Top Tips for Buying Vintage Watches

Whether you collect vintage watches for the fun of it or hope to pass them onto your grandchildren, it’s imperative to be mindful during the buying process. This blog post will explain how you can wind up with the timepiece you’ve always wanted as opposed to some knock-off.

  1. Social media is a major driving force in today’s market - As mentioned in this piece from the The New York Times, watch collectors are showcasing their items on Instagram and other social media platforms. This trend is in stark contrast to what longtime enthusiasts are accustomed to. For example, the majority of watch collecting used to be a private hobby. Today, it’s all about growing one’s brand and collection through the aid of other followers.
  2. Don’t be surprised over the costs - Hodinkee contributor Eric Wind explains that countless collectors are now putting their time and money toward models right around the $10,000 price range. With all those potential buyers has come plenty of increase in price. Wind notes that as recent as six years ago, two Compax chronographs from the 1960s sold for around $2,500 a piece. Interestingly, that same model sold for more than $47,000 in December of 2015.
  3. Be careful with eBay - Let’s make a comparison with sports memorabilia here for a moment. If you were to search on eBay for an autographed baseball of Babe Ruth, you would likely find countless options. However, you would (hopefully) know to only consider purchasing one that is certified by a reputable source. With vintage watches, on the other hand, certification and/or authentication isn’t really involved aside from paperwork. So how do so many timepiece dealers have a feedback history of 100 percent after hundreds of transactions? Unfortunately, many collectors aren’t completely sure what they’re buying. While eBay can be a great resource to grow your collection at first, you want to avoid it until you have more industry knowledge.
  4. Where restoration comes into the equation - Ideally, you want to find a vintage watch that’s brand-new and comes in the original box. If you haven’t already, you’ll find this to be very unlikely. Wind points to a trend with Rolex models in that folks are searching for watches with black dials that have turned brown due to intense sun exposure. It’s why a vintage Daytona with this heat damage can be worth up to five times the value of a normal one. So the more you have your watch serviced, the less valuable it will likely be in the future.
  5. Who can be trusted in the industry - Vintage timepieces can become confusing pretty quickly, which is why it’s best to search out advice from multiple experts. Again, avoid only using your knowledge and social media. Wind recommends sources such as, OnTheDash, and Vintage Rolex Forum to get started.

The Craft & Tailored Difference

You may be wondering what makes Craft & Tailored so different from others in the industry. Let’s start with our exclusive inventory. Our team only offers top-of-the-line brands, from Rolex and Omega to Seiko and Breitling. But it’s the selection of rare models that customers appreciate. For example, we have available the highly sought after 1985 Rolex Daytona 6263 Silver Big Red Daytona Dial, amongst others.

When our founder decided to turn his passion into a business, he made it a point to treat customers with the utmost respect, something that often gets lost in this industry. Each of the vintage watch professionals at Craft & Tailored uses their extensive knowledge in a non-pretentious way. There are no sales incentives, either. Each of our timepieces reflects how they are described in their product descriptions and come to you with insured shipping.

If you’ve never owned a vintage watch, but have been interested for some time, Craft & Tailored makes a great choice. The watches that we source and curate aren’t meant to just be thrown into your collection of stuff and forgotten. Rather, they’re intended to be a conversation piece, a talisman, or an heirloom passed down.

We are proud to offer the finest selection of the following:

Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to rare watches. Shop our selection of timeless menswear today.