People also look at a watch as an investment. And that’s relatively important to what I do. People buy these things not only to wear them and enjoy them, but so that the value will increase. Prices go up and prices go down on various models, categories, and brands of watches based on various factors, including economics, fashion, and the desires of collectors. The first commercial wristwatches I’m aware of were produced during the late 19th century, around 1870 or so. They were usually made of silver, and while they closely resembled wristwatches which were to follow, they must not have been very popular as not very many have survived.
In 1912, Cartier introduced the oval Baignoire and tortoise-shell shaped Tortue models, followed in 1917 by Cartier’s most famous early wristwatch , the Tank, which was reportedly inspired by the design of Renault tanks used during World War I. Rudolph Valentino wore a Tank in the 1921 silent classic The Sheik. Elegant 18k ladies white gold Cartier Tank Americaine with diamonds surrounding the bezel. Watch features Calibre 157 Cartier movement and beautiful diamonds on the bezel and a single diamond on the crown. All diamonds are factory original, and hand set by Cartier master jewelry makers. Watch includes all original solid 18k gold links.
I’ve never owned a Patek observatory wristwatch (they did have their pocket watches tested), and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. I don’t want to say they never did it because there are always scarce things out there that you haven’t seen before. In fact, very few companies went to the trouble of sending their watches to observatories for testing because of the time and expense. It would take maybe six months between when a watch was made to when it could get out of the observatory and be available for sale.
I sold a Patek to the CEO of a corporation, and he said, “I’ve got all my people in the room, my board of directors and the senior vice presidents, and they all like to wear Rolexes because they want to show they can afford a watch like that. But I just sit here with my little Patek Philippe with its leather strap, and I know that I’ve got the best watch in the room.” It didn’t look fancy or say much from the outside, but he enjoyed wearing it. The scarcity and quality appealed to him, as well as its subtlety.
Excuse me, what’s the time?” asks a passing stranger at a train station. The woman standing on the platform doesn’t glance at her wrist, but instead pulls a phone from her pocket. “Almost noon,” she says. Even though she’s wearing a watch, she’s not thinking of it as a way to tell time. With a vast array of electronic devices at our disposal—from blackberries and iphones to mp3 players and ipads—a watch is no longer a necessity. The watch’s more practical purpose of keeping time is fading as its popularity as a fashion accessory rises.