By Pat, Sep 3 2011 11:41AM
Luxury watches have an extensive and vibrant history. The famous Swiss watchmakers dated back to the 16th century when the Huguenots (who were followers of John Calvin) avoided harassment in France and sought to live on the cold highlands of Swiss Alps near Geneva. The Huguenot clock-makers combined their ability and skill with local Geneva jewellers and goldsmiths to create beautiful hand crafted watches. To continue their skill and tradition under Calvinist regime which prohibits wearing jewellery, watches were allowed to be worn because of their usefulness, even up to now with the latest time telling gadget available, the industry is still there and is known all over for its craftsmanship and quality.
Luxury watches today have become both functional and a display of beautiful artwork. They have become collectibles, status symbols and art. Some have become household's names but some of the more exclusive watches are still generally unknown to the majority. There are a few top of the line worthy of much closer inspection, still made by master craftsmen. A luxury watch is a form of art and a showcase of skill. Most are assembled by hand with more than 800 small components. A typical low end luxury watch has a price tag of more than 500 pounds, the more luxurious cost even more and the price can extend into the tens of thousands.
As a new collector, you will be amazed at the different watches for men and women that are available out there. Choices can be based upon the number of collectors collecting this type, the design, performance or value. I would imagine the most avid collectors subconciously prefer the rarest quality which only a few collectors have. Many collectors look to base their purchase decision on the number of complications the watch has - with higher price tags and lots of embellishments to the watch, they can even be covered with precious stones. Others prefer the simplicity, elegance and the richness of the history behind the brand such as Old English luxury pocket watches.
Anyone who wants to become a collector must always do their research of the history behind the brand name. Sometimes the hard to find, exclusive watches not common in the marketplace are those who have a very rich history and pedigree. Buying on impulse can be the wrong decision and have a detrimental effect if later you decided to change your mind.
When buying there are several factors you should consider before making your purchase. Are you going to buy the famous brands or rely on your own research? Create your own ideas about the different brands available, as sometimes not all is as it first seems. What is behind the watchmakers culture and history, as this may be evident in the watch itself. Are they still being made in a small workshop, or are they being mass produced? Many collectors don't want to buy factory made and mass produced items.
Most watch collectors give importance to the number of complications in a watch. The number of complications or mechanical functions other than basic time-telling likes perpetual calendars, second time zone, or lunar phases. The more gadgets the watch has sometimes gives rise to a higher consideration as a collectible watch.
At this point in time, I would say the fashion is changing as watch enthusiasts place a greater emphasis on simplicity, elegance and durability. If after being proven in extreme temperatures and conditions for accuracy, they can perform and still look very elegant, then this watch may score high in the current watch buying climate. English Luxury watches today are rising to this challenge and again, I believe, will prove to be a leader in the complex watch marketplace.
© 2007-2011, Pat Edwards Harold Pinchbeck British Watches. All rights reserved