Modern watches available to us today oozes quality and resembles watchmaking from the highest quality. When you acquire a luxury timepiece, it is simply the ‘Best of the best’ in terms of watchmaking and the quality and reliability will serve you well for many years to come! So, where does this leave vintage watches?
The fascinating world of vintage watches is ever-growing in popularity due to a few key factors that fuel this…
- A great collection of some savvy collectors
- Tons of research material on the web for buying & collecting
- Nostalgic buyers/Collectors
What constitutes as Vintage?
Antique watches are at least 100 years old. Vintage watches are at least 20 years old. We can assume that the secondhand market covers roughly from the quartz crisis onwards, while vintage deals with anything before that. The Eighties are more or less the cut-off point between these two periods.
The Pros – Each has Character & souls on their own
The Cons – Will never be as accurate as a newer
What to Expect From a Vintage Watch
Owning a vintage timepiece is a lot like owning a vintage car, without the oil leaks. There is a reasonable amount of preventative maintenance that should be factored in (most non-complicated timepieces require a basic check-up and tune every couple years), but then again, a new piece should really get the same treatment as well.
Owning a mechanical timepiece is about experiencing the measurement of time, not just telling it.
Here is how to start:
Step 1: Educate yourself.
The vintage watch market is rife with fakes, so-called “frankenwatches”, and unscrupulous sellers. Do your homework. Talk to collectors, join web forums, and ask questions; learn about the watches you’re interested in. Post photos and solicit feedback.
Step 2: Get hands-on.
Condition is the biggest differentiator in vintage watches and can mean the difference between an R5,000 watch and an R20,000 one — an investment-grade piece and an also-ran. You might be surprised to learn that, when buying a vintage watch, the original condition is paramount.
Step 3: Check the serial number.
You can use the serial number to check for the watch’s age. If possible, make sure that the movement number lines up with the case vintage. “Frankenwatches” are those with mismatched or replaced parts, pieced together to make a complete timepiece or improve its appearance for the unsuspecting buyer. These can mean great bargains if you’re just looking for a cool old watch to wear, but you should always know the truth about what you’re getting.
Step 4: Make sure you buy from the seller.
Get references, ask for a “proof photo” of the watch you want to buy (a photo taken of the watch on that day’s newspaper, with a handwritten note with the seller’s name), and talk to the seller on the phone. There are numerous watch sale forums online, but there are also reputable individual dealers, both local and online.
5 Vintage Watches You Should Start Collecting Now
Introduced in 1952 and in continues production ever since. The Breitling Navitimer marks a significant milestone in aviation watches.
An ideal alternative to the near identical models from elder sibling Rolex. ‘Snowflake’ models are very much in favor. Particularly those with a connection to the Marine Nationale France.
This interesting series of watches uses a 360Hz tuning fork instead of a balance wheel as the timekeeping element. This was the second electronic watch in history. Debut 1960
Seiko 6309 Diver
Seiko’s 6309 diver is one of those watches that everyone seems to know and love. The 6309-7040/9 was introduced in 1976 and lasted an incredible 13 years through 1988.
Universal Geneve Polerouter Date
This particular piece we just love since it oozes character and personality. Makes vintage watches really fun to wear! Debut around 1960.
A unique timepiece that oozes quality, has loads of character and even though they might require some extra labor in maintenance, it is a satisfying reward to wearing one. We can help you find the right timepiece for you!