There’s no denying the vintage watch market is hotter right now than it has been in ages. On one hand, enthusiasts and collectors continue to leverage the global reach of web sales to access collectible timepieces they never would have stumbled across first-hand. On the flip side, more people are looking at the value gains of top-tier collectibles of all sorts and realizing they’ll have better luck making faster and more predictable gains than with stocks and bonds. The question then becomes: How does one navigate shopping for vintage watches prudently and effectively? After years as a collector — having spent hours discussing the vintage watch realm with some of the best and brightest buyers, sellers and consignors — I offer a quick Vintage Watch 101 that shouldn’t be ignored.
Do Your Homework
When shopping vintage, there’s always more to it than finding something in a shop and saying “Yes” — especially if the price sounds too good to be true. A watch fitted with incorrect hands, an aftermarket crown or a poorly refinished dial will never hold value the way an all-original (or professionally restored) piece will. Step One is to hunt around online for similar pieces. Beware if you notice a detail on the one you’re looking at that doesn’t match a healthy number of comparables. At the same time, keep your eye on sales prices. Is the watch significantly higher or lower than what you’re finding elsewhere? If so, that’s a pretty healthy red flag. If you’ve made it through those hurdles unscathed, question the seller about any history available. The biggest questions are how long they’ve had the piece and when it was serviced last. No service history could mean an expensive ticking time bomb, so consider that when negotiating.
Choose Sellers Wisely
The internet — and especially eBay — is full of less-than-trustworthy watch “dealers,” but thankfully there are plenty of excellent ones around as well. Places like Analog/Shift, H.Q. Milton, Crown & Caliber and Hodinkee’s vintage watch shop are filled with beautiful vintage timepieces vetted by their collecting realms’ best and brightest. They’re a great resource if you’re looking for the best of the best, but you can expect to pay full market price from each of these operations. If you’re willing to hunt elsewhere, retailer aggregator tools like Chrono24 pull listings from watch resellers around the world, and if you stick to its verified list of sellers you can somewhat trust the information being presented.
Gamble with Caution
I’m the first to admit I’ve done a bit of “gambling” with buying vintage watches, but I’ll also say it’s not for the faint of heart. Always pay attention to the guidelines you’ve read thus far and, more importantly, do the math. If the watch you’ve fallen in love with comes up on eBay, look into the possible parts and servicing cost and factor that in. If you buy something for $2,000 and have to spend $800 to service it and make it look presentable, can you just buy a serviced and presentable model for roughly $2,800? Sometimes the math is good and sometimes it’s not, but the last thing you want is a watch in your collection that leaves you with a bitter memory.
Once an abandoned 1923 constructed warehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, it took a creative group of designers, artists, musicians, chefs and business folks to transform a neglected, 100-year-old structure into one of Asheville’s most interesting and daring hotel projects.
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
Early on, pickleball had something to do with pickles. Pickles the dog, that is. In one story, the game was named for a family dog that ran off with the ball between sets.
Don’t risk losing all the money you’ve spent if you must cancel your trip at the last minute. Allianz Travel Insurance can give you:
JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco recently completed renovations of its entrances, lobby, culinary concepts and meeting space. This marks the final stage of the renovation, which began in 2021 with the revitalization of its 269 guestrooms and 45 suites.
Known as one of the best airports in the world and voted Best Airport in the Middle East by Global Traveler readers, Hamad International Airport aims to set new standards for the airport industry that exceed the expectations of travelers through its facility.
You know what you’re going to get at an Aman hotel, and also you don’t. Expect peerless service, obsessive attention to detail, architectural elegance worthy of a fashion magazine, a holistic approach to wellness and astounding levels of comfort. But each property is also intimately connected to its setting, and that’s where the surprises lie. For instance, finding yourself on your knees on a sidewalk in Luang Prabang handing out sticky rice to Buddhist monks at 5:30 a.m. isn’t something we expected.