(all images by Analog Shift)
You can now buy vintage Rolex and other sought-after vintage watches through J. Crew, the mall retailer. Thanks to our friends at Analog Shift, this partnership blossomed. We live in good times when a mainstream men’s fashion brand is declaring that being a well-dressed man means owning a nice, discrete timepiece.
I had a J.Crew watch. It was called the Andros and it was a nice little dive watch by Timex in collaboration with the clothier. J.Crew always had some nice Timex collaborations. But now with this collaboration with Analog Shift, the mainstreaming of vintage watch collecting is happening at big-time level.
Check out a Omega Seamaster Chronograph on a beads-of-rice bracelet or maybe a silver dial Universal Genéve Polerouter, there are plenty of winners you can buy along with a button-down Oxford. Rolex models do appear, but quickly sell probably because of the increased exposure the Analog Shift collection gets through such a big audience.
With the prices so high on second-hand newer Rolex models, it’s a nice time to consider vintage Datejusts as one can still find great examples at what I believe are fair prices. The fact that J.Crew is in the vintage watch game only means that the demand is stronger than ever. Hodinkee has partnered with Todd Snyder, one of my favorite menswear companies, for a small collection of vintage watches, perhaps setting the stage for J. Crew to make a move. Interestingly Todd Snyder himself worked for J. Crew before blazing his own trail.
Earlier this year Watches of Switzerland acquired Analog Shift, the creation of James Lamdin, who has been on the forefront of celebrating the joy of vintage watch collecting. With a larger corporate entity like Watches of Switzerland taking over a smaller, well-branded Analog Shift, the power to make moves like this J.Crew collaboration increases. We are all for this as our company owns MONTA Watches, which we hope one day will be better known for those outside of the watch enthusiast community. We do hope there is a collective “analog shift” in society that can embrace the conveniences of smartphones alongside antiquated tech like mechanical timepieces and vinyl records. It’s about slowing down and appreciating craftsmanship.
J.Crew itself has suffered from an identity crisis. It has exited its Chapter 11 filing of May of 2020 and its leaders say it’s poised for long-term growth. By partnering with Analog Shift the brand appears to be investing in the future. The company historically has done well by stocking items from companies with a heritage like Alden, Red Wing and Barbour. As watch guys and gals who also enjoy outerwear and sweaters, we like the idea of heading to shop online at J.Crew and potentially ending up with a vintage watch in our shopping cart.