C O L L E C T I O N S 8 | 9 W A T C H E S Collecting timepieces is a subset of jewellery for women, but for men it’s just about the only jewellery they can wear. For some, it’s a sense of history on the wrist; a feeling that is rare to elicit from a smartwatch. (Although the Hermes and Apple Watch collaboration has straddled the divide with aplomb.) A hard-to-acquire watch has a status unto itself, such as the Rolex Daytona for which there is a very long waiting list. Rare and vintage timepieces can be found through dealers and auction houses. Prices topping well into the five and six figures. The timepieces in this range come from Swiss companies of Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. The “Swiss movement” involves artistry of watch making containing hundreds, sometimes thousands, of moving parts. Add into the mix, fine jewels – diamonds, emeralds, sapphires – and high-end metals of gold, rose gold and platinum. Many of the world’s finest watch making brands allow for bespoke pieces where the client selects all of the face, bezel, strap and additional variables. Love sapphires and gold? A Patek Philippe Calatrava might be the candidate for your collection. C L A S S I C C A R S According to a recent report by CNBC, investing in art has been overtaken by classic cars as the number one passion investment. No wonder, with the proliferation of TV shows dedicated to cars – classic and new – the public’s interest and knowledge of collecting cars has increased so dramatically. Similar to art, savvy buyers of classic cars focus on the aesthetics – year, style, make – to shape their collections. It’s not hard to fall in love with the classics. The romance of James Dean and his Porsche 550 Spyder to the James Bond love affair with the Aston Martin DB5, cars have been intertwined with style and luxury living. Many collectors believe that money is no object when it comes to buying at auction. In fact, in 2014, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for over US $34 million. A fun way to see vintage autos is at rallies and races, as well as the signature auctions. The Monterey Classic Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, both in California, USA, are a who’s who of racing and collecting, with the latter perhaps the most prestigious concours of them all. Across the Atlantic, the veritable Monaco Grand Prix Historique combines glamour in a biennial race through the storied principality. Most collectors concentrate on a particular wine region, say Bordeaux, long acknowledged as the crown jewels of wine collecting. However, Burgundy wines have become the Holy Grail as they are rarer and more in demand. The most soughtafter wine in the world, the vintage 1990 Domaine de la Romanee–Conti, Grand Cru currently sells for £15,702 per bottle. If you’re collecting wine investing in storage is de rigueur. Wine – especially old wine – needs to be very delicately handled. Wine likes to be stored in a cool humid environment. Either cellar it yourself or seek out a reputable storage facility. A R T Collecting art is a pursuit that reaches back to the dawn of civilisation. There are countless tomes that document the balance between artist and patron throughout history. For the modern-day collector, the art world is about honing your preferred aesthetic and making a few connections for sourcing. The big auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s offer both in-house and online sales. The purely online Artsy.net offers ongoing and artist-specific sales, with over 50,000 pieces geared to both first-time buyers and seasoned collectors. Looking for inspiration? Go to art fairs. Art Basel is perhaps the most recognised, with its twin locations in Switzerland and Miami, USA. Any serious art lover diarises this must-go event in either its original location or the ‘Riviera of North America’ where the fair takes over the entire city. The venerable Armory Show in New York City features some of the world’s most influential works. Most collectors buy what they like with little thought of how a piece will gain value (or not). It is true luxury surrounding oneself with beautiful art – whether it’s sculpture, paintings or photography. W I N E In 2011, two bottles of champagne were auctioned for US $78,400 each. They were salvaged from a 170-year-old shipwreck and still drinkable due to storage on their sides, in darkness, and under pressure at the bottom of the sea. Like many high-end collectibles, prices for wine are often thought of as outrageous. But to the serious oenophile, it is the bottle (or cases) that appeal. As they say, ‘wine collecting is a satisfying hobby only for those who don't think about the value of what they consume.’ ACCORDING TO A RECENT REPORT, INVESTING IN ART HAS BEEN OVERTAKEN BY CLASSIC CARS AS THE NUMBER ONE PASSION INVESTMENT.
LPS Mag Oct17
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