Guido Mondani is the head of Guido Mondani Editore, a publishing company founded in 1979 and based in Genova, Italy. The Mondanis publish books on fine and rare watches, books which themselves have become collector items for watch enthusiasts all over the world. We asked Guido to give our readers some tips on how to buy and collect vintage watches.
VWO: What sparked your passion for collecting watches?
My wife gave me my very first Rolex in 1989. It was a birthday gift. From that moment I fell in love with watches, and of course particularly Rolex.
VWO: What advice can you give to our readers who are starting out as collectors? And what kind of mistakes should they try to avoid?
My first advice is to look for reliable information before buying. The market is very difficult today, it is easy to find a watch which is not 100% original. For example a good case with wrong bezel.
The Internet is not always a good medium for buying. Sometimes it is but sometimes it is not. This is why I make specific and detailed books so that future collectors can buy safely and know the correct value of a watch.
The most important advice is perhaps not to buy when the price is too low. Isn’t it too beautiful to be true? Too cheap often signals that there is something wrong!
First of all, he should look for what he personally likes. From my point of view, it is important to understand if that watch might be an investment. Did that model increase its value over the past years? Which conditions am I looking for? Will I wear it or will I put it in the safe?
I don’t want to be repetitive but the most important thing is to read before buying. Always look for reliable information.
And I suggest to buy watches with the papers.
VWO: How can a collector identify if a watch is authentic?
It is a very difficult mission because, as I mentioned before, a watch can not only be fake, but can also have parts which do not match with the correct period of production. If you have a minimum doubt, you’d be better not to buy. If you have doubts you can always send a picture of the watch to an expert or an auction house.
VWO: What companies and watches are the most desirable in your opinion?
I think Rolex and Patek Philippe stand for quality, reliability and a good investment. But there are many other important brands and I think that the general quality is increasing.
VWO: Which watches do you think will most likely rise in value?
I think Rolex Submariner, Sea-Dweller and Daytona will rise in value. As well as the rare and particular watches.
VWO: What makes a well rounded collection?
It depends on which brands you like and which models you like. If you are a Rolexaholic, then you might want to collect both the sport and the classic line. Many of my customers also collect books and catalogues.. When someone is a collector, he likes to collect everything 🙂