Roy and Sacha Davidoff are two charismatic and dynamic vintage watch experts based in Geneva. Together they run Davidoff Brothers specializing on fine and rare watches from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Their website www.davidoffbrothers.com has made waves and paved the way for the launch of their vintage watch boutique opening soon in Geneva. Stay tuned….
VWO: Please introduce yourselves.
Roy (37) and Sacha Davidoff (30), co-owners of Davidoff Brothers Since 1983. We are based in our hometown: Geneva, Switzerland, and are horological experts specializing in vintage watches from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. Our 30 years of combined experience between the two of us, within the field of watchmaking, has driven our passion to launch our vintage watch website (www.davidoffbrothers.com) and our upcoming vintage watch boutique opening in Geneva.
VWO: What fascinates you about vintage watches and how did you get into them?
Roy: Since I received my first vintage watch, a 1969 Omega Speedmaster Mark II racing dial, at the age of 13, I have been collecting watches. I have always been drawn to those made starting with the diving watches launched in the 50’s and before the quartz crisis of the 70s. What fascinates me is that these watches are the height of form & functionality, where design meets purpose.
Sacha: I have to admit that my passion was more of an infection I caught due to the proximity with my brother. His love of vintage watches is highly contagious. What inspires me the most about vintage, is the story behind each watch and the hunt (like treasure hunting) as it is a constant challenge of finding truly good condition vintage watches that are all original. Vintage watches were made and used with purpose, while today those same watches are pure luxury. For example, the Rolex Submariner made for divers & the GMT made for Pan-Am pilots and staff, the Omega Speedmaster constantly adapted for use on NASA space missions, Heuer chronographs made for race car drivers, Breitling Navitimer with slide rule for the AOPA pilots association, etc
VWO: What are your personal ultimate grail watches?
Roy: Patek 1563, Split seconds chronograph, waterproof calatrava case OR one I could actually afford: Rolex Daytona 6263 Black Dial
Sacha: Omega Speedmaster chronograph Ref. 2915, broad arrow
VWO: What factors are critical when buying vintage watches?
CONDITION, CONDITION, CONDITION
VWO: What are your recommendations for collecting vintage watches?
If it is for an investment seeking to be truly safe, then we would say here are the criteria:
1) Well known brand
2) Iconic model
3) Excellent condition & all original
4) Priced under Eur 10’000
Other vintage is not our focus although we do broker ultra rare pieces, they tend to have more risk and less upside today due to speculation.
VWO: Which watches are good buys (low, mid and high range)
Low = Some lesser known brands with Valjoux 72 chronograph movements
Mid = Rolex steel sport models or Omega Speedmaster (until 1969)
High = A box & papers mint Rolex & Patek
VWO: What timepieces should be in every collection and why?
Rolex Submariner, GMT or Presidential
Patek Calatrava (35mm+)
Heuer with a Val 72 Chronograph
Zenith El Primero
These are all iconic vintage watches from well known brands that you can buy under 10’000 in good to excellent condition. Also, if one of these goes down in value, which it probably wont, overall they are all become more and more rare with so many new collectors…what seemed common is now becoming so rare!