06/30/2016
 3 minutes

Watches and Wine

By Jovan Krstevski
Watches and wine
Watches and wine

Most will agree that wine is one of the most luxurious drinks around. There are many types of wine out there such as flashy sparkling wines and sweet, delicate dessert wines. All are wine and many are good, yet they differ greatly from each other. The taste can vary vastly depending on the type of grape used, the area the wine is from, the methods used by the maker, and of course the weather. When you look at the watch industry, you can see similar traits. Wristwatches are so varied that the market really does cater for everyone’s taste in some way. The type of watch, location of the company, and the historic models in the range likewise make a huge difference.

Countries and Regions

Let’s start with location: Wine grapes are grown across the globe, from well-known France, Italy and Spain, to lesser-known South Africa, New Zealand, and Brazil. Many of these countries are known for their own variety of grape used in winemaking. For example, Italy makes some wonderful wines, however, it’s perhaps best known for its Prosecco wine. This is made from Glera grapes and most of the world’s supply comes from the area around Treviso. Prosecco is often quite sweet and crisp, but it can also be dry, and the sparkle makes it a pleasure to drink. Zinfandel grapes can make a robust red wine or a semi-sweet rosé, depending on the demand. Over 10% of California’s vineyards grow this type of grape. Growing region can make a huge difference in a wine’s taste depending on climate and the type of grape found there, but what’s the case for watches?

Like wine, watches tend to be made all over the world and similarly, most of the production is centered in Europe, particularly in Switzerland and Germany but also the UK, France and Italy. A typical German watch is made in Glashütte by one of the big companies there that rely on German traditions for design inspiration.

As such, watches from the likes of A.Lange & Söhne and Glashütte Original are often very clean and modern. Following Bauhaus tradition, it makes sense that German watches are often stripped down to the bare essentials in terms of extra features. This clean look has provided them with a huge following for many years. Now, take a look at watches with French heritage, particularly from manufacturers like Breguet and Cartier. They’re just as elegant, but their design features add a bit more to the watch. Leafed patterns and guilloché are both commonly seen, which reflects France’s involvement in the creation of Art Nouveau.

Building a Collection

Let us now look at something else. Building a watch collection is a lot like filling a wine cellar. Certain people buy a bottle of wine simply as an investment which is a good idea if you can afford it. Sometimes rare bottles of wine are found in surprising places such as buried in lock boxes, caves, or even at the bottom of the ocean. In many of these cases the wine is oftentimes found to be in excellent condition. The cool temperatures in such places can preserve it for up to a hundred years in some cases.

Vintage Patek Philippe Chronograph
Vintage Patek Philippe Chronograph, Image: Auctionata

These sort of discoveries have also been made with watches. Some rare timepieces are buried in storage for who knows how long and can later sell for a fortune. That being said, you could always buy a new watch, such as a Rolex, and keep it in great condition. If you sell it a few years down the road, you may even make some money on it. Like wine, watch prices vary greatly depending on the amount of time and effort that went into making them. Yes, you can get some really great watches for not too much cash, but often you’ll need to pay a lot more. A Patek Philippe or a special bottle of Romanée-Conti will both set you back over twenty thousand dollars, and both come with the option of saving them to sell later for a higher price, or just enjoying them for yourself now.

There are a lot of similarities between watches and wine, and they’re often both present on a wealthy individual’s list of prized possessions. However, one major difference is that using the pieces in your watch collection won’t completely diminish their value, but with wine, you could end up with an empty bottle…


About the Author

Jovan Krstevski

Jovan discovered his love of watches as a teenager. Today, he's a collector, the founder of the online magazine "WristReview," and a contributor to several other …

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