As a newcomer to this vintage watch collecting, IMHO I would quantify this as less than 10 years of experience; as I came into this hobby because of the allure of a world famous brand & prestige but I must admit monetary returns were one of it at first.
However, over the short time I had in this hobby I have learnt to put my monies in my passion for such historical vintage pieces rather for investments. It's the joys & disappointments I made with my purchases, up & downs of owning so called rare full sets and the valuable knowledge I acquire from VRF, members, comrades and dealers some who I have called as friends. This is an investment to me IMO.
I am in that school that there are 2 distinct markets here for vintage watches - mass market & special / rare examples. I have learnt from some top notch collectors to go for the best examples you can afford regardless of the neither makes nor models - after you do your homework & financial planning. I am for that latter market for a good chance of ROIs if you are in for both passion & pa$$ion.
I like the 1st few replies in this thread to be careful of "trend" buying that might turn into "passé" paper loss. I prefer to buy for the love / interest / passion of the watches. I am always wary of people hyping the so called trendy watch to have now for "investment" like the same caution when my financial planners approached me to switch mutual funds with their "hyperbole"
NO, I would not treat my watches as investment grade yet as it is a hobby BUT an exotic alternative fund allocation or diversification, YES. (that's the BS I have learnt to use from my financial advisors) LOL!!!
This is the one & only souvenir I bought from Amsterdam and had on my study desk to keep me sane from the crazy world of mass herd mentality & make a quick buck commoditisation of anything that is "in"
No, I am not that wolf who cried the grapes are sour because the BCs / PNs / MILs etc are beyond my reach.
Yes, I am envious those who had owned these a long time ago at a fraction of the price but happy for the privileged few that are enjoying passion + paper gains on their watches
Good luck Jim in your chase and hope to see you more here on VRF.