Now that’s too much

Before I get rolling, I am aware that fine mechanical watches are extremely expensive. This isn’t news.

Yesterday, I was out window shopping at a very fine watch shop. I am extremely interested in the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Small Seconds. I’d post a photo of it but I just don’t have a good one. Superb manufacture 8100 caliber that’s significantly smaller than the tiny (by today’s standards) 35mm case. Manual wind on a black croc strap with buckle. The shop has had it in stock for several months so I visit it periodically. I went into the shop and asked to see it again. The winding is superb, the dial and hands are just perfectly elegant. A wonderful presentation all together. When I target a watch, I collect as much pricing information as possible. I scour the used and gray markets to get an idea of what to expect. The retail price on this little number is $11,300. Frankly, that’s just insane for a watch with no complications. That kind of jack for a manual wind without so much as a date complication is just ponderous. Even at a fair retail discount, the price is still about twice what a recent used 8100 caliber watch went for at auction.

I think this one’s going to stay in the dealer’s stock for quite a while. Not many collectors are interested in watches less than 40mm anymore. In fact, Vacheron Constantin uses this same caliber in a 40mm Patrimony case. The spacer ring dwarfs the movement. Collectors are also not interested in spending that kind of cash for a very simple watch. I’m not either.

Update: February 28, 2009: I saw this watch again at the same AD today. Free market forces are still strong in that shop!

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One thought on “Now that’s too much

  1. Your post is exactly why people start to look elsewhere to purchase their watches. In some cases, the price tags have just become astronomical but for no apparent reason. A watch can make a great statement and really spruce up a wardrobe, but it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

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