What Comes First for Collectors, Rarity or Aesthetics: An Open Ended Question

I wrote this before the auctions that took place over the weekend through to Monday had taken place. This question becomes ever more relevant now given some of the results.

I find myself asking myself this question a lot: do collectors (myself included) care more about rarity than aesthetics?

In an attempt to answer this question, I ran an informal poll. In this poll, I asked my friends on Facebook (who are not watch geeks) what their favorite of four watches was. The watches included in the poll were four different dial variations of the uber famous Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263, which is in my opinion the ultimate vintage Daytona.

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The four 6263s included in the poll were:

  1. White Dial “Big Red”
  2. Black Dial
  3. 2 Color White ROC Paul Newman Dial
  4. 3 Color Black RCO Paul Newman Dial

The Results

Of the 4 watches included in the poll, the one that got the most likes was the non-Paul Newman reverse panda 6263, with 17 votes. The 2 color ROC daytona with white dial came in second with 12 likes, followed by the “Big Red” with 8 likes. The watch that received the least number of likes was the 3 color RCO Daytona with black dial, the rarest and most expensive of the four.

My Thoughts

Although I admit that the informal poll I ran has its limitations, I think it is interesting to know what normal people – those not inflicted with the vintage watches bug – think of our favorite watches.

On this one, I am leaning towards agreeing with the majority of the responses. I think the non-Paul Newman black dial 6263 is the most aesthetically appealing. Although I would still love to own the 3 color black dial RCO Paul Newman just to enjoy the bragging rights that come with owning such an elusive watch.

In the end, I would like to invite other collectors, especially ones that have owned any (or all) of these watches and other rare vintage watches to answer this question:

What comes first, rarity or aesthetics?

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