Vincenzaoro Vintage 2020 The watch: passion or investment?
At Italian Exhibition Group's VO Vintage, the opening debate was on the modern watch market.
One of the most iconic and evocative daily objects has seen its purchase value double and triple in recent years. The debate between top sector experts is the first watch and jewellery collecting event in the Palladian city, took place from 18th-20th January at Vicenza Expo Centre during Vicenzaoro.
18th January 2020 saw the opening of VO Vintage, the new marketplace entirely dedicated to vintage watches and jewellery, ongoing until 20th January inside Vicenzaoro, the gold and jewellery show of reference organized by IEG – Italian Exibition Group, being held until 22nd January at Vicenza Expo Centre.
Between passion and investment. The sense of the modern watch market. What has changed in the last 30 years: this was the title of the opening talk which, moderated by Dody Giussani, Editor of L’Orologio magazine, saw the participation of Ugo Pancani, teacher and member of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, Luca Castellani, chief Commercial Officer at Parmgiani Fleurier, Bruno Bergamaschi, founder of the highly-followed Forum Orologi & Passioni and Mario Peserico, President of Assorologi and Managing Director at Eberhard Italy, and Flavio Ghiringhelli, collector.
The debate between some of the sector’s top experts provided the attentive and numerous audience with an overview of the last thirty years of the evolution of one of the most widespread and fascinating items that is attracting an evergrowing community of enthusiasts. The story told is interesting and extremely dynamic and highlighted the new complexities that, until a few years ago, were totally unexpected.
From the late 1980s, which saw a drop in the dazzling growth of affordable, Japanese quartz watches and a revival in the predominance of traditional Swiss timepieces, to the affirmation of a more fashionable and easy idea of the watch as an accessory proposed by Swatch with a product that was both analogical and digital and had a strong personality and a ductile and friendly character, up to the success of the yuppy-style mechanical watch with complicated mechanisms and significant dimensions. Then came the ‘90s when the desire to express individuality arose and led to limited, high-value productions that generated a new market and, above all, rekindled the attention of enthusiasts whose numbers and knowledge are continuing to grow.
The panel speakers, in agreement about evaluating the effort of sector professionals, especially those in Italy, underlined, however, how the market is inevitably affected by numerous interests which create unprecedented complexity compared to the past.
Passion, in fact, although still fundamental, is no longer the only force behind collecting: the considerable increase in value of some watches means that the purchase is often guided by the desire to speculate rather than to invest, economically and emotionally, in a piece.
However, the watch is still more frequently an investment and the “threshold” is becoming lower. Even watches worth between 3,000 and 5,000 Euros until a few years ago, have now doubled or tripled their original purchase price.