Watch collectors

The birth of collectors’ fever


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April 2021

The birth of collectors' fever

The current success of collectible watches was by no means an inevitability. Without the handful of visionary watchmakers and entrepreneurs who fought tooth and nail to keep craft watchmaking alive through the difficult years between 1970 and 1990, the situation might have been very different. Independent master watchmaker Antoine Preziuso, who experienced the emergence of modern watch collecting from the inside, and made a significant contribution to it, recounts what went on behind the scenes, including the improbable but important history of pioneering auction house Antiquorum.


ogether with figures such as Franck Muller, François-Paul Journe and a handful of other watchmakers, Antoine Preziuso had a front-row seat at the birth, so to speak, of the great collecting vogue (whether authentic or opportunistic) – the “collection-itis” that has seized hold of the watchmaking sector and raised the appeal, valuation and prices of watches to previously unknown heights.

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