Bowcliffe Hall

About Us

Welcome To
The Vintage Watch Shop

When I first began collecting watches, I soon found myself overwhelmed by the history of the brands and the wide number of varied styles produced over the decades.

I quickly developed a taste for buying 70s watches, not just because it was the decade I grew up in but also because it was a time of great experimentation by the leading Swiss watch brands, including Omega, Heuer, Breilting and Rolex - who produced such iconic styles and wild colour combinations.

This website is dedicated to showcasing the finest timepieces, which my colleagues and I have painstakingly sourced over the many years that have passed since those early days.

Bowcliffe Hall

Investing in Time

Watches are a legitimate investment and are free from capital gains tax. With over 20 years experience in the vintage and luxury watch trade, we are able to advise and assist you in building your collection. Partnered with my advisors, I am able to offer sound advice.

As an alternative to paper assets such as shares, investing in watches will allow you to keep your capital in something immediately physical, beautiful and unique, whilst maintaining value and becoming ever more desireable and sought after over time. Please take the time to enjoy browsing our collection on the site.

I am happy to provide additional information and am pleased to answer any questions you may have. Please see the Social Media links at the top and bottom of this page, for regular updates and the latest additions to our collection. View our blog, where we regularly make posts, together with article contributions from other experienced trade professionals.

Bowcliffe Hall
Bowcliffe Hall

Watches as investments:

In the 1970’s the watch industry suffered a crisis since known as “the quartz crisis”. As early as the 1950’s, American brand Hamilton started to invest heavily in producing electricity powered watches in an attempt to produce a timepiece which would never need winding and would be super accurate powered by a battery. This investment would lead to the collapse of the brand as the watches proved unpractical and unreliable and rival firm Bulova had perfected the Accutron movement, very efficient regulated by the vibrations of a tuning fork action but not inexpensive.

All this was swept aside however by the Japanese who had produced a quartz battery movement, totally efficient, inexpensive and even using digital screen displays. The swiss could not keep up and the huge investment in quartz technology producing very expensive equivalents would lead to the downfall of many famous houses such as OMEGA and HEUER. The one main swiss brand who did not try and embrace the quartz movement was ROLEX, who continued to produce solid efficient sporty mechanical watches.

Bowcliffe Hall
Bowcliffe Hall

The financial boom of the late 1980’s meant that price became less important to the consumer. Indeed what sharp-suited city gent wanted to be seen with a cheap quality watch (perhaps a trendy Swatch for the weekend). ROLEX was the chosen watch to be seen wearing as it was often said “The hand of a proper watch sweeps by, a cheap watch jumps”.

Also around this time was the inclusion of wrist watches into traditional catalogues of pocket watches and clocks by the major auction houses. The market for these old wrist watches was predominantly driven by Italy. The Italian demand for quality wrist watches was one of the largest demand in the world. Indeed it was said that the average Italian male has on average seven timepieces. This was at a time when the norm in the uk was to get a watch for ones 21st which would expected to be worn for life.

The emergence of the internet has lead to the vast availability of knowledge and made the finding of watches so much easier than relying on auction houses or the very few dealers with shops. We are now faced with global demand and significant rises in value perhaps only equalled in percentage terms as classic cars and some fine wines. The market for 1960s 1970s sports watches has given us some of the most dramatic increases in value over the past twenty years. All this makes me very certain and comfortable in selling fine wristwatches as legitimate investments.

I hope you enjoy browsing the site, I use all my years experience in the watch trade working with dealers and collectors to find the finest and rarest timepieces for the most discerning of collections.