The Vintage Rolex Datejust: think big
My son will be 21 soon which is of course an important milestone and so we wanted to buy him something that he could keep forever. The problem is that he bought a Tudor Black Bay 58 3 years ago with money that he had saved and his grail watch is a vintage Rolex GMT Master 16700 meaning he already owns an impressive watch which he loves. Add to this the fact that the GMT would cost approximately £10,000 and the predicament becomes clear.
To be given a watch like this for a 21st birthday would be over-indulgent to say the least and we don’t have £10,000 so he will be buying it himself when he is a successful lawyer, probably for much more than £10,000 by that time.
We met up with him last week and as usual Tom and I found ourselves perusing vintage watch shops which is where we saw the Datejust on sale for a reasonable £3,495. Believe me, that is reasonable for this watch, but I wasn’t expecting him to own it an hour later.
We discussed the watch over lunch and eventually came to an agreement. Some heavy negotiation would be required to bring the price down and if we reached a particular goal we would go halves with him for his birthday. In my mind this fulfilled my belief that he should work hard and pay for what he wants, it would be an object that is extremely unlikely to drop in value and if anything it will increase, and he would have a classic watch to treasure in the future.
Think about it. If we bought him clothes, a car(!) or almost anything else the value would be lost in a very short space of time, but with a watch like this he has that money available at any point if needed. The value of this particular watch has steadily increased over time, but only steadily which is a very good sign and the fact that it suits him perfectly sealed the deal. The watch is 50 years old and the design has barely changed in all of that time with new Datejusts looking the same, and yet they never look out of date, or rather they look out of date in a way that never ‘feels’ out of date.
So, he is 21 and is wearing a watch from 1971 that suits him perfectly in 2021. Name me another product where any of that would apply.