and returning to earth intact. Pretty straightforward, right? But when it came down to recognizing the historical changes and continuities of each watch, I was clueless. To further, and more clearly, explain my point using that Sub vs. Speedy comparison, I couldn't recognize the differences between a 1680 Sub and a 16800 transitional Sub or a 105.002 Speedmaster and 105.003 Speedmaster. But in time, I learned. So don't worry about not knowing all the little details at first. All you have to know for now is, like you said, "what's worth the money and what's not."


Now, let's get down to the good stuff.

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  • Less than desirable vintage watches can suddenly become very collectible overnight. Luke Rottman shares his list of underrated makers that may become very desirable among the collector's community tomorrow.


Written by: Luke RottmanFounder and Executive Editor of The Watch Adviser

According to many of the "original" high-end watch dealers, the Rolex Daytona underwent a major transformation in the 1980's. Initially, it was a relatively undervalued, run-of-the-mill watch. Shortly thereafter, the Daytona became an incredibly sought-after wristwatch that commanded a premium over all other vintage sports chronographs; this change occurred seemingly overnight. 

This circumstance epitomizes a lesser-desirable watch suddenly becoming a highly-collectible, appreciable watch. Most recently, Universal Geneve, Longines and Omega have exhibited this distinction. My questions is, what watches (and brands) can be categorized as potentially promising investments as time progresses and our tastes evolve? Now before I jump to conclusions and address you with my usual "Rolex and Patek are blue-chip brands, don't buy anything else," let's delve into unchartered waters and explore some watches and brands that, although underrated today, will be treasured tomorrow.  

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  • In this instalment, Luke Rottman provides insight on where to buy; how to buy for below retail; and the speculative nature of collecting vintage watches.


Written by: Luke RottmanFounder and Executive Editor of The Watch Adviser

In part one of "A Beginner's Guide To Investing In Vintage Watches," I dealt with the principal aspects of vintage watch buying, such as the brands, the case materials, and the topic of how specific wristwatches have gained their industy-wide status. Today I will discuss the best sources for buying vintage watches and the significance of foresight.





Where To Buy
It may seem easy at first, but buying a quality vintage watch is no walk in the park. Time and money are, without question, essential. Knowledge, if you want anything worthwhile, is imperative. Anyone can walk into a shop and purchase a vintage Rolex Datejust for around $5,000. Fantastic! You bought yourself a Rolex, but look at it this way: You paid $5,000, the watch is only worth half of that amount, and the most you'll possibly get for it is $1,500. It would've been a whole lot better if you had originally paid $2,000, or even less. Right? That's why auctions are the way to go.

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  • Fine-watch expert Luke Rottman shares an introduction and practical guide to investing in Vintage Watches for the newcomer.
  • This instalment focuses on brands, case materials, and why certain models have gained industry-wide status.


Written by: Luke RottmanFounder and Executive Editor of The Watch Adviser

I don't buy a watch, I invest in one. Whether I drop a few hundred or a few thousand on a vintage timepiece, I always keep one thing in mind: Appreciation. In all honesty, it can be near-impossible to determine the future value of many wristwatches, but there are several key attributes to look for in a watch that separate the record-breakers from the junk drawer inhabitants. 



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Jan 29 2016
Wodehouse noted

Jean Rousseau Classique Matte Alligator Watch Strap

The classique model strap features a slight taper, a modest height, and edge stitching. Perfect for a vintage or modern watch.
Jean Rousseau Classique Matte Alligator Watch Strap
Mar 10 2015
elicierto noted

Apple Watch - Stainless Steel + Milanese Loop

_Digital Crown
_Retina display with Force Touch
_Heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope
_Ambient light sensor
_Speaker and microphone
_Wi?Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)
_Bluetooth 4.0
_Up to 18 hours of battery life1
_Water resistant2
Apple Watch - Stainless Steel + Milanese Loop
Mar 04 2015
elicierto noted

Apple Watch

In the combination of bezel colour and strap that works best.
Apple Watch
Nov 12 2014
Ulysses noted

Henry Graves Jr. Patek Philippe Supercomplication

Patek Philippe No. 198.385 was a very special commission from Mr. Graves, had already had a storied history of very special commissions. This enormous example of human ingenuity contains 24 different horological complications. Twenty four. And the watch was constructed over a period of seven years, beginning in 1925. Twenty four complications, with the work taking place in the 1920s, means that that timepiece was built entirely by hand, and all calculations for the two dozen complications were done without the aid of a single computer.
Henry Graves Jr. Patek Philippe Supercomplication
Jun 11 2014
elicierto noted

Richard Lange - Pour le Mérite

The ultimate in precision is guaranteed by a fusée-and-chain transmission. It equalises the differences in torque delivered by the mainspring between the fully tensioned and nearly relaxed states. The flow of power between the barrel and the going train is handled by a filigreed 636-part chain.
Richard Lange - Pour le Mérite
May 13 2014
elicierto noted

Patrimony Pocketwatch

_Reference: 82028/000R-9708
_Shape: round
_Diameter (mm): 43.00
_Thickness (mm): 7.40
_Material of the case: 18K 5N pink gold Material of the crown: 18K 5N pink gold
_Material of the dial: metal
_Dial color: silvered
_Back: see-through sapphire crystal caseback
_Watch strap material: dark browncalfskin
Patrimony Pocketwatch
Sep 16 2013
elicierto noted

Collector's box of six unique watches

Lavish case fashioned from high-quality wood with six watches: the BR01 Horizon, Altimeter and Turn Coordinator, created in 2012, and the BR01 Heading Indicator, Airspeed and Climb, created in 2013. They are all inspired by instruments that are essential to aeronautical navigation and have, as their common and unique denominator, a touch of orange.
Collector's box of six unique watches
Aug 27 2013
elicierto noted

Shinola Watches

The Runwell. The first Shinola watch series ever made in Detroit, engineered with an obsessive focus on crafting a watch of the highest possible quality.
Shinola Watches

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