Don Draper from the TV show Mad Men wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox
Should I buy a new watch or a vintage watch? Well, congratulations to you for facing this dreadful dilemma! In this cruel world in which we live, full of problematic decisions, this one, of course, is a personal one.
But when we do decide to invest our hard-earned money in a luxury watch, at least we want to make an educated decision. So, it doesn't hurt to listen in to what other people think about the subject, does it? Let me share one of the many reasons (believe me, there are more!) why buying a vintage watch is a better idea than buying a new watch. Remember, this is from a purely personal perspective, highly subjective, and just for fun!
Simply put, watches with a bit of age to them are more true than modern ones. By this I am not saying that all modern watches are untrue. Bear with me while I try to explain it:
Vintage watches are from an age when wristwatches actually had a purpose to fulfil. This was a time when people really needed a watch to be able to tell the time. It was not a fashion accessory. It was a necessity.
Furthermore, back then time really mattered. You telephoned from your landline at home or from your office, made an appointment to see someone at a particular place and time… and then… both of you actually showed up there, at the same time! There was no Whats App, there was no way of letting the other person know that you were running late, or to reschedule your appointment on the fly. You had to know what time it was, and you had to show up on time!
Consequently, watches were designed, manufactured, and bought with this primary purpose in mind – the true reason for a watch to exist! The design elements that really mattered were quality, legibility and wearability. You had to wear that watch every day, so it’d better be a good one! The timeless look of a classic men’s watch is a result of these ‘true’ design principles.
Today, everybody has a mobile phone and constant access to the exact time, synchronised from servers far away and more accurate than any wristwatch could ever be. Despite this, the watch industry is blooming, and new watch models are released every year. Apparently, people still want to own a watch, but why?
Next time you are running late for a flight and you are wearing your precious Patek Philippe on your wrist, I bet you will still check the time on your mobile, because you know that it is more exact. Even though the only thing your expensive wristwatch can do for you, is to tell the time.
Well, to be fair, that’s not the only thing watches do. People wear watches today primarily to express their own individuality and style. The watch industry is of course aware of this, and today watches are designed and manufactured with a different purpose than the utility of the object. Being able to tell you the time is no longer a selling point. While many new watches that come out are still drool worthy, amazing time pieces, in a sense, they are marketed for a slightly less true reason.
So if watches today then, for most of us, is vanity rather than utility, it follows that the vintage vs. new decision is a highly personal one. But anyone who is into classic style, as opposed to fast fashion, trends, and a throw-away consumer lifestyle, will appreciate aspects such as quality materials, timeless purposeful design and genuine craftsmanship.
All of these are to be found in vintage watches. For us, the classic style of a vintage watch, originating from a true purpose, make it better choice than a modern watch.
Do you prefer vintage or modern watches? Drop a comment below, it would be great to hear your opinion!