There are several factors involved. First, however, is that if you expect to wear the watch, you should choose something that is eye-catching and appealing to you personally. Don’t worry about what your friends think. Make sure that the vintage watch will fit in with your lifestyle. Perhaps even a vintage watch that will distinguish you from the rest of the crowd.
Check if the watch is gold, stainless or gold filled. If the watch case is gold, then check for the gold mark. It can be simply stamped as 14K or 18K, 375, 585, 750 or in the form of a hallmark used in Europe.
What is the condition of the case and band? Do not worry overly about the band since most purchasers will change to their own specifications in any case. However, if the band is a
metal bracelet, then find out if it was original to the watch.
We do not recommend that you purchase vintage watches at online auctions as most watches are sold “as is”. Is the watch signed by the maker? It could be signed on dial, crown, case back, movement or on any or all of these places.
What is the condition of the dial? Is it spotted or speckled? Or does it have a nice aged look or patina which is desirable? If purchasing from a website dealer, most large photos will show imperfections clearly. Has it been redialled? If it has been redialled – was it done so by a qualified dial artist and does it look like the original dial? Generally, dealers will indicate if original dial.
What is the condition of the movement? Is it clean? Is there any rust? Is watch running well? Has been recently serviced? Will dealer have it serviced for an additional fee?
All of the above items should be covered in the description by the dealer selling the vintage watch. Find a dealer who displays the symbol and is a member of the NAWCC – the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc.
Ashton-Blakey Vintage Watches began as a private collection that grew from a love of collectible vintage watches and pocket watches for over 30 years and now has a website for more than 12 years featuring vintage watches from makers such as Breitling, Rolex, Tudor, Omega, IWC, Elgin, Heuer, Illinois, Bulova, Longines, Girard-Perregaux, Ball, Mido, Waltham, Hamilton, Illinois, Howard, Tiffany, Tissot, Doxa, Zenith, military and more.
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