If you have been considering buying Vintage Watches you’ll no doubt be aware that they are hot property right now. But let’s err on the side of caution and look at Where and How to buy a vintage watch safely. We want to be careful because a vintage watches can set you back a fair few dollars and you need to know what you’re getting for your money.
Why A Vintage Watch?
So, why do you want to buy a vintage watch? Is it the history behind a particular model, perhaps you’re thinking of a military watch that has a connection to a particular campaign, or even a particular person from the famous to your own family tree. You may want an original Rolex Submariner as part of a collection, or an Aviation Patek Phillipe model favored by Howard Hughes. The reasons are as numerous and as complex as the individuals pursuing their dream timepiece.
How To Find And Buy Vintage Watches
This is one of the first questions you need to answer. They are very popular right now and you will find them offered in numerous places from auction houses, high-end retailers, and online watch stores. With so many opportunities to you have to be careful because every opportunity is also a potential hazard. So, how do we start looking for the best place to buy a vintage watch?
How To Buy A Vintage Watch
The how to buy a vintage watch is also the same and where to buy a vintage watch. The principal issue is to find a trusted source. An auction house may seem like the best place to find your vintage watch. Take for example Christie’s, which regularly holds watch auctions at its galleries around the world and is well respected. They are one of the best-trusted sources around and also have an online retail shop with a watch collectors guide that could prove invaluable. However, if you don’t have deep pockets then this may not for you.
High street retail outlets may be able to help source a Vintage piece for you but that means a lot of ‘Leg Work’ and again, higher prices. Read my Discount Watch Store article here. Other well-known online stores you might like to investigate are eBay, Amazon, that will always have very keen prices, although choice and variety may be an issue.
Discount Watch Stores
Some online discount watch stores get a bad rap, but in general, they can offer a great deal more than a high street store or even eBay. Their size and buying power mean their prices will always be lower and their variety broader. The important thing is to know who you are dealing with, so always read the customer reviews, and be prepared to ask questions of the customer service department at whichever discount store you find yourself shopping at.
Regardless of where you shop the rules remain the same and you should follow them religiously.
Paperwork: Can the seller provide a full report on the watch’s condition? What is original and what’s been replaced or repaired?
History. Where did the seller get it? Does the seller have the service history?
Value. What are comparable watches selling for? Have you done your homework and looked elsewhere
Gut Feeling: Does the seller seem knowledgeable and know what they’re selling? Does the seller have good feedback and experience?
Customer Feedback: Does the seller have good feedback?
Dos and Don’ts
1. Always buy the watch you love. This is a personal piece and is nobody else’s business, so understand what you want and know your own mind.
2. Choose according to purpose. What will you be doing with this watch? Are you diving, climbing, flying, cycling, or going to Black Tie Dos? You want something that reflects your personality, and also fits with your lifestyle and bear in mind…. this is a vintage piece so it may not be so important to choose something that appears fashionable or contemporary right now.
3. Choose something you find comfortable.
4. Buy the best watch you can afford.
5. Purchasing vintage watches from reputable dealers with established reputations. The extra cost will pay dividends
1. If you are considering buying a vintage as a gift, I would say two things. 1. Your friend or loved one is very lucky to have you. But be careful because watches can be a very personal thing, and you need to really understand that person’s tastes and lifestyle.
2. Don’t forget or ignore any of the above.
Pros and Cons
Buying a vintage watch can be a rewarding and fulfilling.
Buying from an expensive source like Christie’s will offer security
Buying from eBay could save you money and offer security in the form of buyers guarantee
Buying from an online discount watch store can offer a wide range of great deals
Buying from an expensive source like Christie’s can be very expensive
Buying from eBay may not offer too much choice
Buying from an online discount watch store can be scary because you don’t know who to trust(always read the customer reviews and ask questions of the customer services)
The Take Away
The lesson to learn here is to be careful, shop smart and understand your limitations but also, buy the best item you can afford because this is an investment for the future as much as a useable timepiece to love.
All things change like the tide ebbing and flowing, but don’t let that hinder your main drive in your search for a vintage watch, otherwise, you’ll never make a decision. Always opt for the timepiece that speaks to you, because it’s going to be on your write. At the time of writing the most popular vintage watches are the Rolex Sports watches in steel, and the more affordable, Omega Zenith and Angelus. In the rarified heights of ‘high-end’ pieces, the Patek Phillippe is the highest and most exclusive option on the vintage market right now, but deep pockets are a name of the game at this level.
Just bear in mind there are always the ongoing favorites that seem to be evergreens like the Sports Watches, Chronographs, and those models with some pedigree such as the Omega Speedmaster known as the ‘MoonWatch‘. But the only thing that really matters is what makes you happy.
Know thyself. In a world where we’re surrounded by media and bombarded by lifestyle choices and the next ‘must have’ thing, be strong and know yourself and dismiss the white noise that surrounds you. Find the timepiece that makes you happy and suits you and your lifestyle, not a media generated lifestyle that never existed.
Find it, buy it, love it, share it. This is your life so take control!
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