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Home > Blog > 10 Things You Should Know About Buying Vintage Watches

10 Things You Should Know About Buying Vintage Watches

Posted by cuttingsjewellers on June 5, 2015

Vintage Watch.jpg
For the luxury watch enthusiast, vintage watches represent the ancestry of established brands and are living proof that quality watches are built to last.

If you find yourself fascinated by the wonderful world of vintage watches, here are 10 things you should know before you buy one.



1. A watch can be referred to as vintage if it is at least 25 years old. The term “vintage” also refers to the era in which the item first became popular.

2. For the most part, vintage watches are much less expensive than buying new. There are exceptions to this rule, however, depending on how rare and exclusive the timepiece is.

3. Beware of scammers who piece together parts to create something that looks ‘vintage’, whether it’s online, through an auction or at an antiques market. It pays to visit an authorised dealer who knows what they are talking about!

4. Know your budget and learn what you like and don’t like before visiting a seller. If you are not confident about what you would like to buy beforehand, the seller is likely to persuade you into spending more than you originally intended.

5. If the price is higher than you expected, bear in mind that rare details will increase the value of a vintage watch; for example, a Rolex with a gold crown instead of a white one.

6. Compared to modern day watches, some vintage styles seem petite. Over the years, watch faces have increased in diameter, so what was a respectable size 50 years ago will seem small on some wrists now. If you prefer a chunkier timepiece, look for watches of 36mm or bigger.

7. A vintage watch will keep its value with all its original parts, particularly the original dial which holds up to 70% of the watch’s worth! This is an essential question to ask the seller before buying – they will usually be able to prove that it is an original.

8. If you are serious about buying vintage watches, but you are a beginner, spending time with another watch collector or seeking advice from an expert will help you get started. Our experts at Cuttings would be more than happy to help you!

9. Are you on the lookout for a particular model? Get to know the distinctive visual features of the original watch, so that you know what to look out for. Often these features will be lost if the watch has been “fixed up” over the years.

10. It is essential to determine how well the watch has been looked after, as this will affect the value and longevity. A good way to find this out is to ask when the watch was last serviced, as many older watches were designed to be cleaned annually by a specialist.

For more information about vintage watches and to find out what we currently have in stock, please give us a call or visit us in Margate or Ramsgate.