There has been much talk regarding the vintage market on VRF and other forums these days. Many dealers/collectors/professional collectors many have many opinions whether the market is up or down.
Here is what I see:
Many big time collectors with serious pieces get mighty nervous when the talk of a down market comes up. Remember, this is a small community of people with money so many times it really does not matter much in the pocket, but more so with EGO. The majority of these people are heavy into big pieces and quite frankly if they are down a few points to 10-12% it is no big deal, for example: 6241 Newman MINT, where do you find one for under $70-80k? I do not know but as a dealer, I am not going to get involved as the number of "real" buyers is not as it was two years ago thus you will sit on one even if you buy in at $60-65k.
The Newman market overall seems to be holding as again, there are not many really nice examples available right now and anything really exceptional and priced right is scooped up quickly. I will say however I see big money Mil Subs for crazy over $100k just sitting s that market is maybe just a tad sluggish. lol
Funny thing about Milsubs vs. cousin COMEX is the COMEX is really not anything more than a Sub with a cool dial and good story and collectors who love them love them and those who do not understand them stay away. I personally am not a big COMEX fan as it is really not my idea of a big money piece.
The pieces which are really "sketchy" are the mid level stuff and lower end stuff. Let's start at the bottom:
5513, 1675, 5512 are about and at various price points. I have seen heads under $3k and full set over $10k. Who in their right mind would pay $10k for a $3k watch w/a full boat? Well some maniac collectors will but I think those are really risky. It is a common watch with uncommon provenance, so why risk it? Same for all plastic subbies/GMT. way too much is put into paperwork and it is IN NO WAY worth double the price of the watch. It just is not.
Steel daytona are another mind fuck. Zeniths are still commanding over $8k without papers and $10k with papers. NOS examples are over $12k and strangely enough there have been a bunch which have passed through my hands in the last month or so.
6542 are only worth over $20k if they have a bakalite bezel and honestly not worth over $10k unless the dial is PERFECT OCC gilt.
Plastic screw down 6265/3 are holding on for dear life waiting for someone to get sick of looking at them over $20k so they can be priced to sell at $15-18k. Thats all they are worth! Lots out there people!!! Unless they are papered and exceptional be careful.
1655 Orange are another which has taken a hit as there are lots out there. I trade them in the high 9's to low 10's and let the dealers find an end user. Again, lots out there.
16800 are another dog. Matte or gloss I personally feel any matte should be transitioned to a gloss and sold as a newer watch. the parts are worth more outside the watch, LOL! Seriously, how much are they really worth? Just like 666 and cream non rail all this "transitional" shit is a bit soft. Not very sexy to have a sapphire crystal on a "vintage" watch.
1665 are also way overpriced if over $8k or so.
The reality is if you want to sell for "retail" you go to the auction houses, not online or in the forum markets. Just look at all the "REDUCED" listings or reverse auctions...REVERSE AUCTIONS?????? Come on.
The real dog in all this is the Tudor sub market. Look at the price drop. I mean these are really not "quality" pieces with ETA movements and high prices. BE CAREFUL!
The Tudor MC is another "scary" watch as aside from the home plate, I cannot see them over 410-12k all in and realistically in the $8k range.
The market is in correction and while prices have not bottomed out, there are many good deals to be had if you can not get emotional about these things.
IWJG will come and go. Prices will slip into the summer as they always do when "the money" is on holiday. The question is will prices return to where they are now in September? I personally could care less as I am putting my money on modern and bread and butter pieces.
Enjoy Spring, people...
Saturday, April 17, 2010
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Couldn't agree more bout the plastic subbie/GMT market and papers. You can't wear 'em (the papers) and there are probably more fake papers than fake unpapered watches! Also, the expensive papered ones are, in my limited experience, much more vulnerable to market downturns. I took a real bath on a punched-papers subbie recently (I'm a collector, not a dealer) for that reason.
JB, I commend you for having the GUTS to say what you believe, even though some people think you are full of it and some think you are a pain to post it! I LOVE your blog, one of the non censored few. KEEP IT UP, JB!!
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