Sunday, 3 August 2008

Vintage watches go mass market

There's been some comment lately on the fashion/design blogs about the vintage watch on sale at J Crew. Mrs. Blandings was one of the first to spot it: a gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual on an Oyster bracelet.

This watch was worn by the models in the catalog photographs, with a discrete note alongside that a vintage watch collection is available on the J Crew website (image below borrowed from Mrs. Blandings).

J Crew is not the only mainstream retailer going into the vintage watch business. Rugby, the cadet branch of the Ralph Lauren empire that targets a preppy, collegiate demographic, is also getting into the game. About a month ago, they announced that their East Hampton store will carry a selection of vintage watches.

Rugby is aiming a little lower than J Crew: vintage Timexes and the like on grosgrain straps (images below from the Rugby website). However, I expect this is a more promising strategy. J Crew gets to flash a classic gold Rolex in their catalog photos, but their vintage watch "collection" looks like a single item. And it has already been sold - they've taken it off the website.

Expect to see more vintage watches at J Crew, but they'll look more like the selection from Rugby. The J Crew men's concept store in Tribeca will definitely go big on this look. For women, they may mix in a few daintier cocktail watches. However, a vintage man's watch (smaller than modern watches) is just the right size for a woman to wear.

1 comment:

Reggie said...

In the latest Elle Decor here in the US, Privet House, a just-opened store in they tiny village of Warren, Connecticut is previewed. Not only does Privet House feature super stylish housewares for the Litchfield County set, but they also have a case of vintage Rolex watches on display for sale.