Have Men Been Seduced By The Vintage Trend?Vintage engagement rings are definitely increasing in popularity but there has been a recent and interesting rise in male accessories too.
In today’s vibrant and exciting jewellery market the demand for vintage engagement rings is increasing, and no matter how much you want to avoid being seduced by the hottest new trends, this is a tough one to shun. As many of the designers featured in the F&L Designer Guides, the successful online engagement ring publication, would profess, vintage engagement rings offer a unique style and reflect influences from some of the most prestigious fashionable eras to date, including the Victorian era and the Roaring 20s.
Period dramas, Downtown Abbey and The Great Gatsby in particular have played a huge role in getting vintage engagement rings and vintage jewellery noticed, and there is an energetic vibe surrounding the concept of vintage portrayed in all kinds of media outlets. As L, from F&L Designer Guides points out, this increasing interest is not only driven by ladies, but by men too. “I defy anyone not to be enchanted by the image of a gentleman, impeccably dressed complete with beautiful Edwardian cufflinks, statement white tie and tails, and an elegant pocket watch,” says L, and many would agree.
Many vintage jewellery treasures were originally designed by some of the biggest names in the business, such as Fabergé and Boucheron, and recently Bonhams sold a gentleman’s Cartier sapphire dress set dating from 1910 for £1500 against a reserve of £5000. This set was comprised of cufflinks, buttons, and studs, which are all items that modern day brides may choose to buy as a gift for their groom on their wedding day as a match to their own vintage engagement rings.
Vintage watches are also increasing in popularity, especially those made by Breguet and Van Cleef & Arpels. “With Patek Philippe, for instance, you’ll never lose money,” says Michael Moorcroft of Bonhams. Do we assume then that for men vintage jewellery is more of an investment opportunity rather than something to wear everyday? Perhaps so. Justin Daughters states that “Georgian cufflinks have very flamboyant, flowery designs but they’re so old and rare that people rarely actually wear them”. Many investors and collectors buy vintage watches, Dunhill lighters, cigarette boxes or beautifully crafted snuffboxes and never actually use them, but instead display them in a cabinet only to be admired from afar.
While the rise in demand for men’s vintage jewellery has focused on the more typical male accessory, there has also been a steady rise in the demand for men’s vintage rings that showcase any kind of diamond. F, the founder of the F&L Designer Guides for engagement rings, believes that this rise simply reflects the rising price and investment value of diamonds. He suggests too that the demand for vintage engagement rings centres wholly on the ladies and that is unlikely to change any time soon.