There’s an adage that goes something like “buy fewer, but better things” which I like to keep in mind around this time of year. The idea being, if you invest in higher quality goods, you’ll need to replace them less often, if ever. While this can certainly be applied to all manner of things we go out of our way to consume, it’s best illustrated when it comes to heirloom grade items, watches chief among them. This is likely no small factor when it comes to justifying some of the pricier watches we add to our collections. However, when looking at vintage watches through this lens, it forces the question, are we buying to use or to collect?
Many of us are pulled into this world through the romantic, larger than life stories and lifestyles associated with vintage timepieces. From big Hollywood types like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, to explorers and adventurers like Bob Barth, Jim Lovell, and Sir Edmond Hillary. As collector Sandra Silva put it to Time Curated recently: “Modern watches are soulless, cold, shiny bling to me, whereas vintage watches have a soul, and the charm of imperfections.”