So, it turns out I might well be cool! I know, who knew?
I learned that startling fact this week during the course of two searches I did on google which might be of interest to the watch enthusiast. (I did lots of searches you might be interested in but it’s not pertinent to this article!) The first was in response to the sale earlier this month at an online auction of a Rolex Daytona Paul Newman. It sold for £500,000, a record for a purely online auction. I was just interested to look at the the provenance of the watch and how it had come to be in the possession of the lucky seller. That’s what constitutes an average day for me. Ogling watches, researching watches and then wishing I had more time and money to indulge my passion. During the search I stumbled across lots of references to Paul Newman and how he had helped to make watches cool in the 60’s and 70’s and some of the famous watches he had worn (including the legendary £17.7m personal Daytona, still a world record for a watch sold at auction). Which then led me to my second search on the subject of what actually constitutes cool. I’ll admit that might not be the first word that springs to mind when I walk into the room, but I firmly believe the vintage watch market is about to undergo a seismic surge in popularity due, in no small part, to the idea of cool. So what exactly is it?
It’s difficult! It would appear from my research and limited personal experience that the essence of cool is in the idea of individuality and a certain disdain for the opinion of others. I think the upshot is you know it when you see it. For me Paul Newman and his occasional co=star Steve McQueen are the epitome of cool from a era that largely defined the concept. Both were avid watch collectors and wearers and both helped make legends of certain brands. Most famously Rolex & Tag Heuer to name just two. But what my research also revealed was that I might just be in possession of some of the coolest 1960’s watches around. Paul Newman in particular would have thought so, for he was rarely without his Waltham Blancpain and I happen to be in possession of several of those watches.
And let me tell you right now, if this is what cool looks like, then I’m on board. These stunning watches can only be described as museum quality and their unique heritage derived from a USA parentage but manufactured from high quality Blancpain components means these beautiful timepieces run as well today as they ever did. I think you can tell a lot about the taste of a watch connoisseur by the watch they choose by default, and I think it’s particularly telling that in his quieter, more personal moments, Paul Newman often turned to his Waltham Blancpain as his regular choice.
They are beautiful, storied and unique in a way that I think ticks all the boxes for something very individual. As more of the younger generation embrace the coolness of vintage watches I think these very special timepieces will be in high demand. So, if you want to get ahead of the crowd (and lets be honest, whats cooler than being a pioneer) then I think you should pay attention to these undoubted stars of the 60’s!