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Vicenzaoro September 2021: Don’t Call me a Collector!

Face to face with Sandro Fratini, owner of the largest vintage watch collection in the world, and guest at tomorrow’s talk “Between passion and investment”

  • Sergio Fratini

    Sergio Fratini

Sandro Fratini has been asked all kinds of questions about his collection – an estimated two thousand items – except for one: which watches did not gain the value you hoped?

«First and foremost, I have never bought a single watch with the intention of reselling it for profit. Especially since, the real reason that urged me to start this collection was my love for watches. Therefore, I don’t think of myself as a true collector. Among the pieces that, for me, are always wonderful yet did not achieve the right response on the market, are all the Rolexes in the Prince series, produced in the 1930s and ‘40s. I have about forty and when I find one that I like, I buy it without thinking twice. I’m surprised that they weren’t successful.  They haven’t lost value but neither has their worth increased. I’m speaking of the Brancard and Railway models, classic and even asymmetrical. Each one more beautiful than the next. Another brand that, in my opinion, did not live up to expectations, is the Movado. The chronographs are fantastic, with round buttons similar to those on a Patek but slightly revamped. And yet, their value is the same now as when I bought them thirty years ago.»

Another curiosity to satisfy: what was your last watch you bought? «Two months ago, a steel Gerald Genta with Scrooge McDuck in the center of the dial. I already have several. Even this brand didn’t enjoy a constant trend and increase as much as it deserved. Some, however, the ones with the best complications, are valued at hundreds of thousands of euros.»   

Your passion is such that a series of hotels on this theme has been created. «Yes, after the two L’Orologio hotels in Florence and Venice, in December, we will also be opening in Rome. Each one features references to fine watchmaking. I imagined them as places for enthusiasts as well as guests who love aesthetic details and accurate service. I think you can see that every decision comes from the heart.»

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