The year 2005 will be remembered as a major turning point for watch values. A long overdue shift in prices for watches which are in premium condition took place. Auction prices for better Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin and Rolex watches reached new and extraordinary heights for pristine examples. This emphasis on condition is already filtering down to medium and lower price watches. The coin market expanded its condition and grading levels in the 1980's, yet the watch market went along with a much looser system for many years. Times have changed and prices for top condition pieces are escalating rapidly.
The gold market was strong in 2005, yet gold cased American watches are still available at bargain prices. They may very well be the true sleepers of the century. Railroad pocket watches are steady. Rare, early American pieces are very hard to find. Upward price levels are sure to occur in this area. Keywinds are sluggish and due for a rebound. Interesting and rare dollar watches are seldom seen and character watches remain strong. The vintage wrist watch market is very healthy; interesting pieces sell quickly as more collectors are getting into the market.
The watch market is definitely expanding globally, the internet has opened up new markets. China and other countries are now entering the collectors arena which leads to an exciting future for the world of watch collecting.