Vintage watches

How to buy a vintage watch guide

If it comes to buying a classic watch the decorations are as good as the advantages.
What is a vintage watch?
Alex Stonely:”I believe most people in the industry would consider a view of 25/30+ years as vintage, but the greater prevalence of vintage watches signifies the expression is being used with much more modern items nowadays.” However, as long as the watch in question is no more in production, or has been superseded by a newer version, then I would say it is acceptable to use the term classic. It helps if it is at least 20 years old, like the Zenith-powered Rolex Cosmograph 16520 (made from 1988-2001), for instance, now broadly recognized as a vintage Daytona.”

Which are the characteristics that define a classic watch? Since technology has moved on, the functionality of mechanical watches has become more complex and things such as men dive watches are becoming more robust and can cope with much more intense depths. What is currently happening in the watch world is that a whole lot of vintage styles are being revived so customers can purchase a new watch with all the look of the vintage one. This has also generated interest in classic items as clients find the originals in addition to the re-editions.”
DP:”The magnitude of a wristwatch has ever been a careful compromise by the manufacturers between functionality and aesthetics. What defines vintage more are the techniques and materials previously embraced on these watches, such as plexiglass, dial enamelling or even the luminous chemical used on the batons and palms.”
Which brands/models should I be looking to buy?
AS:”Ultimately the choice of brand is dictated by budget, fashion, the usage of this watch, etc, as it’s when choosing a new or modern watch.”
DP:”From a commercial point of view it would be wise to concentrate on Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega and Cartier. Rolex models that deserve a special mention would be: any vintage Daytona from the late Sixties onwards, or even the pre-Daytona (6238) that came earlier, good illustrations of Submariner and GMT, especially full-set watches or early models with gilt dials are quickly rising in value. With Patek it is worth noting the insatiable demand for several of the Eighties Nautilus models — notably the ref 3700 — in any metal, and the Forties/Fifties Calatravas which have great dial legibility and make exceptional daily wearers.”

But when collecting vintage, sometimes the heart can rule the head, and many different brands like Heuer, IWC, Audemars Piguet and Breguet perform extremely well at auction and therefore are highly respected.”

Vintage watches

The Best Vintage Watches And Where To Buy Them Guide

Age improves many things. Men, wine (occasionally ), automobiles and most certainly watches. It is the principal reason every watch brand’s R&D department spends half of its time covered in down book dust from the archives in an effort to find the most obscure reference to reissue.
Vintage watches are comforting, they hark back to simpler times also, in terms of earnings, they are gold. However, what this tradition reissue revival has also triggered is an interest in seeking out vintage designs — the originals that inspired the latest crop. Smart watch buyers have been zeroing in on a decade having an aesthetic that appeals and investing there, enticed by the bargains to be had.
Although there might be deals and steals, buying vintage can be a small wild west. Thus, we’re here to go first through the double doors of that particular saloon to allow you to know where any dangers lie.
Why Can You Purchase A Vintage Watch?
There are so many bright, glistening timepieces out there that you may buy from respectable retailers, so that still have their papers and that you know have their original parts, so why buy vintage?

vintage watches

“In the exact same way that classic car collectors can drive a contemporary one but collect vintage, the same is usually true of watches,” says Adrian Hailwood, senior watch expert at major UK auctioneer Dreweatts plus a private watch adviser and valuer. “A vintage watch might not have the exact same toughness, accuracy or reliability as a contemporary one and it surely won’t be covered by a three- or – last-minute guarantee but it’s history and reflects the maturation of watchmaking over recent years.”
If you read up on the watch you want and trust your seller too, it’s also a means to buy in an iconic brand version at a substantially lower price bracket compared to if you bought new.
For example, as Chris Mann, host of popular watch podcast Time 4 A Pint points out, an Omega Speedmaster in the 1980s or 1990s is a bargains at auction and you can pick up the head (i.e. no bracelet) of an iconic ref.145.022 (the very first Speedie to utilize the calibre 861 and the pre-Moon watch) from back in 1968 for approximately #2,000-#3,000. Even though you can find them recorded for #13,000, so it pays to be savvy.


The Very Best Vintage Watch Websites
What started out as a website has now developed to a one-stop shop for all things watch related, and that includes classic watches. There’s a wonderful choice from the situations you know — Rolex Datejusts — to those you might not — 1970s Aquadive Caribbean, anybody?
All of the classic styles are covered with a 30-day mechanical warranty, so if it quits functioning within that period you can send it back, however, although Hodinkee assess the watch is working when it leaves them, they create no warranty of accuracy or water resistance.
The Watch Club It specialises in Rolex and Patek Philippe but there is still plenty to select from including Tudor, Omega and even relative novices Bremont. Every watch is coated with a two-year guarantee, is inspected by a skilled watchmaker and if mandatory and then pressure-tested and accuracy assessed onsite.
Watches of Knightsbridge
If you want to take your chances with the auctioneer’s hammer, then this family-run site will incorporate a frisson of excitement to your vintage watch buying. Directed by father-and-son staff Simon and Toby Sutton, they bring 50 decades of experience to the vintage watch game. You can flirt with all the monthly online auction or attend one of their Berkeley Hotel-based physical events.
As this is an auction house, unless there is a problem, there are no refunds here. If it comes to dials, they’re just believed to be original if said in the condition file, however WoK will not speculate regarding the creativity of the hands, lume on dials or hands or the originality of polishing cases.
Every opinion value over #1,000 is also given a due-diligence ceremony from the Art Loss Register, the world’s largest database of lost and stolen watches as well as art, antiquities, and collectibles. This will be to determine if it’s been stolen prior to being offered at auction.