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Kupcake153

Starting In The Vintage World: First Purchase

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I'm 17 and looking to buy my first 'nice' vintage, mechanical dress watch. £600 - £800 ish budget. I have VERY limited experience in the field and would appreciate any guidance and advice you could offer, whether it is on an actual watch or just the culture surrounding vintage pieces. Thanks!

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Well firstly I personally don't think you need to spend that much, contribute to the forum and once you meet the 50 post mark you may well find the Watch you are looking for in the sales corner, if you give it some time.

Longines and Omega are in my opinion the ones to look out for.

I hope this has helped.

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Always a good idea to look in a reputable jewellers, but not the cheapest.

And get advice first before spending any cash.

Some good people on hear, watch and learn.

Forgot to mention some nice vintage Tissot Watches around, if you look carefully.

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Hi there!

Being a Norfolk resident and having bought quite a few vintage watches in Norwich, I can probably point you in the right direction.

Firstly, there is a very good and reputable family jewellers in Saint Giles, just a few doors up from the music store and the car park. I know we are not supposed to post links to websites that might sell watches, and I'm not sure about mentioning the name of the business. If you live in the city you may well know it. I bought this lovely Eterna Kontiki from him just last Saturday.

A283E173-4B7C-404C-B8CF-EBD921EE9DBB_zps4hzhl36m.jpg

There is also a place on Magdalen Street just a few doors from the flea market. He always has a window full of nice vintage watches, not perhaps quite in the same class as the first place I mentioned.

I have bought from both of these places as well as a couple of others in the city. I would certainly recommend going to have a look and in the price range you mention you could pick up quite a nice Omega or Longines, and the first place has some nice vintage chronographs that would be worth a look.

It's a pity you have only just joined, or I could have sent you a PM with more details.

Good luck, and if you have any questions just ask!

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Oi you forgot to mention that lovely jewellers on the corner of London street that has a fellow watch geek working there... Maybe I'm bias haha.

Plenty of great shops in Norwich, obviously us, the 2 mentioned already, sometimes the gentleman in bagley court has a few for sale. The little church near Grosvenor fish and chips now has antique stands inside and half way along on the left has a cabinet full of smiths etc and an odd omega with 12 months g'tee.

Do you have any specific styles or models in mind...

I think with the amount of Norfolk residents on here we may have to have a social and bring along our favourite models over a cold one .

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If you can get to Solihull this Sunday there is a clock and watch fair that is a good place to learn and buy

Physical shops are often the best place to buy, but don't discount online stores completely. Due to the distance selling regulations you actually have more rights when buying online than in a bricks and mortar store.

Do watch for re dialed watches as these are worth a fraction of an original.

I agree on longines or Omega as good choices, but also consider Zenith. All these brands have a consistantly good history to find a nice one of any age or style. It depends what you are look I'm bg for though.

Welcome to the slippery slope of watch collecting!

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sorry about the spelling on the last post. Fat thumbs and a small phone screen!

A couple of other points. If you buy online from outside the EU expect to pay circa 25% in duty (so don't do it!) You could also consider vintage IWC at this price point, but don't expect much choice. But why not buy a gold watch? 9ct gold is cheap right now and because it is unfashionable the watches with stainless steel cases can sell for more than solid gold cases. And you'll always have a gold watch, regardless of fashion.

Far better to buy at the bottom of the market than at the top!

something like this 9ct Swiss Tissot would cost half of your bottom end budget!

DSC_1354_zpsf6016eb0.jpg

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hi, welcome to the forum,its looks from previous posts you are in an area with some vintage watch shops which is good as its alway best to see what you are buying in the flesh so to speak.ebay has been good to me but can be a minefield if you are not careful.any potential online purchases can be vetted by posting a link in this section and we have some very knowledgeable people on here who will steer you right..as previous posters have advised omega and longines are a good bet,another worth considering is eterna.good luck with your quest and may you get much pleasure from it,cheers..greasemonk

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Before you buy - and this is advice I always give - sort out in your own mind what criteria you're looking for in a watch. Things such as:

  • make
  • size
  • period
  • style (dial, case, etc.)
  • movement type
  • material (silver, steel, chrome, etc.)
  • function type (diver, pilot, military, etc.)

Also ponder what you mean by "vintage" - a much overused word, to my mind. It's used so much on eBay as to be meaningless, as that site designates a time span by the term. If you mean from a particular decade or just "old", that will help your choice. I don't collect "vintage" or "rare" watches - just old ones - and my collection ranges mainly from the 1930s to the early 1970s, with one or two modern, s/h watches thrown in just for fun.

If you want some ideas (and I've never yet spent more than £300 on a s/h watch), take a peek at my own watch collection on my website (not for sale) - just to see the sort of range there is in my own choices. You might like none of them - but that will, at least, point you in your own direction!

http://www.willswatchpages.com/

Edited by Will Fly

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Get your legs under you before you start splurging on 'the bay' ... far too easy to get burned (even when you're "knowledgeable", unfortunately) without having a good baseline of knowledge or reference points to go by.

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When I buy vintage, I always assume and factor in that I will need to spend some thing on it, maybe a service and clean, a decent strap, the 'right' crown or crystal if they have been replaced, or relume.

By the way, I love vintage and do collect vintage, particularly military, but before you leap in, have a look at an Orient Bambino or second-hand Tissot Visodate. Some hate them, I quite like them and they are both current model, vintage style.

Edited by Meatandpotatopie

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There's a very nice 9kt gold smiths for sale on here ATM for little money. Beautiful classic watch.

If som

Ge one else buys it I won't need to find a place for yet another watch lol.

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Thanks! Do you think it is wise to buy online or to stick to physical shops?

Hi,

I've had mixed experiences with buying online. It's worth a shot as long as there is a return policy if it arrives in a worse condition than described. However i recently met up with someone and bought a lovely 1950's watch which 6 weeks later isn't working. I guess when dealing with second hand goods that are pretty old things don't always go right.

If you see something online, try and view it in person before purchase.

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Thanks! Do you think it is wise to buy online or to stick to physical shops?

Hi,

I've had mixed experiences with buying online. It's worth a shot as long as there is a return policy if it arrives in a worse condition than described. However i recently met up with someone and bought a lovely 1950's watch which 6 weeks later isn't working. I guess when dealing with second hand goods that are pretty old things don't always go right.

If you see something online, try and view it in person before purchase.

My guess is that many old watches being sold on eBay haven't been run regularly or serviced for some time. They've been stuck in a drawer, perhaps for years. They get taken out, wound up to see if they run OK, then get put on eBay and bought. The buyer then uses them regularly - perhaps winds them once a day - and then any potential problems come to light. A mainspring breaks, a chrono spring fails, the dirt on the hairspring kicks in, etc.

I had a similar experience with my Swiss Emperor Landeron 248 chrono. It ran an hour fast every day and the chrono second sweep was flying back to a point just before the 12 o'clock position. So off it went to be cleaned (which was why it ran fast) and repaired (a broken return spring). That was well over a year ago and it now runs beautifully. And my old 1939 Unitas A.T.P military watch got a broken mainspring about two months after it was bought and wound quite regularly. My only fear in this instance was being able to source a mainspring but, luckily, Cousins had several equivalents in stock and it's back to normal running again.

I don't have a problem with these things. I just accept that it's the luck of the draw and that old watches - and we're talking of mechanisms well over 50 or 60 years old here - may well have a hiccough or two when they're revived, so to speak, by a collector. So don't be put off by the experience - it's part of the fun and games of collecting old watches.

Edited by Will Fly

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I know we are not supposed to post links to websites that might sell watches, and I'm not sure about mentioning the name of the business.

As far as I can tell, it is fine to mention business names, it's only direct links to websites selling watches or watch-related items that are not allowed on here :D

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As a novice, remember that there are certain, "maintenance or PM" costs involved in maintaining your watch. Someone mentioned purchasing a chrono. You can easily have that purchase price involved in a cleaning, repairing, regulating, etc.

I can't believe I am even going to mention this but, perhaps you should start out with a nice (oh, Gawd, I'm shuttering) quartz! Oh Gawd I can't believe I even recommended that. Check into a nice quartz Omega (the "f" series, etc.).

There, I've said it.

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There's some really nice omegas, smiths, Bulova & Tissot to name but 4 brands out there. For your budget you should be able to source a good one. Do you have a particular style in mind? It'll help to narrow your search.

Good luck with e hunt.

Jamie

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There's some really nice omegas, smiths, Bulova & Tissot to name but 4 brands out there. For your budget you should be able to source a good one. Do you have a particular style in mind? It'll help to narrow your search.

Good luck with e hunt.

Jamie

I'm a big fan of pieces with a sub second function. Also I have borderline tiny wrists so i'm quite concious of not getting a watch that is too big. Any pointers?

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I can't believe I am even going to mention this but, perhaps you should start out with a nice (oh, Gawd, I'm shuttering) quartz! Oh Gawd I can't believe I even recommended that. Check into a nice quartz Omega (the "f" series, etc.).

There, I've said it.

GET OUT! Just kidding, i'll take a look at quartz but i may need to clean my tainted soul afterwards :D

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I can't believe I am even going to mention this but, perhaps you should start out with a nice (oh, Gawd, I'm shuttering) quartz! Oh Gawd I can't believe I even recommended that. Check into a nice quartz Omega (the "f" series, etc.).

There, I've said it.

GET OUT! Just kidding, i'll take a look at quartz but i may need to clean my tainted soul afterwards :D

I know... just shoot me now!

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