Is there a right time to buy vintage?
I suppose the short answer is "not when everyone else is buying the same thing," but I'm going to make an intelligent attempt at shedding some light for all you vintage lovers out there, old and (especially if you are) new.
Before I start with the opinion piece I'll start by explaining the concept of value. I use this as a rough gauge when I decide to make a buy. It's a ratio of how much the watch is actually worth versus how much I'll be paying.
For someone who's looking to sell the watch off in the future (I think every watch has a price), this is important to me. As long as I follow this rule I probably won't end up with a watch that I'd pay too much for.
But! I must admit that a lot of emotion and current sentiment can add quite a bit to the worth of a particular watch. You could have heard of a particular watch from a blog or video and want a piece of the action before it's "gone for good".
So especially for a new collector, it's critical to be aware of the traps of social media. I remember back a few months ago the Rolex DateJust 1601 was all the rage, and I saw the prices of that particular watch rocket upwards in the matter of weeks... Such periods of market driven demand would certainly not be the best time to start pulling the trigger.
When then, would be a more appropriate time to start laying on the purchase? Well I've always been a advocate that one mustn't spend too much time searching for a particular watch (I've even written a post about it), as that would more often than not lead to impulse buying of a poor or inaccurate example.
Instead, I would recommend the collector read up on as many types of watches as possible to widen your knowledge so that when one comes along you will be ready with your money.
Another thing you can do is to make friends with as many collectors as possible. With the market "drying up", you'll probably make your best buys from another collectors rather than from an online shop or from the auction hammer. Most collectors won't pay to set up a website like I do (I honestly quite like the experience of designing and maintaining the site), so getting to know some of them in person would be a good idea.
The last thing you will need is patience. With a lot of money you'll no doubt get the pieces you want in no time (rare watches indeed eh?), but it'll be on a high and you'll probably find some difficulty off loading them in the future.
And when you can say that you'll never sell your watches, what happens when you chance upon a better example of your current piece? Keeping two of the same watches isn't really for everyone.