Buying and Collecting Vintage Wrist Watches is Often Stressful.
Especially if you do not know much about them. But it can also be fun, once you get the hang of it. They often have a unique history, and you will be surprised by all of the features and complications that were available back then. The pioneer watchmakers have set the stage for some of the most advanced movements (gears and pinions inside a watch) that the world has ever seen.
So what type of Vintage Wrist Watch should you buy?
Well, that depends on quite a few things: taste, the money you are willing to spend, the time you want to take repairing your watch, time period. I would recommend that if you are starting out, stick with good quality brands. For example, Hamilton and Citizen would be a great place to start. They have always made great watches and have a great reputation in the watch community.
What are your tastes when it comes to vintage watches?
Do you like the old chronographs (aka stopwatches) or are you more into moon phase watches? My personal favourite is the old retrograde or jumps hour watches. You can get a really nice vintage jump grade watch from the '50s. They are so cool. The point is though, to pick a style that you like.
How much money are you willing to spend?
That will often limit you as far as what type of watch you can buy. But do not get discouraged, because a lot of vintage watches are cheaper than the newer ones. For example, a Zenith vintage wristwatch will range between $100-$2000. A new Zenith watch will cost you upwards $5,000-$20,000. Most American vintage wristwatches, like Hamilton, will be much cheaper. I would stick to an American watch before I went to a Swiss watch.
The next thing you want to take into account is the condition the watch is in. Some clues are the case and are their particles in the movement. Can you still see the serial number on the watch? These things are very important because they affect the value of your vintage wristwatch.
The time period is the final thing that I would consider when shopping for a vintage wristwatch. Usually the farther back it goes, the simpler the movement. This will affect many things, like how you clean it and take it apart. Be very careful when cleaning your watch, it is very easy to damage it. I would recommend you to start with clocks before you start with wristwatches.
Remember the most important thing you can do before you buy is research. There are so many options. That would be the first thing I would do. Go to your local bookstore and pick up a catalogue or book on wristwatches, or browse the world wide web. You will find all sorts of styles, good hunting.
By Noah Jason Glaser