Well, that's a story about the numbers behind our passion for vintage watches. What can we learn about our identity, our customers and the world of vintage watches just by looking at the pieces we sold over the last 2.5 years? It's my passion for stats and watches combined. Join me on this fascinating look behind the scenes of one of the coolest vintage watch dealers in Germany - Us. Take this as a status quo and I think it will be fascinating to see how our taste and thus these numbers will change over the years. We'll evolve, as will the market, our customers and our possibilities... I guess I'll need to do this again. In a few years time.
August 02, 2023
A Watch Dealers Diary - Goldammer Vintage Watches
Marcus Siems @siemswatches
Collector, Author, Data Analyst
We have a lot of amazing vintage watches... like really a lot. It has gotten to the point that without advanced bookkeeping we wouldn't be able to keep track of all the beautiful timepieces and their history. But wait, isn't that just another way of saying I could do some amusing analyses on what we sell, sold and might sell in the future?
At Goldammer Vintage Watches we are all about transparency*. And today we want to allow you guys to peak behind the curtain with us and systematically see what we sell.
Why should we do this? Ultimately, that will tell you guys what we care for, what pieces make our hearts go faster, where our expertise (hopefully) lies and what our identity is. It's our special service and something dear to our hearts. So we should rather ask why we shouldn't do this?
Welcome to our office here in Rostock, Germany.
So this is our behind the scenes, our special service to you - our ever-growing Community. Hereby, I'll cover an overview of all watches sold through us from 2021 until today (well, July 2023, if you read this later) answering several burning questions that might interest you. How many watches were there? From what brand? Where do our customers come from? And of course... how much...?
1) How many watches
Over the last 2.5 years we sold a total of 597 timepieces. Quite a lot yet quite unique vintage watches. 168 of those in 2021, 219 in 2022 and so far 210 this year. So we see a clear upswing - hurray! But now the details:
Figure 1. Distribution of sold watches from Goldammer Vintage Watches between 2021 and today.
Overall, we sold between 1 and 41, on average over 19, watches per month. That's about one watch per business day. Very positive for us, we didn't sell less than 10 pieces/month since January 2022 and have been north of 20 pieces/month since September last year.
Regarding what we sell. It might not come as a surprise that the most sold watch brand has been Rolex, almost every fourth watch we sell comes from the Genevan manufacturer (23%). However, Omega isn't far behind with 22%, followed by IWC (13%), Vacheron Constantin (8%), Jaeger-LeCoultre (7%), Universal Geneve (4%) and Cartier (4%).
The three bestseller models from our website - the Omega Constellation, the Rolex Datejust and IWC's Cal.89 dress watches. Photos Goldammer.me archives.
But not only brands define the designs we adore so much... it's the time itself. Zeitgeist is part of the magic we seek in vintage watches. So we can further break all these watches down by the decade of production.
Figure 2. Distribution of Goldammer watches grouped by production year.
The design we fall most for is mid-century dress watches. About 27% of pieces we sell were made during the 1960s and another 23% during the 1970s. This is followed by the 1950s and 1940s with 14% and 13%, respectively. However, let's keep in mind that the older the watches get, the less likely you'll find good examples available. In other words, the 1940s are really the decade that we can't walk away from and that makes our hearts skip a beat! But quirky 1960s and 1970s watches aren't bad either... Oh man, you really can't make me choose!
2) Where are we actually selling to?
Our shop is located in the wonderful city of Rostock. Located in the north-east of Germany, directly at the Baltic Sea it was a pearl of both the Hanseatic League and the German Democratic Republic (DDR). However, our customer-base is not exactly "local"... beside maybe the now and then inside trade to a particular blog author. First and foremost we are an online shop and gladly can reach vintage watch fans all around the globe.
Figure 3. Distribution of our Top 15 global destinations of sold watches.
A little surprisingly the US and not Germany is the top location on our list. Yes, I just made the point that the internet is global... buuuuut you'd still think you might reach the people around you easier. In the end, even social media algorithms factor geographic distance into their networks. So it seems we're really hitting a nerve on the other side of the Atlantic. Top 3 on our list is France yet already a bit behind the top two spots. That we see France so far ahead is not very surprising to us as the French are rumored to have great taste too ;) But we will actually come to the local tastes in a bit...
The most recent watches sold to the US (left), Germany (middle) and France (right). In the inset you can see which three brands were the most sought after on each market. Photos Goldammer.me archives.
The compelling bit of analysis we can do here is to further break these numbers down and combine some factors - what brands have been the most sought after on each of these three markets? And indeed there's quite some divergence in local taste. Our German customers at this point appear to be the most interested in vintage Rolex, about every third watch bought and shipped within Germany is a Rolex timepiece (31%). Our US clientele on the other hand is a lot more into Omega (24%) than Rolex (17%). And the French seem very fond of our Vacheron Constantin pieces (3rd place with 17%) far exceeding the overall proportion of our VC watches (8%).
3) How much for a classic vintage watch?
Personally, I don't like to talk money but in all fairness it's part of the identity. Do we sell entry-level or high-end timepieces? That's indeed a crucial question... so I'll make an exception this time and we'll finally see how much it takes to own a Goldammer vintage watch.
Figure 4. Distribution of the average price point by month for vintage watches sold at Goldammer Vintage Watches.
I'd argue we offer timepieces in the affordable to luxury vintage price range. The average timepiece cost you slightly below 4000Eur. Starting at below 1700Eur (lowest 5%) with the most expensive ones above 7700Eur (highest 5%). Overall, we sold 64 watches (11%) for 2000Eur or less and 11 pieces (2%) for over 10,000Eur (mainly over the last 12 months).
One of our most affordable and the most expensive timepiece so far: Omega's 1930 Scarab Lug dress watch (left) for below 1500Eur and a Rolex Day-Date 18038 with black dial (right) for slightly under 20kEur. Photos Goldammer.me archives.
Taking a closer look at the distribution we can see some emerging trends. First, the average (median) price point for our watches increased only slightly from 3000Eur (early 2021) to around 3500Eur (2023) - that's less than 20% and about the normal price increase we've seen for vintage watches over that span. Second, the strongest development we did actually observe in the higher price range. The 5% most expensive pieces increased from above 5600Eur (early 2021) to above 8900Eur (2023) - a boost of 58%. Third, that trend gets even better if we take a closer look at overall sales. From 48,000Eur monthly sales in early 2021 to over 140,000Eur in 2023 so far. That's solid growth - hurray again!
4) Our identity
Well, that's us. At least the numbers behind our passion for vintage watches. I think it will be fascinating to see how our taste and thus these numbers change over the years. We'll evolve, as will the market, our customers and our possibilities... I guess I'll need to do this again. In a few years time. With my additional passion for stats I simply want to convey that this number crunching is useful, thought-provoking and amusing - as much as it part of our view onto the vintage watch world.
And just because I can I'll end this bit with one of the coolest pieces we sold over the last couple of years. It's always satisfying to take a deep dive into our archives!
I just hope that the look behind the scenes has been satisfying. The warmth and professionalism at our office as well as our craving to find that next unheard of timepiece is hard to put into numbers but I gave it my all to present to you all the rest. If you guys feel like there's an aspect I've been missing just reach out. We're always happy to share our opinions and experience.
* For example we still have all the watches (including their listing prices) we sold over the last couple of years listed in our archives.
All Rights on the text and graphics reserved to the Author.