Timing Is Everything
As the clock ticks down towards the opening ceremony at Baselworld 2019 in Switzerland, a lot of people are thinking “should I buy now or wait and see what comes out?”.
I’m seeing this getting asked on the forums and Facebook groups and it happens every year as people always want to have the newest, latest and greatest of anything – be it a shiny 65” OLED TV or the brand new 2019 Ford Mustang. In the watch world though, things take time – no pun intended.
What generally happens is that some brands will hype then launch at the show (or just before it to get the jump on the competition) but the units in the display cabinets are usually mock ups with no internal movements.
Brands like Rolex and Tudor are usually very quick at getting stock out to authorised dealers, BUT – they also limit the numbers so as much as they act fast, that initially stock soon dries up and no matter what they release, it gets snapped up instantly by the existing fan base and preferred customers at dealers and boutiques who get first dibs on anything fresh.
Although no longer a part of Baselworld, Omega historically are slower out of the gate and the Apollo 8 Speedmaster which was first shown in March 2018 was scheduled for an August / September 2018 release but only trickled out in tiny numbers in December and January, still being extremely thin on the ground now as we hit March 2019.
Other brands have an elastic timeline where dealers have stock sitting ready for release the month before the show and others can take over a year to get pieces ready and on customers wrists.
So what should you do if you’re wanting a watch now but have the fear something new will come out in a few weeks time? Well the choice and gamble is yours, but hopefully now you have a better understanding of how long it will take from announcement to dealer’s window and you can decide if the wait is worth it. By the time you get your hands on the new release, Baselworld 2020 might be just around the corner.
Unlike buying last years model of car, buying a watch doesn’t have any stigma attached. A new watch is a new watch, no-one will look at you and say “oh is that last years model?” unless its a vast departure from what comes next (and largely that is not the case).
My advice? Buy what you love, not what you like.
Some people prefer older styles too, Rolex Submariners being the perfect example where the current maxi case style is big and bold so certain folks long for a return to the smaller, rounder case style of yesteryear.
No matter your choice, be sure to post on Instagram with an awesome wrist shot of your new shiny and tag us so we can check it out too! #scottishwatches
Got into the horological hobby only a couple of short years ago; but got, as us Scots like to say, “baw deep” pretty quickly. Thanks to buying a lemon of a Rolex he spent hours researching why his watch wasn’t working and along the way gained an interest in what makes them tick. He now runs the Scottish Watches website and keeps cohort Rick in check on the twice weekly Scottish Watches podcast.