It is nowadays impossible not to perceive the increasing importance on niche collecting, and I think it’s about time to carefully evaluate the phenomenon from both an historical and economical perspective.
Objects that until recent times were part of general interest are representing today universes of knowledge on their own. When it comes to extreme collecting, the most representative watch is definitely the Rolex Daytona. It has always been “the” collectible icon in the world, the real must-have for all enthusiastic collectors. The Rolex Daytona is now the center of such a wide interest that cannot but teach us how much we still have to learn on subjects that have long been considered fully explored. Dozens of small variations, new information sources, increased availability of the manufacturer to disclose valuable historical information and, above all, the extraordinary fascination that Daytona had always had on collectors, are the basis on phenomenon that can literally reverse the scale of values that represented the certainty of this market until a few months ago.
Buying a Patek Philippe chronograph of the 50s can now be an absolutely painless deal compared to buying a really rare and important Daytona. Just as an example, I am having in my hands right now a Daytona 6239 with one of the dials that, recently, have made many people talk about, the “Solo Rolex”. Completely devoid of other indications besides the trademark and the obligatory “ T SWISS T” the history of this dial is still relatively mysterious.