Barcelona’s Ancienne Vintage Gallery is run by two friends, Spanish Ignacio Coll and Italian Umberto Ventura. The gallery was born when the guys, having shared a mutual hobby of trading watches, decided to join efforts and turn a dream of owning a watch shop into reality.
Umberto’s passion for watches and arts has evidently turned his hobby into a full time job. He’s been buying and selling vintage timepieces for more than 25 years, ever since moving to Barcelona.
Barcelona born Ignacio inherited his interest in watches from his father, an antique dealer. Having had the opportunity to get up close and personal with rare Pateks and Rolex watches from early years due to his father’s business, it was almost inevitable that he would develop a true passion for watches of his own.
VWO: Please tell us about your offering?
Ancienne is mainly focused on fine vintage sports models from the high end brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. The period of interest is anywhere from the ´50s and up to the ´80s. But although the idea is to work with vintage, we wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to offer fine and rare modern watches too.
In the end, our aim for Ancienne is to be a place where a true watch enthusiast can find rare and collectible pieces and buy the vintage watch he has been searching for with the guarantee of investing in an original and worthy piece.
VWO: Please explain how I can sell my watch to Ancienne.
There are several ways to sell a watch to us. You’re always welcomed to visit us in our store on Rambla Catalunya 100 or take advantage of our distance purchase option if you’re not planning a visit to Barcelona any time soon. We regularly buy watches from all over Europe, so this proves to be an effective way to sell to us! The whole process (which consists of just 5 steps and the whole thing takes less than 48 hours) is explained in detail on our website and our video
VWO: Personally, what is your favorite brand and why?
I will have to go with Rolex here for its now iconic reliability and value that only increases with time. Like good wine
VWO: What is critical for beginners when buying vintage watches?
Buying your first vintage watch can prove to be a real challenge, true that. Educating yourself first would be your best bet! Figure out what you like, do your research, learn specifics of your preferred brand, model and/or time frame (watch forums, known blogs, respected book publishers and magazines can all help with that).
Once you feel more confident in the world of watches and have found a time piece you like, it’s important to understand the overall condition of the watch. Focus on finding an all original piece as it will greatly influence its final value – replacement parts can decrease the price of the watch and its attractiveness to collectors drastically (for example, an original dial can make up the biggest part of the final price). It’s nothing new, but if a deal seems too good to be true, chances are, it probably is. So, again, make sure you do your research and do it well.
VWO: Which watches would you recommend for someone who is just starting out as a collector?
Vintage Omega and Longines pieces. These are some incredible watches that are still available at very affordable prices.
VWO: In your opinion, what characterizes a good buy when it comes to vintage watches?
Before, it used to be all about the most sought after models. Right now it´s more about finding a vintage watch in a really good condition. In a nutshell, impeccable condition of a true vintage watch is more important than its exact reference number.