Elvio Piva

Elvio Piva

www.tempusorologi.it

+39 349 6200554

TEMPUS - OROLOGI D'EPOCA
Via San Fermo 4
35137 Padova
Italy

“Time and space are tools of our thinking, not conditions that limit our lives”, this is the philosophy of Tempus , the watch store of Elvio Piva in the heart of Padua, Italia. Elvio is the soul of Tempus and he’s not just a dealer I meet at the watch shows and auctions, first of all, he’s an enthusiast collector since 20 years for his personal pleasure. Buying vintage Rolex at Tempus on Via San Fermo 4 in Padova means you’re investing in time. Since some while now, his daughter Maria Giovanna is helping him out.

Today I like to share with you my RPM interview with Maria & Elvio Piva from Tempus. Many thanks again Maria for putting it together for us!

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# Which watch made your heart skip a beat during your worldwide search for vintage models?

  • As everyone know, the watch that really leaves me astonished every time I see is the Manual Daytona, most of all the gold ones, and most of all the 6263, in every kind of variations. I’m fascinated by the different dials, the research for the perfect bezel to match and, of course the low serial numbers.

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# Which vintage watch would you never sell?

  • A perfect gold 6542 with incredible brown dial, stunning patina, and a very particular bezel that shows all its years. When you find the perfection it’s difficult to let it go. The watch is unpublished and I prefer to keep it hidden in my personal collection, but for sure one day you will see it!
# Which watch do you regret not having bought?
  • Many times, prices drive you out of the games, you think they are too high, and watches become impossible to reasonably re-sell , but then, months later, you regret not having bought those stunning pieces when you find yourself buying for the same price a piece that does not worth the value only because the market is moving too fast and we have to follow it. So, just an advice: don’t be too scared by the prices and buy if you feel it, no matter the price, the market will recover it soon!

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# Tell us your greatest vintage watch anecdote of your collecting history
  • I remember the time I bought from a private a very complete watch, the original owner came visit me with his watch: he kept everything, from the receipt of the watch from the 60s to the ticket of the tram he took to reach the Rolex boutique. He had to sell it for personal reasons, but the moment in which I took it from his hands I could feel the hole that the absence of this watch would have brought his life. Collectors most of the time are still romantic and in love with their pieces, and that’s the part that moves me every time.
# What was your most lucrative deal?
  • The next one, I hope 😉
# How far did you go to get your hands on a particular vintage watch?
  • Whenever my presence is needed I go very far to catch a special watch. Mostly I travelled the world.
# Describe the perfect day for you as watch collector
  • The perfect day is the one in which I wake up, and I realize that my collection is full, and there is nothing more that I can buy. We are watch addicted and that means that we are never relaxed and always careful not to miss a piece, and the perfect day will be that day in which I will be completely satisfied! (of course that will be impossible…..)

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# Most collectors look for quality, age, uniqueness and complications. How do you calibrate the value of a vintage watch to avoid overpayment?
  • I calibrate the watch looking for the right compromise between age, quality and rarity.
# Which features are your core collection criteria, year, model, style, complication, material or …?
  • Feelings, for sure feelings. I choose a watch on the basis of the emotion that it transmits to me. No matter the year, quality or material, also a not perfect timekeeper can say something about its history, and most of the time, these are the most fascinating ones.

 

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# Should a collector always strive for a 100% original vintage watch or are periodically correct but not- authentic-to-watch parts allowed?
  • I think they are allowed, sometimes we have to close an eye. Imperfections make the particularity of that one we want, we all have pros and cons. Of course, non- authentic components are not allowed, but postponed parts are.
# Which brand met/exceeded your expectations in terms of creating a true vintage watch identity? Which brand could have done better in terms of creating a true vintage watch identity?
  • Rolex for me, with it’s history, creativity and long lasting quality. Vacheron I think had the power to implement, but they didn’t excel in terms of renewal.

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# Which brand is the dark horse at the moment, having potential to gain collector’s interest in the near future?
  • All those small brands like Longines, Omega, Movado, and Universal.
# Which contemporary watch models have the potential to become the classics of tomorrow?
  • Lange & Sohne with their complications that for me are under estimated in price/quality relationship.
# Do you expect a shift in collecting vintage watches towards less rare models, given the high prices the extraordinary examples fetch at auctions?
  • No, the classics will remain the dominant part. Rarity is the fundamental of our luxurious research of the perfect watch. Collectors are looking for those little characteristics that make their watches unique. We are not going to lose uniqueness just to collapse in front of the too high market prices.
# Do you think collecting vintage watches has become a bubble of ever increasing prices that will burst one day?
  • Prices can low down, but the market never dies. We are talking about things that are scarce, unique, and rare, how can they be outmoded?

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# The word passion is used frequently in the vintage watch community to mark a common driver to collect. Isn’t this word misused too often nowadays and collecting has become a cold hard cash business?
  • Sometimes yes, people do not acquire watches for passion, but for investment, those are the ones that move the market up, we have to face all kind of buyers, but believe me, the most of the people who talk about passion when they talk about watches are the really involved ones. The others just take the watch and hide it in a safe, no matter what other people share on the internet or talk about.

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# What is your view on the development of the increasing number fake vintage watches that are almost impossible to detect with only the eye?

  • I just suggest to customers to follow only trusted dealers advises, do not trust just offers or unknown sellers, but believe in the people who are here to help you, and know the job since many years.

# How would you compare vintage car collecting with vintage watch collecting? What are the differences and similarities?

  • From the economic point of view there are lot of differences, the cars market is more subjected to ups and downs, while watches are more stable. From the point of view of sake of collection they don’t have differences, a passion is a passion, as well as the one for stamps or Chinese ceramics. We all look for authenticity and rarity.

# The art world resembles a meritocracy where talent eventually is achieves the highest status. Do you see any similarities compared to the vintage watch world?

  • Of course, a classic is a classic, and will remain in time in the mind of consumers. A 6263, is a masterpiece and everyone knows it, the same, everyone knows the “Primavera” by Botticelli.

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# Two events are organized at the same time: a classic car fair displaying some of the rarest vintage cars out there and a vintage watch fair showing some of the most complicated watches ever made. Which event will you attend and why?
  • Well, that’s a tricky question… Most of the time the major complications are the ones represented by a new model of watches, and despite my fascination for those minute repeater watches or the hyper famous patek cal.89, they are too far from my pocket and too far from my interests, it’s the maximum point in which engineers meet watchmakers. I will be more confident in the vintage cars event, a world that is closest to mine.

# If you could travel back in time, who would you choose to have lunch with: Hans Wilsdorf or Antoni Patek & Adrien Philippe?

  • Hans Wilsdorf in Geneva, I’m more fascinated by his world and the way in which he creates it.

# What is your golden tip for novice collectors?

  • You can’t only buy perfection, sometimes you have to accept a middle-high quality watch always remembering that they were born to be worn and lived, and for this reason they cannot be all new old stock.
 Maria Giovanna & Elvio Piva
Check the vintage Rolex for sale by following this link to their trusted RPM dealer page. 
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This dealer's watches

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