Part of the charm of vintage watches is their uniqueness and individual backstories. In recent years, we have seen a lot of growth in the community that surrounds these timeless timepieces. This is exciting news as it means that there are more pieces on the market, giving you a better selection than ever before.
However, because there are more vintage watches on the market, there are now a lot of imitation and modified pieces out there as well. Not only this, but the designs are now being copied by fashion brands such as Hugo Boss or Guess watches, muddying the pool even further. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of tips and things to look for in any vintage watch before you make a purchase.
Decide what’s important to you
Unlike watches that are still in production and can be customised to meet the desires of a customer, vintage watches come “as is” and there’s no guarantee that the watch you want will be on the market. For this reason, it’s important to decide what features are important to you in a watch before you start your search. This way, if you can’t find a perfect match, you’ll be able to find one with the features you care most about.
If you’re interested in a timepiece that will double as an investment, you’ll probably prioritise features that make the watch rare and in high demand. For instance, you may want to focus your search on timepieces that had small production runs or came from a historically important collection. Most importantly, you want to ensure that all parts of the watch are authentic and original. If you’re more attracted to the look and story behind a watch than the value it holds, you’ll probably prioritise features like the style, condition and functionality of the watch.
Do your research
This is the most enjoyable part of the shopping process as it will develop your appreciation for the piece before you purchase it. Have fun with it and learn as much as you can before you decide to buy anything. Make sure that you know what the watch should look like for the year listed. Know what features the watch includes and verify that they are present. Know where to locate the serial numbers on the watch. This will allow you to check if the number on the case matches that on other parts such as the movement to determine if the parts are all authentic. Ask when the watch was last serviced and if it will be necessary for you to do so in the immediate future. It would be a shame to have your watch stop working because you didn’t realize the water tight seal hadn’t been serviced and allowed the watch to flood.
Finally, make sure you enjoy your new purchase!