FOR THE SERIOUS COLLECTOR
Aaron Faber offers a range of services to the serious collector, starting with appraisals, authentication and a finder service, all the way to exclusive benefits available only to members of our Collector’s Club.
THE COLLECTOR’S CLUB
Whether you’re just starting out, or have been collecting watches for decades, becoming a member in the Collector’s Club will provide you with many essential services, as well as benefits that can add up to significant savings and advantages. For our most loyal customers, membership is complimentary, and everyone else may join for a set annual fee. Please call for more details.
WHAT IS AN AUTOMATIC WATCH?
An automatic or self-winding watch is a mechanical watch in which the mainspring is wound automatically as a result of natural motion of the wearer’s arm, to provide energy to run the watch, making manual winding unnecessary. But any automatic or self-winding watch needs a little help. Before you start wearing it you should give it a little wind here under the steps to follow:
1. Determine whether the crown is a screw-in crown. Turn the screw-in crown to the left until you feel it release, or it pops out into the winding position.
2. Place your thumb and forefinger on the winding crown.
3. Turn the crown in the clockwise direction, making one full circle or revolution.
4. Continue winding the crown until you have made from 30 to 40 full revolutions.
5. Wear the watch for at least 8 hours every day. The natural movements of the wrist will keep the watch powered up, and reduce the chance that it will stop.
6. Check your watch in the morning, after you have not worn it overnight. It should continue working and will shore up its power supply as you begin wearing it. If it has stopped overnight, wind it manually again for 30 to 40 revolutions. Some watches will lose power more quickly than others.
EDWARD S. FABER:
RULES FOR COLLECTING WATCHES
But first, a few points about the market for collectible watches:
In the world of watch collectors, high-end complications by major brands have done particularly well in the last 3 years. This is fueled by:
- International auction results – especially from New York and Geneva
- The change in the euro/dollar
- An excess of money on the sidelines (out of a moribund stock market)
- Greater interest generally in wearable collectibles
Contemporary Watches: Produced after 1985, up to present day. CAD (Computer Assisted Design), robotic assembly permeates Swiss watch production. Waterproofing and shock proofing begin.
Vintage Watches: 1935- 1985. Modern wristwatches shed the shadow of pocket watches.
Antique Watches: Produced before 1935
Faber’s Rules for Collecting, with example of Patek Philippe Ref. 3450, circa 1981.
This example on the left of a rare Patek Philippe, with a moon phase calendar, illustrates where the market is. It has all the ingredients for a winning combination in any serious collection.
1. BRAND: Patek is the best, the most dominant brand, along with Rolex.
2. CONDITION/PRESENTATION: Unused, un-circulated condition with original buckle and strap and box. Note: this is accompanied by an Extract from Patek Philippe Archives.
3. MATERIAL: 18K yellow gold
4. COMPLICATIONS: This is an advanced model Ref. 3450 of Patek Philippe’s first automatic moon phase perpetual. [Contrary to what Rolex stamps on their dial: Rolex uses the term perpetual to mean automatic]. Horologically speaking a perpetual watch will know mechanically (with gears and wheels – no computer chip) which months have 30 days or 31 days, and that every 48 months there is a leap year which is displayed in numerals. All of the calendar functions are “integrated.”
5. STYLE AND DESIGN: This very important component of value and collectability is exemplified here by its oversize diameter (38mm) – over 34.5mm fits into the new trend of oversize watches and is rare and unusual in antique watches. It has a direct, uncluttered format with windows cut into the dial for month and day and elegant post-modern case design.
6. RARITY: This particular 3450 is an advance over Ref. 3448 in that it has a small round window cut in dial between 3 and 4 o’clock that indicates to the wearer which cycle the leap year is in.
So, taking these six criteria together – the brand, condition/presentation, material, style/design, complications and rarity – we can begin to understand and appreciate the 244 pieces made between 1981 and 1986, and why the price of this desirable vintage watch has gone from $45,000 in 2000 to $100,000 at auction in Spring 2003.