A great watch always has been, and will always be, a personal possession that speaks volumes about its owner. No two people are alike, and the same can be said of the makers that design and manufacture watches. Understanding this notion makes it easier to see why there are so many different styles and approaches to watch collecting.
Here, Christie’s specialists profile five types of watch collectors — and highlight perfect selections for each from Christie’s Watch Shop.
The classic collector
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931. $11,900 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
Rolex Explorer, Ref. 1016. $10,900 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
With an eye for design, an appreciation for simplicity, and a habit of doing things the tried and true way, this collector is especially fond of classic timepieces. To satisfy this level of discernment, a thoughtfully designed wristwatch often isn’t enough, as the originally intended purpose of the watch is just as important and contributes to the overall spirit of a specific piece.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Tribute to 1931 Reverso “US Edition”, or Rolex’s famed Explorer Ref. 1016, however, are both steeped in tradition with gorgeous aesthetics to match, and could therefore make their way into the collection of this highly refined breed of collector.
Zenith El Primero, A386. $11,600 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
Patek Philippe Calatrava, Ref. 2537. $16,900 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
After years of late nights spent studying the greatest accomplishments in the history of modern horology, this watch-obsessed scholar has vowed to make his collection into something like a curated museum. He is constantly motivated to collect by the wonderful stories that accompany certain pieces, and what the watches represent on a historic level.
In that it was one of the first, if not the first automatic chronograph movements, the Zenith El Primero, A386 would definitely be regarded highly by this type of watch aficionado, along with watches like Patek Philippe’s Calatrava, Ref. 2537, as it comes from what is arguably the brand’s greatest line to date.
Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921, Ref. 82035/000R-9359. $25,900 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
Patek Philippe Tonneau, Ref. 2461. $17,500 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
When spending a substantial amount on a wristwatch, one likes to know that a newly acquired piece will hold its value over the years, while also providing joy on a daily basis. So it is important to understand that the prices of more refined, reserved, and at times dressy watches seem to perform well.
Place a watch like Vacheron Constantin’s Historiques American 1921 or Patek’s ever so elegant Ref. 2461 on your wrist, and you can enjoy it for years while also feeling comfortable that your investment has been a wise one.
Universal Genève Space-Compax, Ref. 885104/1. $19,900 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
Heuer, Abercrombie & Fitch, Solunar. $9,900 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
This type of watch collector has been through it all, seen trends come and go, and is now taking an approach to watch collecting that is uniquely his own. Seeking only to satisfy his own horological desires, this collector is often seen wearing pieces from smaller brands. It’s the rare and captivating nature of these timepieces that makes it all worth it, and the market has been known to respond accordingly.
Watches like Universal Genève’s distinguished Space-Compax and Heuer’s quintessentially quirky, yet highly functional, Abercrombie & Fitch retailed Solunar could therefore be found on the wrist of this type of collector.
Heuer Carrera, Ref. 7753 SN. $8,500 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
Tudor’s Monte Carlo, Ref. 7169/0. $15,900 in Christie’s Watch Shop.
Growing up, many have fallen for the exciting and culturally significant charms of automobile racing. Watch enthusiasts with a passion for cars have always taken note of what was on the wrist of their favourite drivers, and now closely associate the golden age of racing with the surge in popularity of sports chronographs.
Named after the Mexican open road racing events of the early 1950s, Heuer’s Carrera, Ref. 7753 SN would without a doubt be near the top of an automotive aficionado’s want list, along with Tudor’s Monte Carlo Ref. 7169/0, a watch that encapsulates Seventies racing style perfectly.
Browse and buy these and other modern timepieces in Christie’s Watch Shop. Receive complimentary shipping and pay no additional commission fees on all purchases from the shop. For more features, interviews and videos, visit Christie’s Daily