Eric Wind of Wind Vintage
Eric Wind has worn many hats over the years. In the watch space, he served as Vice President, Senior Specialist for Christie’s Watch Department and a contributor to HODINKEE. He also worked at the Endeavor Group, a consulting firm, and for Tyton BioEnergy Systems, a renewable fuel company. However, one thing remained constant through career changes in the watch world and other industries: his passion for vintage timepieces. Today, he’s the proud owner of his namesake brand, Wind Vintage. His company is dedicated to offering exceptional watches for sale at all price points and providing advisory services to top vintage watch collectors worldwide.
Eric is a good friend of the Crown & Caliber team. We’ve been fortunate to sit down with him, learn about his work, and discuss his watch collection. In our interview with Eric, we dig into his fascination with vintage timepieces and some tips for vintage collectors. Then, we got together with Eric to talk more about his collection. Through the course of the day, we got to experience his many talents. He shredded the drums and got us kicked out of Guitar Center. Then, we headed to the driving range at Chelsea Piers. All the while, we talked watches and learned the stories and specs behind some of his favorite timepieces. Watch our interview with Eric and learn more about his collection.
The Interview with Eric Wind
C&C: Why do you prefer vintage?
ERIC: I love the history and unique elements of a vintage watch: the patina, the aesthetics, the story, and the survival of the watch over decades. Each watch can be unique in how it looks and ages. Watches back in the day were tools and not necessarily items meant to be collected. As a result, the hunt is such a big part of collecting vintage watches. Seeing an all-original wristwatch that’s somehow survived without being heavily polished or having replacement parts is an amazing thing.
That all said, modern watches have their place, too. They are, of course, generally more likely to be water-resistant and should be less fussy than their vintage equivalents. Though that’s not always the case. There are many new watches I love and hope to have in my collection one day.
C&C: What was your very first watch, and when did you get it?
ERIC: My first watch was a G.I. Joe digital watch in the style of a Casio F-91W. My parents gave it to me around the time I was five. It was army green, and it had a small compass integrated in the strap. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. When I was in college, my mom gave me my grandfather’s small, gold-filled Hamilton Neil after he passed. It was a wedding gift from my grandmother to my grandfather in 1947. He went on to wear it the rest of his life. That watch started my true passion for mechanical timepieces.
C&C: What watch will you be adding to your collection next?
ERIC: I have a watch in mind, but I don’t want to create competition for myself!
C&C: Do you have a “grail” watch that you hope to one day obtain?
ERIC: I think a grail for me is the Patek Philippe, Reference 1518 in steel. There are only four known examples, and they’re unbelievably beautiful. You can see all four depicted in detail in the incredible book Patek Philippe Steel Watches by John Goldberger, which is also available as an iPad app. They’re worth millions, so I’m certainly not in the market for one right now, but they’re true masterpieces. I hope I can at least see one in person and try it on my wrist one day.
C&C: Where do you typically buy your vintage watches?
ERIC: I would say eBay is one of the primary places I’ve bought vintage watches. In addition, I’ve purchased from forums, dealers, friends, and auction houses.
C&C: What trends are you most excited about, and what trends are you ready to put to bed?
ERIC: We’re seeing the continued popularity of more classically styled watches, which is great. However, I’m not a fan of huge watches with diameters of 47 millimeters or greater. I think they look like a dinner plate on the wrist!
C&C: What’s the single most important thing collectors should consider when searching for their next vintage watch?
ERIC: Collectors need to do their homework before buying any vintage watch. It’s tempting to just jump in and buy something you know is desirable and looks good on the surface, but getting to know the intricate details takes time. Say, for instance, someone sees a vintage dive watch they really like. There are a number of important things to consider: are the bezel and bezel insert original? Is the dial original? Has the dial been re-lumed, meaning the luminous paint has been re-applied? Has the movement been changed? Has the case been polished or is it damaged beyond repair? Is the serial number correct? When people don’t do their homework, get expert advice, or buy from a trusted source, it can often become a regrettable purchase. Collecting vintage watches is a lifelong journey. I learn new things about different vintage watches each day, and my interests continue to grow.
Among the vintage gems Eric shared with us are names like Longines, Lucien Piccard, and Gallet, as well as a modern Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. Among the stories are people like Jeff Stein, who helped Eric buy his first Heuer, and his grandfather, whose vintage Hamilton was the watch that sparked his interest in vintage timepieces. However, one of the standouts was this Heuer Chronograph from the early 1940s. It wasn’t Eric’s first Heuer, but it’s his favorite. Two-tone silver dial, big sub-registers – what’s not to love? Another notable piece from Eric’s collection is this Vulcain Cricket. It represents Eric’s keen love of political history and vintage watches, all in a single piece. This model in particular holds a special place in his heart because of its close association with U.S. Presidents.
Among the vintage gems are names like Longines, Lucien Piccard, and Gallet, along with one modern Reverso. And among the stories are people like Jeff Stein, who helped Eric buy his first Heuer, and his grandfather, whose vintage Hamilton was the watch that sparked his interest in vintage timepieces.
Eric Wind’s Watches
Want to see more of Eric Wind’s vintage watches? Watch the video on Youtube here, or check it out above.