Hey y’all. Would love to get some thoughts from people about buying vintage watches and what resources you might use to evaluate a piece before you buy.

I’ve only ever bought new watches but am in love with some vintage pieces. I’m not really sure where to start with resources to do my due diligence and ensure I’m not massively over paying or buying something that no watch maker today could really service.

Would love some thoughts from the bowl on any vintage buys y’all have done.

Thanks!

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Vintage is a mine field; we’d have to talk in specifics to be of any help to you. What model/brand/years are you considering?

Vintage is nice to look at but can be hard to wear…I literally never wear any of my vintage watches and I regret buying most of them. That’s just me though; I know some folks have and love them.

Your lifestyle and career will have a big impact on the watch too, so if it’s a mismatch you’re just begging for headaches and service bills.

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Hell of a collection. The ‘49 Omega is extraordinary but the ‘69 Tudor is a beaut in its own right.

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I bought an Omega Connie from 1953 a few years ago. There really isn't a single authority knowledge source for vintage watches in my experience, you really will be doing some old school internet research on various, usually old, sources on the web. In my recollection, the best sources of knowledge came from old watch forum posts from 2005 from usually a very dismissive, obviously cranky old dude whos annoyed that he even has to type out obscure bits of trivia on 60s Omega. That being said, the research was quite fun to do, and I learnt way more about my watch than I would normally have done.

There are vintage specializing online shops that will find, authenticate, fix, and sell vintage watches at a premium. They also sometimes provide servicing or will at least provide direction on how you can fix your watch. Private buyers will of course be cheaper, but you'll have to do more legwork on your end to authenticate the watch using photos and reference numbers.

I ended up buying a redialed watch, as I wanted to wear the watch. I could have gotten a mint, completely original watch for ~1.5k more, but to me I thought I would become hesitant to wear the watch. Buying a mint watch that's 60+ years old seemed more closer to holding it for safekeeping as opposed to wearing it and enjoying it.

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If you own newer watches, how do you feel the vintage omega compares? Do you find yourself wearing it often? Is the movement reliable and does the watch feel scary fragile?

I think that is one of my biggest fears is feeling like I can’t trust the watch to keep ticking and will just be a constant nuisance.

As someone who has owned a ‘65 mustang for over a decade, I am all too familiar with the anxieties of vintage technologies not being as reliable as modern ones. My hope is that since watches have a few less moving parts to a car, that I wouldn’t necessarily experience the same drastic drop in reliability between my Prius and my mustang 😂

As a reference point, I have a vintage omega that I wear fairly often. Definitely not all original but it wasn’t particularly expensive (a little under $1k) and I like the way it wears so it gets a fair amount of wrist time because of that. Has worked well for the past 3-4 years. Got it on Chrono24 and didn’t do a ton of diligence but had an opportunity to chat with the previous owner at the time before buying.

It sounds like you might be taking a more purist approach which I’m less able to help with unfortunately. But just thought I’d share

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