First person

Watch out! As the vintage watch market crashes, perfect timing for a new price data base

Giovanni Prigigallo is a 28-year-old biotech entrepreneur turned watch trader and the brains behind a revolutionary new online portal that is transforming how the world buys luxury handpieces. Nick Foulkes finds out what makes him tick

Saturday 30 December 2023 06:00 GMT
<p>A giant luxury watch by German manufacturer A Lange & Söhne at the Watches and Wonders Geneva fair</p>

A giant luxury watch by German manufacturer A Lange & Söhne at the Watches and Wonders Geneva fair

There was the great stock market crash of 1929 that bequeathed the great depression and 19 October 1987, which became known as Black Monday not because it was a shopping bonanza but because it was a major share sell-off, marking the end of the yuppie years of plenty. And much as we may want to, it is impossible to forget the great financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent years of “we are all in this together” austerity.

Well, if you’re a watch collector, 2023 has felt a bit like that.

One of the more unusual and unexpected side effects of Covid was a boom in watch buying as a generation of internet-educated horological autodidacts – with nothing better to do than deep dive on websites and scroll through endless watch feeds on social media – intensified their watch-collecting. As well as watch lovers the boom drew in watch speculators and, by the early summer of 2022, certain desirable timepieces, most notably, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, or the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak were trading at up to six times the official retail price.

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