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Stylish and Vintage Watches: It’s all about Fashion, not Time

18kt Gold Patek Phillippe Watch

18kt Gold Patek Phillippe Perpetual Calendar Watch, Est. $20,000-30,000

“Excuse me, what’s the time?” asks a passing stranger at a train station. The woman standing on the platform doesn’t glance at her wrist, but instead pulls a phone from her pocket. “Almost noon,” she says. Even though she’s wearing a watch, she’s not thinking of it as a way to tell time. With a vast array of electronic devices at our disposal—from blackberries and iphones to mp3 players and ipads—a watch is no longer a necessity. The watch’s more practical purpose of keeping time is fading as its popularity as a fashion accessory rises.

Stylish, modern, and vintage watches are now, more than ever, a fashion statement, and certain watch styles are gaining in popularity.

One trend worth noting is that women are putting away their dainty watches for oversized men’s style watches with large faces. The Balloon Bleu watch by Cartier, with sleek metal styling and solid gold incorporated into every model, is the most popular Cartier style at the moment.

Another popular style in women’s watches that has continued through the decades is the bejeweled timepiece. Women love watches decorated with diamonds and precious gemstones. One great example is an Art Deco Platinum, Diamond and Gem-Set Smoking Watch by Chopard, featured in our upcoming June 14th, 2011 Fine Jewelry auction, and estimated at $15,000-20,000. This watch was designed in 1920 and depicts two chic women smoking. While smoking may now be considered a fashion “no,” wearing a watch like this is definitely a fashion “yes.”

It’s likely that men collect fashionable and vintage watches because a fine watch is one of the most distinctive fashion accessories aimed at men. Rolex sport watches, including Sea Dwellers, Submariners, and the green crystal Milgauss are all currently in style. And of course, no discussion of fine watches can neglect to mention Patek Philippe, one of the finest timepiece makers in the world.

Patek Philippe watches are highly collectible and can bring high prices at auction, especially if the watch has quality details or complexities. The perpetual calendar wristwatch was first introduced by Patek Philippe in 1925. This classic watch displays the month, day of the week, and phases of the moon, details that watch collectors adore. One of these Patek Philippe watches is featured in our upcoming Fine Jewelry auction with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.

The watch market is very strong this year, especially at auction. What classic or vintage watch would you most love to take home from an auction? Do you wear a watch for fashion or for the time?

Art Deco Watch

Art Deco Platinum Gem-set Figural Wristwatch, attributed to Eszeha, Est. $10,000-15,000

11 thoughts on “Stylish and Vintage Watches: It’s all about Fashion, not Time

  1. Hello,
    I’m findiding it difficult, for example your fine Jewery Auction on June 14th. has vintage wristwtches. How do I eliminate going thru every lot to find watches?
    There has to be some link that will allow me to seperate “ALL THE JEWELRY”! and have Just the WATCHES to appear! I’m finding it very frustrating and this site NOT to be USER FRIENDLY to say the least. Please send me an email that will explain to me the way to view SPEFIFIC LOTS ONLY! I’ve been wanting to bid on several items during your past Auctions, however, I cannot seem to find an area on your site that will allow me to “TYPE IN A SPECIFIC CATEGORY”! I look forward to your reply.
    Sincerely,
    Kevin P. Caefer

    • The easiest way to find a specific category of items is to type the category into the search bar at the top of the Skinner website. If you type “watch” in the search bar, you will see a list of all watches listed in upcoming auctions. Thank you for your interest in the Fine Jewelry auction.

  2. Hello,
    I’m findiding it difficult, for example your fine Jewery Auction on June 14th. has vintage wristwtches. How do I eliminate going thru every lot to find watches?
    There has to be some link that will allow me to seperate “ALL THE JEWELRY”! and have Just the WATCHES to appear! I’m finding it very frustrating and this site NOT to be USER FRIENDLY to say the least. Please send me an email that will explain to me the way to view SPEFIFIC LOTS ONLY! I’ve been wanting to bid on several items during your past Auctions, however, I cannot seem to find an area on your site that will allow me to “TYPE IN A SPECIFIC CATEGORY”! I look forward to your reply.
    Sincerely,
    Kevin P. Caefer

    • The easiest way to find a specific category of items is to type the category into the search bar at the top of the Skinner website. If you type “watch” in the search bar, you will see a list of all watches listed in upcoming auctions. Thank you for your interest in the Fine Jewelry auction.

  3. I have a hard time finding a contact for items to be considered. I have a 24K gold plated trombone by King Mfg. with history of the Big Band History currently in a small museum in PA. I have a very old oil that looks like a Gaugan or from that era (unsigned) it is a wedding scene in another country (spain?) and cut out of a frame. I have an R. Atkinson Fox painting signed. I have access to Show clothes made and worn by Jeanne Carroll, a singer and first woman bandleader during the big band era, she also has published a book ‘I lived it I wrote it 80 years’.
    Pleasse let me know if this message is received. Sincerely, Linda Spaulding

    • Thank you for your comment on the Skinner blog. The best first step to take would be to call the Skinner Appraisal Services department at 508-970-3299 to discuss the evaluation and consignment process. You may also contact us by filling out and submitting a free online auction evaluation form for each of your items:
      secure.skinnerinc.com/appraisals/form.asp

  4. I have a hard time finding a contact for items to be considered. I have a 24K gold plated trombone by King Mfg. with history of the Big Band History currently in a small museum in PA. I have a very old oil that looks like a Gaugan or from that era (unsigned) it is a wedding scene in another country (spain?) and cut out of a frame. I have an R. Atkinson Fox painting signed. I have access to Show clothes made and worn by Jeanne Carroll, a singer and first woman bandleader during the big band era, she also has published a book ‘I lived it I wrote it 80 years’.
    Pleasse let me know if this message is received. Sincerely, Linda Spaulding

    • Thank you for your comment on the Skinner blog. The best first step to take would be to call the Skinner Appraisal Services department at 508-970-3299 to discuss the evaluation and consignment process. You may also contact us by filling out and submitting a free online auction evaluation form for each of your items:
      secure.skinnerinc.com/appraisals/form.asp

  5. i have a mens and womens vintage cartier watches, in a wooden face case and wood face, roman numerals, brown lizard strap. any ideas on value? in very good shape.

  6. i have a mens and womens vintage cartier watches, in a wooden face case and wood face, roman numerals, brown lizard strap. any ideas on value? in very good shape.

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