March 15, 2017
Once Upon a time you could buy a Paul Newman for a few thousand US dollars. No one knew or cared whether a Speedmaster had straight lugs or bombay lugs. The backlight was an instrument only used in the nightclub. Now-a-days things have changed. The vintage watch market is stronger than ever. The allure of brands like Rolex and Patek is undeniable and there seems to be no end in sight to the rise in vintage watch prices.
The B-track/side brands are also burning gaping holes in the pockets of watch collectors all over the world. Within this heightened market exists an elite group of people that scour the globe in search of rare and important horological beauties. The vintage watch dealer is a Captain Ahab of sorts. The search to find a flawlessly luminescent Newman with a never polished, correct step dial is like finding a white whale in a vast sea of collectable junk.
Join us as we take you on a tour of the Italian watch buying experience, in Milan and at the Parma Antique Fair. We chronicle the journey through the eyes of Matthew Bain, one of the first American watch dealers. Matthew has been there to see the industry grow. He began coming to Italy and Parma since the 1990's.
We begin our journey appropriately in Milan for Fashion Week. Many would say that vintage watch collecting began in Italy as recently as the late 1970's. The elegance and style of vintage watches is the reason why Italian dealers today are so passionate about them. Here is a look at Milan through the eyes of some of the most influential dealers in the city.