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Discussion Starter #1
I know we can't talk about prices of a particular piece, but I'm wondering about prices of watches in general.
I started off with the intent of buying one nice watch, now I have 4 and I still have the bug...

Looking at some watch pricing guides, for this year, I see prices on ebay are quite a bit higher than whats in print.
Am I paying too much by buying now?

Mike
 

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I have always found the price guides to be 'out of date' on pricing. But don't be fooled by high prices asked by sellers that result in no sale.

I am tracking a few watches that are good examples. One has fallen to less than half of the original asking. It is still overpriced and still being relisted and relisted and relisted.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have always found the price guides to be 'out of date' on pricing. But don't be fooled by high prices asked by sellers that result in no sale.

I am tracking a few watches that are good examples. One has fallen to less than half of the original asking. It is still overpriced and still being relisted and relisted and relisted.
I go by complete results not the for sale listings...

Going back to the original question, if we think of today as a reference, are watch prices high or low in general?

Mike
 

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I go by complete results not the for sale listings...

Going back to the original question, if we think of today as a reference, are watch prices high or low in general?

Mike
You need to be more specific. Some brands/models are undervalued, while others are overvalued. Time frames are also an issue, given the potential for further serious economic turbulence. All watches may be overpriced relative to a near-term dip, etc.
 

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They're high when I'm buying and low when I'm selling :-d

Nah, just joking, never sold a watch in my life. But, I do feel 'very unscientifically', that I am paying more for watches now that I did a couple of years ago. But then, it might be that I am fussier. Certainly the guides are imo utterly useless.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You need to be more specific. Some brands/models are undervalued, while others are overvalued. Time frames are also an issue, given the potential for further serious economic turbulence. All watches may be overpriced relative to a near-term dip, etc.
Well, I'm looking at watches that aren't generally deemed to be in vogue, that doesn't seem to be an issue.
I'm thinking more general watch price trend. Are we in a watch buying bull market, or is it more like a bear market.

I don't have a good feel for this nor know where someone could find this type of thing out, I just noticed prices in the guide where quite a bit lower than what I've seen on the street.

Regards,

Mike
 

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Bull or Bear? The last 3 years have been a bear market. But it is getting better. However, no wild speculators have been funding watch buying so we haven't had a bubble, that's for sure...

I think we should start a rumor that vintage watches extend your life or make you virile... LOL Oh, wait a minute... that might not be a good idea. I'll get priced out of the market!
 

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Bull or Bear? The last 3 years have been a bear market. But it is getting better.
Hmm. I guess we all see things through the prism of our collecting niches, and I have no doubt that mine is narrow -chronographs. I see the last two or three years as a time of steady price rises and relatively easy flips (not that I sell a lot). Also, pieces that would have been unsellable because of condition now actually seem to have traction. My long term forecast is bullish. There's a vast collecting community in Asia that is gorging itself on new watches just now, and has barely discovered vintage outside of PP and Rolex, but I think they will, and the vintage cannot expand at will as the supply is limited, forgers notwithstanding.
 

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At least on my end of the market, common stuff like 21 jewel railroads(especially Hamilton 992/992Bs, 16 size Bunn Specials, etc) in less than perfect condition is WAY down in price.

The good stuff is still holding its own, and even increasing in value. By good stuff I mean both rare stuff, and common stuff that's in especially nice condition.

Of course, with the recent craziness in gold value, few American gold cases are worth over their melt value. They pretty well have to be fancy cases(box hinge, scalloped border, multicolor) in really nice shape or contain a really interesting movement(Waltham Americans, etc) to be worth much over melt.
 

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the true value of a watch is intheeye of the buyer. do your research, and make an offer. if you're rebuffed,
move on, and keep looking. it's only a watch, not your first born you're bargaining for.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
the true value of a watch is intheeye of the buyer. do your research, and make an offer. if you're rebuffed,
move on, and keep looking. it's only a watch, not your first born you're bargaining for.
I'm just looking for justification to either temper or continue my buying spree. Yeah, I should only buy those pieces I really like, but I like quite a few that I've seen.

Mike
 

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I don't see any incontrovertible evidence that the market is moving in any direction, in my niche (Postwar Elgins). I'll see some nice pieces go for the high end of what I'd expect, but then a similar piece with a less fancy listing will go for a lot less. Then again, my niche is small enough that one well-heeled and undiscriminating buyer could skew the whole market!
 

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Then again, my niche is small enough that one well-heeled and undiscriminating buyer could skew the whole market!
And here is the truth of it once you are outside of the mass market brands such as Omega. One or two buyers who are interested in certain pieces can skew prices out of all proportion to the usual market price. Looking back over time, who could say if the price certain watches sold for were normal unless there was a good volume of them?
 

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And here is the truth of it once you are outside of the mass market brands such as Omega. One or two buyers who are interested in certain pieces can skew prices out of all proportion to the usual market price. Looking back over time, who could say if the price certain watches sold for were normal unless there was a good volume of them?
One of the brands I collect is the United States Watch Company of Marion, NJ(although I'm far from a serious collector of these-they're a minor interest).

Lately, there's been a buyer on Ebay who has been indiscriminately buying up every one that comes up for sale. I know it's been the same buyer for nearly all of them.

I've bid against him a couple of times, but at least on the more common stuff it's just not worth it(particularly since I have more reliable off-Ebay sources at better prices).

About two months ago, a fairly scarce one that I would have really liked to have came up for sale. I found a couple that had sold at live auctions in the $500-600 range. This one had some condition problems, so I expect it to be on the lower end of that. Even so, I set my personal maximum at $700 since I really wanted it.

It ended up being myself and Mr. Deep Pockets, and he came out on top for one bid increment over my $700 max.

I quit bidding on them after that!
 

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I'm just looking for justification to either temper or continue my buying spree. Yeah, I should only buy those pieces I really like, but I like quite a few that I've seen.

Mike
Continue on your spree. If you see something you really like just go for it. I personally don't think vintage watch prices will suddenly drop and make whatever watch more affordable. If for some reason they did drop I don't think it would end up saving you a significant amount of money.

I wouldn't mind overpaying a little if it involved a watch that I really like and was in good condition. The thing about vintage is you run the risk of never seeing that watch again.
 

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Rarity of a lot of vintage pieces will never let the price bottom out, IMO. There are always going to be collectors and new buyers in the market. A nice example will always sell.

Overall, it seems to me that prices have been fairly steady and/or climbing on the watches I've been collecting the last few years. I do LOVE it when I steal one on ebay though, and it still does, although not as often as it used to happen. It usually happens when a seller screws up their heading or description, or their too lazy to post much info, which keeps many buyers a way. I send private messages all the time to get clarifications. Sometimes, I strike gold!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Continue on your spree. If you see something you really like just go for it. I personally don't think vintage watch prices will suddenly drop and make whatever watch more affordable. If for some reason they did drop I don't think it would end up saving you a significant amount of money.

I wouldn't mind overpaying a little if it involved a watch that I really like and was in good condition. The thing about vintage is you run the risk of never seeing that watch again.
I agree with that last line, part of why I'm still looking to buy...It would be nice to know how many of a particular model where made, but I haven't been able find that type of info...

What do folks think of the box/papers part, is it significant, or should I not be too concerned with it.

Mike
 

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I agree with that last line, part of why I'm still looking to buy...It would be nice to know how many of a particular model where made, but I haven't been able find that type of info...

What do folks think of the box/papers part, is it significant, or should I not be too concerned with it.

Mike
The original box and papers for a vintage watch is a bonus, but never a deal breaker for me. It's not like I'm going to be storing it in the original box anyway.
 
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