Should I Invest in a Limited Edition Watch?

Should I Invest in a Limited Edition Watch?

Many watch enthusiasts dream of owning a limited edition watch but if you don’t own one yet, should you look at purchasing one? Or is this more a gimmick than anything else?

Let’s start with the definition of a limited edition watch.

What Does Limited Edition Watch Really Mean?

Manufacturers release limited edition watches to commemorate an event or to create a more memorable model.

Limited edition doesn’t mean there is a similar standard version available either. In many instances, a limited edition may be completely new and unique.

You may have also heard about special edition watches. While limited edition means only a certain number of those watches are made, special edition generally means the watch is only produced for a limited amount of time. It can also indicate the watch is an unusual model.

Many watch enthusiasts feel that limited and special edition labels are simply a marketing ploy. However, there are instances when they can be a worthwhile purchase.

Is a Limited Edition Watch Worth It?

Whether or not a limited edition watch is a good purchase is dependent on three factors.

  1. The Brand

How often a brand launches limited edition watches determines how unique and worthwhile the purchase would be. For example, Omega is one brand that is renowned for its limited edition watches. Unfortunately, this has watered down the exclusivity of these releases. Then there are brands such as Patek Philippe, which hardly ever releases limited edition timepieces. Finding one of these watches would be an investment and a worthwhile purchase.

Rolex is the only brand that has never officially released a limited edition watch.

Limited edition watches that are launched by lesser-known brands generally fall under the marketing-ploy umbrella and won’t hold much value in the future.

  1. The Model

The watch model also makes a difference to whether or not you should purchase a limited edition timepiece. History dictates that specific models become sought-after by collectors, while others don’t gain any traction at all.

Look into the history of the brand you are considering to see how the different models have faired over the years. If you happen to pick up on a trend, one of their limited editions might be a worthwhile purchase.

  1. What It Means to You

Since many limited edition watches are linked to special events and anniversaries, you may want to purchase one because of what the event, movie or release year means to you. Some examples of watches like this include the Ford Mustang 50th anniversary watch that was produced by Shinola and the Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th anniversary limited edition.

In Closing

Whether or not you purchase a limited edition watch is a personal choice, but it is highly recommended that you take the above-mentioned factors into consideration before you decide. Don’t purchase the watch because it seems to be a trend, purchase it because it means something to you or because you know it would be a worthwhile investment.

What Every Enthusiast Should Know about Watch Auctions

What Enthusiasts Should Know about Watch Auctions

Watch auctions have reached a new level of popularity and many new enthusiasts are joining fellow bidders. If you are thinking about doing the same in 2021, there are a few things you should know.

Even though the smartwatch industry is thriving, a new mentality surrounding the high-end luxury and vintage watch market is emerging.

Not only is this increasing the frequency of watch auctions, but more businesses are focusing on bringing watches to auctions. This means that enthusiasts looking to purchase their next timepiece at an auction can look forward to having a larger variety of unique watches to choose from.

Traditional vs. Online Watch Auctions

Online auctions are very similar to traditional auctions, however, you won’t be able to physically view and touch a timepiece before purchasing it.

Besides the existing pandemic, it seems that online auctions are becoming the preferred option for a number of reasons.

Online auctions take place more frequently, giving bidders more opportunities to find a timepiece they love. The fact that you can also attend an auction taking place almost anywhere in the world means bidders are more likely to stumble upon rare and unique watches.

Naturally, if you do choose to attend an online auction, make sure it’s connected to a trusted auction house.

The Best Time to Attend a Watch Auction

There are different opinions about the best time to attend a watch auction.

If it’s vintage watches you are after, experts recommend attending the major auctions that occur in autumn and spring. These auction seasons are standard across the globe and since most of the auction houses are now hosting virtual events, it’s possible for bidders to attend auctions in different cities.

In terms of the weekly auctions that take place, it’s difficult to predict which events you should attend. Researching auction houses that are renowned for their watch auctions is your best bet at finding unique timepieces to invest in.

Sotheby’s and Christies are two of the most popular sites to keep an eye on if you are looking to attend more watch auctions this year.

The Art of Investing in a Watch

Before attending any kind of watch auction, it’s important to set a budget. It’s also essential that you outline what you are looking for, at least some basic requirements anyway, particularly if you want to sell the watch in the future.

Don’t purchase a watch for the sake of doing so, rather wait for a timepiece that speaks to you.

In terms of what to look for when looking at watches to bid on, don’t focus too much on the brand name. The size, shape and style of a watch should also play a significant role in your decision.

Once you have a watch in mind, pay attention to the condition report as well as any images that are available. Why is it being auctioned? What does the watch currently look like in comparison to a new version?

If you are purchasing the watch for your own personal use, the finer details aren’t too significant. However, if you plan to resell it later on, the small details make all the difference.

In doubt about any of the details? Don’t hesitate to ask the auction house staff who have been briefed on each of the items.

It should also be noted that all auction houses charge the successful bidder a percentage of the final winning bid. This can be as low as 15% but may be as high as 35%? Plus, there are also VAT and mailing/courier costs.

Once you attend your first auction, whether it’s in person or online, you will soon get a feel for the process and what you can expect going forward.

For any watch servicing and repairs post-auction, don’t hesitate to contact Martins of Glasgow.

Turning Old Jewellery Into Something New

Turning Old Jewellery Into Something New – Is It Possible?

Not every piece of jewellery is timeless and not every piece you inherit will suit your unique style. Does this mean you should try and sell some of your jewellery or is there another option?

Jewellery remodeling has become increasingly popular.

In the hands of the right jeweller, you can turn an older piece into something unique that you will want to wear all the time.

Let’s get into the specifics.

Why Remodel Older Jewellery?

There are a number of great reasons to remodel a pre-loved piece of jewellery.

For one, remodelling is the ideal way to update your collection without having to pay for brand new jewellery.

If you happened to inherit the piece, remodelling ensures you can hang onto the memories and still enjoy wearing jewellery suited to your taste. The same applies to jewellery you received as a gift. If you don’t love the style or the memories are ones you would care to forget, remodelling is the perfect solution.

Lastly, updating jewellery instead of buying something new is sustainable and eco-friendly. If this is important to you, remodelling is right for you.

Inspiration for Updating Your Jewellery

If you are ready to remodel your jewellery, here are some ideas to inspire you:

  • Merge several older pieces of jewellery to create one unique piece.
  • Increase the sparkle of an engagement or wedding ring by adding clear diamonds or colourful gems.
  • Reset stones by turning a necklace into earrings or vice versa.
  • Upgrade rings by opting for a different coloured metal for the band.

You might also want to decide whether repairing a piece of jewellery could turn it around instead of remodelling it completely. It all depends on the design you have in mind.

What About Remounting?

Remounting is also an option but not for all jewellery. Before you consider resetting your rings, evaluate the damage of any stones. Due to the various hardness ratings, some stones require extra care and attention to repair any scratches or dents.

Whether or not a stone will be difficult to remove should also be considered. If removal is complicated, it increases the cost and risk of damage. You should decide whether it’s worth it.

If you are unsure about what to do with a pre-loved piece, rather get a professional jeweller to evaluate it.

Overall, though, there is no need to throw away old pieces because the style is outdated or it’s slightly damaged. There is almost always a way to turn an old piece into something brand new that you can enjoy for years to come.

Watch Hacking – A Beginners Guide

Watch Hacking – A Beginners Guide

Movements and mechanical timepiece mechanisms are common topics of conversation amongst watch enthusiasts. If mechanical watches are your preference, you have more than likely heard about winding, but what about hacking?

Here is what you should know.

Watch Hacking Explained

When you have a mechanical watch, one of the standard features is time adjustment. However, it is not always easy to get the seconds right. This changes when you have a watch that can stop the second hand.

In a nutshell, watch hacking is when you have the ability to set a watch’s second hand as well as the hour and minute hands.

This functionality first surfaced in the 20th century in order to improve mechanical watch synchronization.

Watch hacking will not impact the timekeeping element of a timepiece. All that happens is the hands are temporarily detached to allow for accurate time setting.

You should also know that a non-hacking watch isn’t less accurate.

How to Hack a Movement

To hack a movement, you would start by pulling out the crown to the time-setting position. Pulling the crown causes the movement level to touch the balance wheel, bringing the movement to a stop.

You can now use another watch as a reference to accurately set the time of your mechanical timepiece.

Once you are done, push the crown back to resume movement.

Is It Possible to Hack a Non-Hack Watch?

Not all mechanical watches have hacking capabilities, which is perfectly fine. If precise time is critical for you, you may want to consider a quartz movement timepiece instead.

The good news is there are a few mechanical non-hack watches that can be hacked using a trick called back-hacking.

Here are the steps you would take:

  • Pull the crown out to the last click, which is when you can adjust the time. If your timepiece has day or date wheels, make sure the crown position isn’t set to adjust those. ‘
  • Next, you are going to turn the crown counterclockwise very slowly. Basically, you want to make several micro-adjustments. This is how you will back-hack the watch. If you do this too quickly, it won’t work, so take your time.
  • You will know this technique worked when the second hand freezes. If it hasn’t, repeat the above step again until you see the second hand stop.
  • You now have the ability to set your time down to the second.

If you don’t feel comfortable back-hacking a watch yourself, rather contact a watch specialist. If your watch is due for a service, ask for the time to be adjusted at the same time.

 

How to Care for an Automatic Watch

10 Tips to Help You Better Care for Your Automatic Watch

Like any other device, you need to care for your automatic timepiece if you want it to look good and work correctly for years to come.

We have put together a few tips to help you take better care of your watch.

10 Ways to Better Care for Your Automatic Watch

  1. Service Your Automatic Watch Regularly

To keep your watch running smoothly, it needs to be serviced and cleaned regularly. This includes oiling and potentially replacing various parts. Servicing your watch every 3 to 5 years is recommended. However, this differs between brands so rather service your watch according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

  1. Avoid Dropping or Bumping the Timepiece

An automatic watch is made up of hundreds of parts, so any external shock can result in internal damage. Not dropping or bumping a watch can help you avoid unnecessary repairs. If the movement is damaged, this can result in a very costly repair, so it is best to be as careful as possible. Over and above this, you also want to avoid bumps to protect the appearance of the watch.

  1. Keep the Watch Away from Moisture

Mechanical devices and water should never mix. This doesn’t mean your watch can’t come into contact with water, it simply means you shouldn’t immerse it in water. Exposing the watch to rain for a prolonged period is also not recommended. Basically, limiting how often your watch is exposed to water will prevent rust. Even the steel bracelet can start rusting if it is not dried correctly. Have a cloth or leather strap? Moisture will reduce the strength of the material over time.

  1. Stay Away from Strong Magnets

Electronics and magnets are also not something that should come into constant contact with an automatic watch. If a watch is magnetised, it loses accuracy. It is not always possible to keep your watch away from electronics completely but limiting exposure can make a difference.

  1. Don’t Wind on the Wrist

If you don’t want to break the crown stem, don’t make a habit of winding your watch while it is on your wrist. Winding it this way places too much strain on the stem, which is why it is easier to break.

  1. Use Your Watch

Not using an automatic watch for long periods of time can cause the lubricants to coagulate. This causes inaccuracy or it will bring the watch to a standstill completely. There’s no need to wear one watch too often but find a way to rotate your collection evenly.

  1. Take Care When Changing the Strap

It is always nice to add a new strap to your favourite watch, but it is important to be careful when doing so. If you haven’t changed a strap before, it is really easy to scratch the watch. Rather get a professional to show you how to do it the first time, ensuring you do it correctly in the future. Keep in mind that you also need the right tools for separating the spring bar from the lugs. Using the incorrect tools makes scratches far more likely.

  1. Keep Manual Winding to a Minimum

Even though manual winding will power up your watch quickly, it is best not to do it too regularly. Remember, your automatic watch has self-winding capabilities, so it is not designed for manual winding. If you go the manual route, stick to 5 to 10 revolutions.

  1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures

Automatic watches aren’t designed for extreme heat or cold. By exposing the watch to extreme temperatures, the internal parts expand and contract, causing functionality issues. The temperatures will also cause oil and condensation-related issues.

  1. Don’t Use the Crowns or Pushers in Water

Using the crowns or pushers inside the watch will expose the internal parts to water, so avoid this at all costs. Even if your watch is water resistant, parts such as the crown protrude out, meaning water can pass through when pulled out.

When you correctly care for an automatic watch, it will last for years to come. When you aren’t wearing it, keep it in a watch box for extra protection.

Official vs Independent Watch Repair Centres

Official vs. Independent Watch Repair Centre: Is One Better Than the Other?

If you want to extend the life of your favourite timepiece, it is going to require regular maintenance. During routine maintenance, a watchmaker can test the movement’s performance and watch’s water resistance and replace or repair any components.

Where should you take your watch for servicing and repairs though? Is an official watch repair centre better than an independent facility?

The answer is, not necessarily.

Both facilities are able to service your watch, ensuring it ticks over for many more years to come. However, whether or not you take your timepiece to an official facility has no bearing on how well your watch is serviced or repaired.

Here is why independent centres are often favoured over official facilities.

The Personalised Service

Unlike official repair centres in major cities that receive countless watches every day, independent centres work on a much smaller scale. Independent centres are renowned for building long-term relationships and offering a more personalised experience. An independent horologist takes the time to better understand your maintenance and repair preferences, resulting in a more positive experience.

The Cost Effectiveness

While this does depend on the type of repairs you require, overall, independent centres are far more affordable. Too many watch owners hold off on sending their watches in for routine maintenance because official centres charge such high rates. Unfortunately, this lack of service will ultimately lead to additional problems, which attract higher fees. Independent centres are able to offer lower prices because their overheads are generally much lower. Over and above this, independent repair centres have fewer specialists working on your timepiece, which means less labour costs.

The Wider Variety of Repairs

In most instances, official repair centres won’t take on a timepiece that has been modified – this is not the case with independent watchmakers. If you have added a specialised coating or gems to your timepiece, an independent watch repair centre is the ideal choice. An independent horologist is also more likely to specialise in a larger variety of brands. This means if you own multiple watch brands, you can send them to the same place. Just make sure the centre you have in mind specialises in your specific watch brands before you take them in.

The Faster Turnaround Times

The sooner you can get your watch back, the better. Unfortunately, since official repair centres are inundated with work, the turnaround times are often far longer. The fact that different repairmen are responsible for different parts of the maintenance process also extends the turnaround time. Independent maintenance and repair centres are typically able to service a watch in a shorter amount of time. Again, this is dependent on the work that needs to be done though.

Now that you have a better understanding of why independent watch repair centres are the preferred choice for many watch owners, you can decide which option is right for you. The most important thing is that you don’t skip out on routine maintenance and essential repairs.

Contact Martin’s of Glasgow to discuss your watch maintenance and repair needs.

 

Discover Your Partner’s Ring Size Without Them Finding Out

Discover Your Partner’s Ring Size Without Them Finding Out

If you have finally decided to pop the question, you are going to need a ring. But how do you find out what your partner’s ring size is?

This is a common question amongst people who have decided they want to spend their lives with their partners.

Here are a few tips that will guide you through this exciting process.

  • It’s a Subtle Art

If you want the proposal to be a surprise, you will need to find a subtle way to find your partner’s ring size. One way to do this is to pretend you want to buy a ring for your mother, aunt, or sister. Just make sure whoever you choose has hands of a similar size. Ask them to help you with the purchase process by trying on rings. This is a roundabout way to get an idea of average ring size.

  • Use an Existing Ring

If your partner already wears rings, find one that they wear on their ring finger or a similar size finger. By bringing the ring in to a jeweller, it is possible to come up with a size approximation. You might just want to make sure they won’t notice the missing ring too easily.

  • Ask Someone They are Close To

If one of the above methods don’t work, you can always ask a close friend. Many times, friends or family members already know this information. If someone doesn’t know, at least they can casually work the ring size question into conversation without it seeming suspicious. Another way to get an estimate is to have your partner try on a friend’s ring.

  • Sketch It

If you feel that your partner would notice one of their rings is missing, you can always trace the inside and outside of the ring. Create several traces to ensure your jeweller has the best chance of figuring out the diameter of the ring.

  • Just Ask

If these tactics prove to be more difficult than you thought, you can always ask your partner outright. This is not unusual for couples who have been discussing marriage for quite some time. Plus, even if your partner knows you are ring shopping, it doesn’t mean they know when to expect the proposal.

What to Keep in Mind When Shopping for an Engagement Ring

Whether you are shopping for an engagement ring or having one made, keep in mind that the final size of the ring might be slightly off. Unless you ask your partner about the size directly, of course.

The average ring size for women is anything between 5 and 7, and 10 for men.

It’s always recommended that you have the most accurate size estimate possible if you are designing a custom piece though. If anything, rather opt for a slightly larger size if you are unsure. It is easier to make a ring smaller rather than bigger.

You should also keep in mind that a dominant hand tends to be slightly larger, so make sure you are measuring the left hand.

The Temporary Setting Alternative

If you simply don’t want to take a chance, there is always the option of proposing with a temporary setting. After the big moment, you can bring your partner in for a custom fitting, ensuring the engagement ring fits as it should.

You could also use this as an opportunity to make sure your partner is happy with the design you have in mind.

Not all jewellers offer the option of a temporary setting, so you may need to ask around. Custom jewellery designers are more likely to offer this option.

Can My Watch Still Be Repaired

Can My Watch Still Be Repaired?

It’s always disappointing when your favourite timepiece stops working. Not as disappointing as finding out it can’t be repaired at all though.

If your watch stops working, the best thing you can do is get it to a horologist as soon as possible. Wearing the watch once it stops working can cause further damage, so avoid doing this.

Whether or not it can actually be repaired still needs to be determined.

Watch Repairs – Beyond Repair or Not?

Who repairs your watch is the first factor that determines whether or not you can save your timepiece.

The good news is that even watches that date back to the 19th century are still working because they’re serviced on a regular basis. However, this entails taking the watch apart, cleaning and reassembling several hundred parts, which is why it requires the assistance of a professional.

There are a lot of online guides that explain how you can service your watch at home, but this is not recommended, particularly if your watches are investments. What’s more, watches need to be serviced and repaired in a clean environment to prevent dust from further damaging the parts.

Even though servicing a watch can keep it in good working order, some repairs are far more complex. And in some rare cases, watches can’t be repaired at all.

There are two instances when a watch could be beyond repair:

Water Damage – Once water enters a watch, it gradually rusts the parts that keep the timepiece working. In many instances, water can make a watch irreparable. Regularly servicing your watch ensures the seals keep water and dust out. Most seals tend to fail because of a lack of maintenance or due to at-home repairs.

Part Sourcing – When the internal mechanism or spring inside a watch is damaged, it needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult to source parts for older watches, which means there’s no other option than to replace the watch completely.

The Cost of Maintaining a Timepiece

Many people tend to put off repairs because of the perceived cost. However, what many don’t realise is that the cost of servicing a watch is often far less than having to send it in for repairs.

Naturally, certain watch brands and models are more costly to repair than others. However, there’s never a reason for a timepiece to get to the point where it can’t be repaired.

Regularly servicing a watch instead of waiting for it to stop working is still the most cost-effective solution available to you.

Possible Reasons Why Your Watch Has Stopped Working

Possible Reasons Why Your Watch Has Stopped Working

It’s not uncommon for a watch to suddenly stop working and there are several reasons why this might happen.

Sometimes, it’s something as simple as a flat battery that needs replacing. Other times, a watch stops working because there’s a problem with the internal mechanism.

Let’s look at some of the main reasons why people end up bringing their timepieces in for repairs.

Why Your Watch Might Have Stopped Functioning

  • Dirt and Dust Have Built-Up

When a watch isn’t serviced for an extended period of time, dirt and dust can end up affecting the internal components. To correct this issue, the individual parts need to be separated, cleaned and oiled by a professional. From there, your watch should start working as normal again.

  • There’s a Problem with the Automatic Winding Mechanism

There are a few reasons why a winding mechanism stops working correctly, forceful impact is one of the most common. Older watches can be challenging to repair because the winding mechanism can be difficult to source – it can also end up being a costly exercise depending on your watch brand.

  • A Loose Screw is Affecting the Internal Mechanism

It’s possible for a screw to come loose after years of regular hand movements, which ends up interfering with the internal mechanism. Engaging in activities such as golf or mountain biking can also gradually loosen screws within the watch. To correct this, the screw is first removed from the mechanism before it’s replaced and tightened.

  • Water Entered the Watch

It only takes a single drop of water to affect watch functionality. When exposed to liquid, the working parts begin to rust, which gradually prevents the timepiece from working. If the water damage is severe enough, it’s not always possible to repair the watch. Water usually enters a watch when the seals are defective, which is why they need to be checked regularly.

  • The Mainspring is Damaged

Clamping pressure and age can cause the mainspring to tear. Automatic watches are designed to stop unnecessary movements of the rotor, which prevents the spring from over-tightening. In older watches, it’s much easier to break the spring. If the mainspring is damaged, it needs to be replaced completely to get the watch to start working again.

Avoiding Common Watch Concerns

To avoid unnecessary repairs, it’s important to have your timepiece checked by a professional every year. These checks will ensure the watch is working as it should and that the seals are keeping the internal mechanism protected. In fact, the mechanism should be proofed every 5 years to avoid these common problems.

If damage occurs or your timepiece stops working, it’s recommended that you stop wearing it to avoid additional damage. Rather bring it straight to a watch professional for analysis and repair.

Make sure that wherever you take your watch to be repaired that they have experience with your specific watch brand.

If you’re wondering whether finding a professional to assist you with your repairs is really necessary, we suggest reading this blog.

Are Patek Philippe Timepieces a Sound Investment

Are Patek Philippe Timepieces a Sound Investment?

No matter what you’re investing in, there will be some degree of risk. Whether you’re investing in bonds or tangible objects such as a watch, it’s the risk that makes investing so lucrative.

Watches are a form of art on your wrist, but by purchasing the right brand and model, your timepiece can also be an investment.

What timepiece to invest in is a common debate amongst watch lovers, but Patek Philippe is one brand that always seems to crop up in these conversations.

A Look at the Patek Philippe Design

Patek Philippe is renowned for its engineering as well as it’s beautiful dial design and finishing details. Any diamonds that are placed are done so by hand, as is any enamel painting. Each watch’s in-house movements are created in Geneva, with each timepiece undergoing stringent quality checks.

It’s no wonder their watches take around 12 months to complete – some of their more complicated pieces take even longer.

The brand is also behind innovations such as the perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph and the minute repeater.

Overall, Patek Philippe is one watch brand that takes pride in bringing each customer a unique and memorable timepiece.

Investing in a Patek Philippe Timepiece

Rolex has become such a famous brand that it’s become a go-to option for first-time investors. In fact, you don’t even need to be interested in watches to know the name. Unfortunately, this means that Patek Philippe is often overlooked by new buyers.

This family-owned watch brand was founded in 1839 and to date, they have only produced around a million timepieces. With each watch taking at least a year to complete, it’s not difficult to understand why these timepieces start at around $20,000. Many of their other pieces cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Grandmaster Chime ref. 6300A-010 is one of the most noticeable Patek watches. It sold for $31m at an auction in 2019, making it the most expensive watch to ever be sold on auction.

Historically, while Patek Philippe is not a brand that always springs to mind first, particularly amongst first-time investors, it has one of the best year-on-year performance records. This alone makes it a sound investment, not to mention the high-end engineering, exclusivity, and noteworthy heritage.

While many celebrities wear this watch as a day-to-day piece, most watch buyers purchase Patek Philippe timepieces as an investment. Their vintage pieces are particularly intricate, making them an ideal investment or family heirloom.

You will also be interested to know that every Patek Philippe watch is registered in their archives, making it that much easier to trace the history of the timepiece. The searchable extract is where you will find the date and time of production, as well as where the watch was originally sold.

In terms of where to purchase a Patek Philippe watch, it’s essential that you take the time to find a reputable dealer. If you are planning to buy from a private buyer, make sure that you know what to look out for to ensure it’s a genuine Patek Philippe timepiece.