Freeman's

Department Specialist


Michael Larsen, GG
Senior Specialist

818.205.3608

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Published: 14 February 2017

A Smart and Timeless Investment

An Impending Digital Deluge

It’s estimated that by 2020, there will be roughly 6.1 billion smartphone users worldwide, accounting for about 70% of the global population. It is a staggering statistic, based on a 2015 report from communications technology company Ericsson, and a testament to the increasing ubiquity of, and dependence on, our digital devices. Besides having constant access to our email, calendars, social media feeds, and countless apps, the smartphone has, for many people, replaced a fundamental accessory: the wristwatch.

What was once the only way to tell time, the classic wristwatch has been reinterpreted into high-tech smart watches and fitness trackers. While they can display the time, it’s not their primary function, and any horology purist will tell you the experience isn’t the same, even with the traditional analog clock display most devices offer.

Just as bibliophiles revere physical books, watch enthusiasts will never be satisfied with a digital read-out of the time on their phone.

A Smarter Style, Wound with History

In an increasingly connected, digitized world, the elegant and classic appeal of a luxury watch stands as timeless investment. Smartphones break from wear and exposure to water, need frequent charging, and are constantly being replaced by newer, shinier models. It’s unlikely that a new device will last longer than a few years before becoming obsolete.

Luxury watch buyers will never have to worry about updating their software; manual movement watches rely on the same impressive mechanisms that first made them tick hundreds of years ago.

Even with the advent of self-winding and quartz movement timepieces, the basic internal workings of each luxury watch have been crafted and refined to the point of perfection, evolving into exquisite masterpieces of transferred kinetic energy. Renowned Swiss horological houses, such as Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, employ trained and highly specialized watchmakers, whose expertise not only adds precision, but centuries of history into each timepiece.

Add a chronograph, exhibition caseback, or complications like dual time, date displays, or even a moon phase indicator, and it’s hard to argue that a smartphone is, actually, smarter than a watch.

An Enduring Luxury

With the right care and regular adjustments, a luxury watch can become an heirloom, to be passed down and worn for years, appreciating in both value and sentiment. Selling vintage timepieces at auction is an excellent way to make room in your collection for new acquisitions, and well looked after rare models, or those that are now out of production, can bring impressive sales.

A fine watch is more than an accessory; it is as important a wardrobe staple as the three-piece suit or the little black dress, and cannot truly be replaced by the latest technological fad. Some watches are rare editions of ten, set with diamonds, or favored by celebrities, and yet each does more than simply tell time.

It may not take photos or alert you when you have a new email, but a fine watch tells a story, one that began long before the owner ever wore it, and continues long after it’s handed down.

We are currently accepting watches for our April 7th auction. For more information and for a complimentary auction estimate, please contact:
Michael Larsen | 818.205.3608 | mlarsen@freemansauction.com

An Eighteen Karat Gold Bracelet Day-Date wristwatch. Sold for $6,875; An Eighteen karat Gold Automatic Bracelet watch, Patek Philippe. Sold for $53,125

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