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This Is the Real Problem with Collecting Vintage Watches

Paul Altieri

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the level of interest in vintage watches. While their unique, era-specific designs offer buyers a wide range of different sizes, styles, and materials, there is also a certain collectable aspect to “antique” element of vintage timepieces that many find appealing.

Collecting Vintage watches are perfect for
A Vintage Rolex Daytona ref. 6262 in prestine condition.

The Fun In Collecting Vintage Watches

Often in the world of luxury watches – especially in regards to vintage Rolex – the most minor of details, or subtle dial variations can represent thousands of dollars in resale value in the open market. Consequently, it is crucial for prospective buyers to be able to verify that the watch they are considering is entirely comprised of authentic and original components.

As vintage watches are, by their very definition, not brand-new timepieces, most will likely be sold on the secondary market. Even when the seller is a company, nearly all vintage watches have had previous owners, and it is important to be able to verify that the seller is not only a trusted vendor but also that they possess an expertise in watches.

Collecting Vintage watches are great. From the Fat Lady to the Paul Newman.
Trusting those who sell vintage watches are risky, so make sure you’re dealing with a reputable entity.

More Reasons Why Vintage Is Difficult

Why this is important, is because the majority of the value of certain vintage watches is contingent on the condition and originality of their parts. Even if you are able to inspect the watch in person, you will still need to take the seller’s word on a lot of the less observable details, and it always best to deal with an honest vendor that possesses a great deal of knowledge about vintage timepieces.

Additionally, as almost all vintage watches have seen use at some point, many have required repair or servicing over the years. Letters of provenance from past owners, or well-documented service histories can help provide a better picture of the condition of a watch, and a record of what parts (if any) have been replaced. It is not very common for vintage watches to come with such complete and well-recorded histories, which is why it is so important to buy from an honest and knowledgeable vendor.

A reputable dealer like Bob's Watches is the way to go.
A watch like a Paul Newman is both a rare and vintage watch which boosts the value of the watch.

As authentic parts can often be in short supply for vintage watches, it is all the more important to be able to verify that a given watch is in ideal condition. Even the most seemingly insignificant detail such as a handset or bezel insert can potentially be of great importance to the value of a watch, and should you need to source authentic, original parts, it can often be both difficult ad expensive to track down the required pieces.

Despite the many forums on Vintage watches, these timepieces possess an unparalleled level of individuality and collectability, which is part of the reason why they have become so popular among today’s buyers. However, as with nearly all things whose value stems from their age and condition, the value of vintage watches can frequently be difficult to accurately determine. Consequently, it is imperative to always buy your next vintage timepiece from a trusted source with an expertise in the world of luxury watches.


Paul Altieri
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