February 09 2021
So if we go back and look at what was happening back in the 1970s and the “original” collectible watches. Production numbers were not huge in the 1970s; this was especially so for a watchmaker like Heuer because many Swiss watch companies struggled with the quartz crisis. The general consensus amongst the watch brands was that it was possibly the end of the mechanical watch business.
Many brands were trying to work out if they could make quartz watches and still make a living and determine how they could move forward. Most brands, whether it was Rolex or Heuer, all dabbled in quartz watches at that time. It took a decade or so for people to realize that even though a quartz watch is more accurate and tells the time better, this is not the point of a wristwatch. In the same way that you could buy a modern car with all the electronics in the world, it will allow you to be faster and faster around a racetrack, but this will sanitize the experience of owning and driving the car.
This is seen in the watch world too. Many of us appreciate the great brands and the incredible engineering and design that goes into creating these micromechanical marvels. Thankfully we are not all wearing quartz watches or Apple watches. Many people, a lot of watch collectors I know, do wear an Apple watch on one wrist and a mechanical timepiece on the other wrist. My personal perspective is that beautiful mechanical watches are not primarily about telling the time.