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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are sellers getting a little over the top with their prices, or are premium vintage prices on the rise again? We've discussed this a while back, but it might be a good time to rehash this subject. The reason I'm asking is because of IWC prices. Had a line on a caliber 89 in 18ct that was unserviced but very nice. The seller wouldn't take less than $1500 thinking that's what he could get for it on eBay. He doesn't realize that parts can get expensive for it. Another forum member also asked for help finding a ribbon lug case R521 like huntershooter, WiLL, and myself own but is having difficulty tracking one down in nice shape for under $3000 (asking price) for any watch that comes serviced with a warranty.

Have any of you noticed any significant rise in price in the higher echelon pieces from the brands you chase?
 

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I certainly have D. Virtually "across the board".

I think Ebay has played a role in this. I have seen the attitude you stated frequently with sellers; "I can do better than that on Ebay".
It most certainly has been the case with Nihonto (Japanese swords) prices.
 

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I think people think that because it's "vintage" it's worth a lot more than they think. Especially un-serviced. Tons of people on eBay think that as long as it's running it's all good
 

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By golly yes. Even compared to last year, and on both bottom and top end. My beloved no-name chronographs which one could fish out around 3-400USD are now all north of 600. RUn of the mill ordinary steel Zeniths are routinely breaking 400 and named models like Defys and Respirators getting close to 1K. Seems like an across-the-board 15-10% hike. Not certain whether I can blame Ebay, tho - it's not a new influence.
 

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I am not particularly into Vintage. But I buy a lot of used watches, I almost never buy new and buy for some friends and family also.
I have seen a general price rise over the last year or so in most desirable watches.
I don't think that Ebay is the reason, although due to it's size and spread it will certainly have been a catalyst to some extent.
I believe it is because of fairly universally low interest rates. People are not getting the return on their savings that they used to get. It was at one time, quite satisfying to collect reasonable interest on a small nest egg. Not even property is showing a reasonable return recently. Therefore, I think, people are more inclined to spend their money on something which will at least promise to hold a value.
 

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Due to the worrying stae of the World economy and uncertainty surrounding Bank stability (and awfully low interest rates on savings) I think that more and more people are looking to buy things that will hold their value. Rightly or wrongly people think vintage watches are a good area to put some of their money into? I would imagine art and vintage cars will also be seeing a similar price increase for the same reason?

Ebay might simply be expressing the market trend as opposed to driving the trend itself?

Regards,
 

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I routinely track the auctions of all the watches on eBay that are found in my collection (or close to them), both modern and vintage. There has definitely been uptick in the pricing, across the board. I would have to say that the vintage cal. 75x Omegas have definitely started to go nuts, to the point that when I see one going for ~$400-$500 I consider it something of a bargain. Not sure what to attribute it to, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think people think that because it's "vintage" it's worth a lot more than they think.
You are correct - too many people equate old with valuable. They don't realize there's all quality levels of old stuff, from junk to treasure.

I routinely track the auctions of all the watches on eBay that are found in my collection (or close to them), both modern and vintage. There has definitely been uptick in the pricing, across the board. I would have to say that the vintage cal. 75x Omegas have definitely started to go nuts, to the point that when I see one going for ~$400-$500 I consider it something of a bargain. Not sure what to attribute it to, though.
Sure makes that 752 Cosmic a steal, huh? Even if I pay $200-ish for a NOS case and then add the cost of a crystal & crown I'm way under probably resale value. The movement alone is worth the paltry sum that sold for. I think I'm getting away cheap buying you lunch for finding that! :laugh:
 

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I think vintage is up because people want to..

To reinvest in durable goods with an understood history of value added.
The vintage anything market is hot right now..From cars to toy dolls..
I also believe people are still aggravated at financial institutions...bail outs and all the negative vibes from them.


Arthur
 

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Don't you guys think this is merely reflective of the continued rise in interest in mechanical waches? Some portion of enthusiasts will drift into the vintage market, and a rising tide lifts all boats.
 

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ulackfocus said:
You are correct - too many people equate old with valuable. They don't realize there's all quality levels of old stuff, from junk to treasure.

Sure makes that 752 Cosmic a steal, huh? Even if I pay $200-ish for a NOS case and then add the cost of a crystal & crown I'm way under probably resale value. The movement alone is worth the paltry sum that sold for. I think I'm getting away cheap buying you lunch for finding that! :laugh:
I was at a flea market and there was a lady that was selling a beat up, nasty, non working, timex from the 60s. Pin lever one jewel manual wind movement. $25... I can get a vintage, running (but unserviced) hamilton from the 50s for $30!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don't you guys think this is merely reflective of the continued rise in interest in mechanical waches? Some portion of enthusiasts will drift into the vintage market, and a rising tide lifts all boats.
It could be - and if so, the seasoned collectors should be happy they got what they got when they did because it's getting expensive.
 

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Well, from what I see happening in the vintage markets of other collectibles like stamps or coins or vintage French wines GETS is pretty right with his assessment. Currently, you see people showing up at auctions that had never come to any of these venues earlier. We get so-called collectors from Russia and from China suddenly professing an interest in stamps and coins and of course vintage watches. The craze is even weirder in vintage wines than in vintage watches by the way.

An additional price-pusher is the advent of the single brand boutique in many Asian markets and in Russia. It has fanned the interest of people for the vintage pieces of these brands too. That is why you see vintage IWCs or Omegas going through the roof as of late.

There are a lot more people with the required cash around than there used to be. And this cash is seemingly longing to be invested in collectibles of many sorts. So expect the prices for some of the vintage watches to continue on their rise. The question that begs to be answered is when the rising prices are going to impact brands like Vulcain or other specialist brands’ vintage watches.


With a heartfelt ‘Keep on collecting’ from the Jura Mountains

James
 

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It could be - and if so, the seasoned collectors should be happy they got what they got when they did because it's getting expensive.
Oh believe me, I am glad I did, but there were just a few more pieces I would have liked to get:sad:
Having been a buyer in the environment of the old prices, it is difficult to acclimate to the new. I suppose the pieces I have are stakes in the market, and can be flipped to generate funds at the new market level. A lot better than starting now....


The current price for brand new heritage watches are creating an interest in the original vintage version as well.
Very good point, Arthur. As companies tap into the past for heritage pieces, the fairly point people to the vintage market, especially when the vintage piece is less expensive than the modern. That's not the case with the Monte Carlo you've illustrated, but consider my favorite, the Zenith El Primero. A 1969 piece is still less than a modern. Until a few years ago, it was the case with the Heuer Monaco (which now has handily outstripped the heritage release) and even the Speedmaster (depending on the vintage reference). Which would you rather own, a modern with years of depreciation ahead of it, or a vintage which can only appreciate?

Another factor that has come up for discussion elsewhere is that there are some among the huge community of vintage Rolex collectors who are feeling priced out of that brand. As they start to look about, other vintages seem ridiculously cheap for what you get and they spend failrly indiscrimiately compared to more veteran vintage collectors, driving up prices.
 

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There is a positive in this for those that have been buying more than we have restored. With price increases in the marketplace, it is more attractive to have some pieces serviced/restored now. While I might not sell or trade after making an additional investment, in a weird way I feel justified as I am still "in the money" on them.
 
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