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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Story of a Chanel J12 Watch

A word to the wise, if you’re struggling to find a particular vintage watch. Or you just don’t seem to be in the right jewellers at the right time. Heed the following advice.

Finding the right watch can be a game of cat and mouse, especially if you’re looking for a model that’s no longer produced. Often I hear from customers that they don’t know what they want yet, but they will when they see it. And here’s where it gets tricky, when you do see ‘it’, it’s important to act swiftly or your search might be set to continue.

Case 1: The Chanel J12

A story for you. A week ago I was contacted by an antique dealer whom I know well. He told me he had a watch that wasn’t something he’d usually sell himself but thought it would go down a storm with my clientele. Turns out he was right. The watch in question was an incarnation of a J12, a watch designed by Chanel’s late artistic director Jacques Helleu. Very similar to the one pictured above. I bought it on a Friday. It went straight into the window ready for the busy Saturday trade. It’s a fine watch and I knew it would have some admirers, I just didn’t realise how quickly its charm would rub off on the passing trade.

That Saturday we had three serious enquiries. Three individuals who all fell in love with the watch. But no one took it home. On the following Monday morning one of the suitors returned, having not shook the watch from his mind all weekend he jubilantly snapped it up before it impressed any other customers. Excellent for the customer in question but incredibly unfortunate for the other two interested parties. And here in lies the moral of the story.

Our stock is a proverbial treasure chest that is eternally evolving, pieces come and pieces go. There’s only two ways to ensure you get what you’re after: 1 - Visit regularly. 2 - If you love it, buy it.. Of course we would say that wouldn’t we.

It’s in our best interests too. But the reality is, it’s just the nature of the fine jewellery and vintage watch market. You have to be in it to win it. As a collector, missing out on pieces is to be expected. But consumers take it a little more personally.

There’s always a chance a similar model may return to the store in the near future. But, you just never know. It’s all part of the thrill of searching for exclusive watches.

Case 2: The Double Disappearing Rolexes

The Chanel J12 wasn’t an isolated instance. We also had two lovely ladies Rolexes in recently. A lady came and viewed them and made a purchase that same day, her friend returned at the weekend to snap the other up on the Saturday. They did it right. But many will have been making a return trip to find the Rolexes gone as quickly as they came.

How to Clinch the Watch You Desire

So if you’ve been struggling to find that ideal vintage watch, perhaps it’s because you’re not quick enough off the blocks! If you’ve had an eye on any of the World Athletics Championships over the past few weeks, take a leaf out of Bolt’s book.

The new owner of an exquisite J12 did, but two will be left wanting. Until the next time.

Best wishes - Richard Burrow

Posted in Chanel on Aug 12, 2019