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Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.
Roger- how much did you end up getting rid of it for?
Roger - Whoah, Whoah Whoah - you SOLD IT?!
j/k - I'm glad you were able to enjoy it. Seriously I've never heard of anyone having anything but glowing praise for that particular watch, but at the same time it's hard to doubt the FOO.
PS - I got my 7 day BNIB from and AD for nearly 30% off. But that was when the US was in an economic slump, and dealers couldn't give them away.. Just lucky I guess..
I got my 5001 for nearly 30% off retail as well. However, the used prices have climbed with the retail prices. So, the margin is small and I could sell mine used for more than the price I paid new. The same cannot be said of the 3531. Prices speak truth more than internet chatter.
So this "truth" would hold that the Portuguese chrono, Aquatimer and any other IWC (or watch from any other brand) which sells for 40% of its retail price on the used market is uniquely unloved? Sorry, I find it remarkably easy to doubt the Foo. He seems to be confusing particular watches which hold their value exceptionally well with a brand-wide or industry-wide norm. As good an example of internet chatter as I can think of.
Check out this 'real' Portuguese hand wind with in-house movement being offered at 35% off retail - guess that one is only sort of unloved?
Anyone who goes to www.watchrecon.com and does a 30 day search on IWCs offered on the secondary market will very quickly conclude that used IWC watches selling for more than their original retail prices very much represent the exception to the rule.
I bought it used for around $3k, sold it for the same or maybe a little bit more.
I suspect that the price discount on the 3531 (assuming there is one) reflects the more recent market appetite for larger watches, rather than a collective disdain for this model in particular. It seems like fewer people are looking for 35 - 36mm watches. Having said that, I have the impression that some IWC models really do suffer in the secondary market.
This watch is a subtle watch, as RogerP suggests. It doesn't hit you over the head. It has a great Jaeger movement. Chicks dig it.
Actually, you're just proving my point. The Portuguese Chrono and Aquatimer are not as well valued by collectors and enthusiasts. The prices tell the ultimate story. Why you think the prices would lie, I have no idea. But, in any event, the horological background is just as telling.
The Port. Chrono was conceived as a low-cost option following the popularity of the in-house movement Jubilee in 1993. It has never been well-respected as a pure Portuguese given it's lowly Valjoux movement, which adding insult to injury, is far too small for the classic 42mm Portuguese dial and case profile. It is clear from the side view that the 42mm face is merely a facade. The diameter of the rest of the case is much smaller. Hence, you get a sort of mushroom-like profile from the side. From a design and aesthetics perspective, that is a huge flaw and blatant announcement of cost-sensitive compromise.
The Aquatimer has gone through three major overhauls since the early nineties. Each version has looked completely different from the one previous. Why? Because sales were never great. If they were, you would see much more continuity in design. You can still find NOS Aquatimers from previous designs at a steep discount.
I have no idea why you think prices are not a good indication of desirability. They are the best indication.
Perhaps there is some impact on value due to the large watch trend. However, the main factors that drive watch collectibility are just as explanatory. One factor is "purity," which can admittedly be construed in many ways. The design of the 3531 in inherently impure--a downsized replica of a true icon, whose chief quality was its size. On top of that, the movement is not in-house. JLC ebauches are nice, but it matters to IWC collectors and watch collectors in general whether an IWC watch has an IWC movement in it. So, the existence of true-sized Portuguese watches with in-house movements is probably most to blame for the lower demand for the 3531.
Anyway, the watch never sold that well. For a long time you could get NOS ones. Five years is a short run for watch with a distinct case and dial. At the end, we know that the 3531 does not retain value as well as more pure-bred Portuguese models. In fact, its value retention is much worse. That alone should be enough to show that its desirability is relatively low. I'm not sure why I'm taking heat for explaining why water flowing downhill is flowing downhill when others are arguing it's flowing upward.
This does make sense. The 5001 has managed to remain "pure" and free from too much change, which I guess means demand for its current aesthetic is still high. I understand what you mean about IWC's AT, and though I love them, I often hear others lament about how their styling is just missing the boat - explaining why their value in the secondary market isn't as strong. It's why the Rolex Sub is so strong - little change, and increasing prices for essentially the same watch for many years..
Obviously that is not what I wrote. I wrote that fewer people want smaller watches in recent years and that negatively affects the value of this watch. I don't think that the price discount is because of some sort of collective disdain for this watch. I also haven't done the exhaustive market survey on historical price movements of different IWC models that you appear to have done, so I will defer to your work on this.
What I do understand, with 100% clarity, is that you dislike it. So fine.
One thing is certain, it is uniqely unloved by Foo. But that's no great loss as compared to the bonus of chicks digging it.
Oh, and your point about a discontinued small dress watch being less in demand than larger current production pieces in a market that is presently dominated by large watches is enturely valid.
More price data that suggests it's not the 3531's size that hurts its value: the Mark XV, a 38mm watch, sold for $3,500 at retail and is currently selling for $3,000+ used. Yet, there are newer Mark series watches (the XVI and XVII) that are larger.
Again, the difference is the design. The Mark XV was the last simple pilot's watch from IWC that maintained the design of the original Mark XI to any recognizable degree. If you understand the history of a watch, you can predict its relative value and desirability fairly well.
Anyway, to the extent size tastes impact desirability, desirability is nonetheless impacted. I'm not sure why it matters what reasons a watch loses more value versus others. The point is that, ultimately, the 3531 is not as desirable as far as other IWC watches go. That is what the prices tell us.
all thing's considering, this thread has been on fire of late!
Clearly you guys do not follow auctions at all. Auction results are the best determinant of a watch's "value" as a function of "desirability". This desirability is not set in stone though - it waxes and wanes, like anyone who has followed the "value" of Jaguar E types will attest.
And "discontinued small dress watches" from a certain house are amongst the best consistently performing class of auctioned watches, so that comment doesn't quite add up. I imagine the effect is slightly different for IWC though as it is not known or valued for its small dress watches, not even the old Ingenuier line.
I acknowledge that the 38mm Portuguese is something that holds appeal for me because I ultimately prioritise wearability over heritage, but I understand at the same time how its very existence is by definition a compromise and how that would impact the sort of desire from monied purists that fuels the high auction prices. And given there are other similar watches with heritage AND wearability, I will eventually pass on the 38mm Port.
Finally I am also not sure why "chicks digging" a watch is of any value in this discussion, let alone this thread. They are an exceptionally unlettered population when it comes to watches, and its somewhat akin to saying hey guidos dig my aldos... so they must be good.
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