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The “335″ is another iconic Tavannes model, introduced in the late 1920s, and named for the movement Caliber inside the watch. The elongated movement allowed for a more streamlined case, and room for a longer mainspring which gave the watch a three-day running time, an amazing feat for its day about Cartier and the Art Deco style that Aaron Rubin a fellow Art Deco Society member did a wonderful job at. When it comes to a lecture even the most interesting subject can be boring if not presented well. But, Aaron had no problem presenting the lecture in a interesting and extremely enjoyable way.
I probably bought my first watch to restore in about 1970. It helped that my dad was a jeweler, and that when I was a little kid I used to run errands for him downtown. When I got older, I still knew all his jeweler buddies, and as I got interested in watches they’d offer me wristwatches that came from estates. So in the early days I was buying Patek Philippe Tank watches for $300 to $500 and maybe selling them for $700 to $800. The same watches today are worth about 10 times that.
The Chinese are hot on their heels. Right now the Chinese are making mostly copy watches, but they’re making some very good ones, not the 3-for-$10 variety. Factories in China are producing $25 to $35 mechanical watches that can do everything the real Swiss ones do, the ones that sell for $10,000 and up. But the Chinese watches don’t last as long and aren’t as well made. Even so, the big Swiss companies are having a lot of their parts made in China, shipping them back to Switzerland for manufacturing and assembly. They can still say “Made in Switzerland,” but a lot of the parts are being made in China.
The majority of other watch brands lose a lot of value right after purchase. This means that people who buy new watches and decide to resell them even right after purchase are faced with the situation that they cannot sell them at prices at all close to retail much of the time. This fact alone is likely a major cause of watch industry problems during poor economic periods. Imagine you are someone that purchased a large quantity of watches when money was good. If your financial outlook sours, you are likely going to try and sell off assets such as watches.