Luxury watch in my future? I was at a party a few weeks ago and met a gal sporting a wristwatch that I could not take away my eyes. It was chunky, it was gold, it was HOT. I had to have it. Large-faced watches have been in season for years and here to stay but where to make my purchase, and what to buy? Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel? A well established jeweler is a great place to start, but I also wanted to see if I could save some $$. I considered looking at auctions; good ones, reputable ones. I contacted a friend of mine Katharine in NYC. She works in the watch department at Sotheby's and she explained to me that many wristwatches they receive are not only vintage leftovers from someone's late grandfather; some are new and almost new. They have been examined by experts for authenticity and condition and frequently sell for a very palatable price. Even with some commission fees the final Hammer Price may still provide enough of a savings to beat retail prices. Some difficult to locate pieces may also be available.
For now I will faithfully wear my Officine Panerai with the collection of colored leather straps that I change every night as I lay out my outfit for the next day. I will also begin browsing well publicized auction houses such as Sotheby's to locate a watch similar to the one I saw on Margret's wrist at the party. In full disclosure I do own a pink gold watch from the 1920's that my husband purchased for me from our local antique shop specializing in vintage jewelry. It came with a name engraved on the caseback and surprisingly I located through Google a biography, a college scholarship fund and portrait of this woman that once owned my watch; er, her watch. Now I have a lovely wristwatch and a fun conversation piece. This is a memento I could never have treasured with the purchase of a brand new watch. It's called "provenance" and what a wonderful word to have in any collection. Go out and explore auctions-