Most people around me (at work, among my friends or relatives) don’t wear a watch, their phones have in-built time displays that do the same job. Some wear modern smart watches that have tremendous practical functionalities like; e-mail receivers, heart monitors etc. Others wear super robust sports watches, that can easily survive being dropping off a cliff and then thrown into the ocean. A few even have mega expensive brand watches, that show off their good taste (or lack of). To be honest wearing a vintage watch is not the best way of telling the time. Most quartz watches are 100 times more accurate, than even the most accurate mechanical watch. Most vintage watches have poor water and shock resistance compared to a Casio G-shock. As for showing off wealth (in most cases) a mid 60’s Omega Seamster in excellent original condition would cost you approximately £800-1200 compared to a new Seamster that starts at £3K. Vintage watches in daily use also require routine service intervals, that can turn expensive when non existent parts need replacing.
Yet in recent years several of my friends have shown increasing interest for vintage watches. Even today’s watch manufactures, have been issuing a number of vintage inspired and “heritage” editions. Sometimes old designs are remade, but with new movements and often wider cases. In some cases fake “patina” is added to the dial and case making it feel more vintage.
There has always been people collecting watches, but it’s now more popular than ever! No doubt the massive increase of interest is largely thanks to the internet. Dedicated blogs and forums shed light on forgotten models that would otherwise be impossible to get information about. The online market platforms have made it very easy to buy/sell watches from all over the planet. Some watches have become very lucrative investment pieces because an interest for a particular model suddenly sky rockets and the price explodes. Like stamps, vintage watches are in limited supply. The brands that tend to cost the most are the brands that are still expensive today, the modern marketing rubs off on their old counterparts. Again thanks to the internet even the non-mainstream brands are becoming increasingly popular, as people start to truly appreciate their quality and beauty.
In my next article, I will write about what to look for in a vintage watch based on my experience as a vintage watch user and collector.