Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Going for gold

I’ve spent the past six years advising Hodinkee readers to err on the side of reserve and always to choose the subtleties of refinement and the intelligence of design over decoration. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dissuaded them from buying a gold watch in favor of a steel one. But no more. I am declaring – along with a few of my equally idiotic friends – that this summer, the summer of 2014, will be golden!

It’s true. I’ve been buying and wearing more colored gold (yellow or rose) than I’ve ever done in my life. And it began because, well, I’m 31 now and I think that’s a really great age to start going gold.

However, I haven’t been buying your average yellow-gold watch from the corner retailer. I’ve been hunting and choosing vintage chronographs from the likes of Zenith and Universal Genève on eBay for less than £3,000. I bought a very rare Amagnetic Patek Philippe from 1957 (pictured) for less than a steel, quartz-powered ladies’ Patek might cost brand new. I even bought a 14ct yellow-gold Rolex Daytona dating back to 1975, which I have since declared to be the single best looking wristwatch ever made.

A solid gold vintage watch provides an entirely different sensation on the wrist, with its brazed edges and warm, rich patina that dulls the often yellow sheen of new gold. It also expresses an entirely different sentiment to those around you – in particular when they find out how well-priced some vintage gold watches are, in many cases, less than their steel counterparts.

I also believe, as someone who observes the fluctuations of collectible watch markets, that it’s time the prices of vintage gold watches correct and rise to where the rest of the market sits. So now is the time to buy solid gold vintage wristwatches. They look fantastic against tanned skin, offer incredible intrinsic value and often great design heritage, and they’re poised to climb in value. Can you afford not to wear a golden glow this summer?

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