A vintage watch is a big investment, but one that could bring you many years of happiness – if you make the right choice. Whether you're looking to purchase a vintage watch for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, you'll want to make sure it lives up to expectations. There's a lot of choice when it comes to watches, and you might feel overwhelmed. It's a good idea to have some idea of what you're looking for before you start browsing, and the three categories below are a good place to start.
Who the manufacturer is
If you're concerned about the future value of the watch you choose, then you'll want to research manufacturers carefully. Big, well-known brands that are still popular nowadays are usually a pretty safe investment, but by taking a risk and choosing a lesser-known, but respected, smaller manufacturer you could profit even more in the future. It's hard to predict value, so you'll need to research and come to your own conclusions. Check out auction sites to gauge the availability and level of interest in watches from different makers.
What material it's made from
The case metal of your watch makes a big difference to how it looks, so you'll want to consider what you usually wear and how well it will match. If you're a fan of gold jewellery, then getting a gold watch makes sense. Material is also important when it comes to ascertaining value and rarity. In watches by some manufacturers, two-tone designs are common and should be avoided, but in others they're a novelty that could see your watch fetch a good price in future. Steel watches are common, but platinum and white gold are rarer - good if you want a silver colour, but not a common, low-end vintage watch.
How good the condition is
When deciding whether or not to purchase a watch, you'll want to consider its condition. A poor condition can drastically decrease the price, and makes the watch look less appealing. Look at the exterior condition of the case, glass and the bracelet, but don't forget to ask about the quality of the dial and movement too. Glass can be simple to replace, but other elements are not, and any alterations will mean the watch is not as true to its original appearance as it once was. If you're buying a vintage watch mainly for the style, you might not be too concerned about having repairs carried out, but true collectors will stay away from watches that need extensive work.