Vintage Watches, cool? or just expensive?

I think vintage watches are by no means bad, they carry history and a story with them. Maybe they've been worn well and might show signs of it. But are they worth it?. I've considered a vintage Omega for my first luxury watch but have been told that servicing can be pretty expensive. What do you guys think? Is a vintage watch worth it? 

Also: Some can be considered an investment, but in this context I mean more to keep for yourself with no real intention of selling.

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I'd go for the Tudor GMT if I were you mate. Brand new it's around the same ballpark as the pre-owned speedy but that doesn't answer your question. If you can afford the servicing absolutely. Most luxury watches depreciate in value within the first three years so it's better to buy pre-owned and let someone else take the loss. Then the money you've saved can go towards the servicing 😁

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Vintage Omegas are cool, and servicing is expensive. The Chronostop has served me well, and was one of the first watches I actually purchased, but it was not cheap. That’s the positive…

I spent several hundreds getting a replacement movement in my grandfathers quartz Seamaster dress watch. My 1972 Seamaster f300hz has been nothing but problems. I spend more than I paid getting it rehauled because the last watch repairer just took out what was not working and did not replace as he went. Love it, but never again.

From experience, I would implore any new collector to avoid vintage. With brands doing all heritage models, you really don’t need that hassle. When I started building my collection there was none of this and if I wanted something 60s style I had to go for a 60s watch. The market has gone mental in recent years (quartz Tag 1000s for £800? Thanks Wolf of Wall Street). The upkeep is also a huge headache, and is slowly being monopolised by all the major brands. For example, the Vacheron I have just needs to stay alive - I will have to go to VC to get any repairs in future as most watch repairers tell me they will not touch it due to part scarcity and price. Don’t want to think about the cost of that.

People wonder why I like quartz more now…

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chronotriggered

Vintage Omegas are cool, and servicing is expensive. The Chronostop has served me well, and was one of the first watches I actually purchased, but it was not cheap. That’s the positive…

I spent several hundreds getting a replacement movement in my grandfathers quartz Seamaster dress watch. My 1972 Seamaster f300hz has been nothing but problems. I spend more than I paid getting it rehauled because the last watch repairer just took out what was not working and did not replace as he went. Love it, but never again.

From experience, I would implore any new collector to avoid vintage. With brands doing all heritage models, you really don’t need that hassle. When I started building my collection there was none of this and if I wanted something 60s style I had to go for a 60s watch. The market has gone mental in recent years (quartz Tag 1000s for £800? Thanks Wolf of Wall Street). The upkeep is also a huge headache, and is slowly being monopolised by all the major brands. For example, the Vacheron I have just needs to stay alive - I will have to go to VC to get any repairs in future as most watch repairers tell me they will not touch it due to part scarcity and price. Don’t want to think about the cost of that.

People wonder why I like quartz more now…

That does just seem like a pain in the ass 😂. I sent my grandfathers Enicar watch to get serviced and I got a quote of about €370. The shop I took it to seemed a little untrustworthy so I've told them not to touch it. I really want to get it fixed but if this is what all vintage watches are like I may not bother, I might make an exception for a vintage Submariner if I am ever lucky enough to own one.

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i appreciate vintage watch but didnt have a desire to buy them. i got an experience holding some of my friend vintage watch collection. i believe its rolex oyster perpetual white dial (circa 1960 if i remember), junghans trilastic, a sowar, etc. it is interesting, but when i hold the watch it doesnt feel solid, too light, rattle too much. so im afraid it will break if im using it, but it is nice to look at it i'll admit. (just my opinion)

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CombatWombat

That does just seem like a pain in the ass 😂. I sent my grandfathers Enicar watch to get serviced and I got a quote of about €370. The shop I took it to seemed a little untrustworthy so I've told them not to touch it. I really want to get it fixed but if this is what all vintage watches are like I may not bother, I might make an exception for a vintage Submariner if I am ever lucky enough to own one.

Again, considering the movement age and parts - that sounds like the top end of the going rate to me. A good funky Enicar (like a Sherpa chronograph) is eye-gougingly expensive, go and buy a Montblanc Expedition with the retro globe dial for a similar price. There are also so many franken-Enicars out there, it’s suprising.

Even vintage quartz is a problem. My Pluton/DPW is a Miyota movement (yep - Breitling had a Japanese quartz phase), and I would need to find a (quickly becoming more expensive than the watches value) donor watch if it went belly-up.

I do wonder why I like watches a lot of the time.

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chronotriggered

Again, considering the movement age and parts - that sounds like the top end of the going rate to me. A good funky Enicar (like a Sherpa chronograph) is eye-gougingly expensive, go and buy a Montblanc Expedition with the retro globe dial for a similar price. There are also so many franken-Enicars out there, it’s suprising.

Even vintage quartz is a problem. My Pluton/DPW is a Miyota movement (yep - Breitling had a Japanese quartz phase), and I would need to find a (quickly becoming more expensive than the watches value) donor watch if it went belly-up.

I do wonder why I like watches a lot of the time.

I'm actually worried about it cause I don't think it's anything expensive so I do question the authenticity of the Enicar, sadly it is not a Sherpa. I do intent to offload a few of my watches to be honest half of them I barely wear anyway so I feel like they should go to someone else cause they deserve to be worn. And cause I don't want to pay to get them serviced or the battery changed 😂 

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If I were to deepdive into vintage stuff I’d definitely seek out professional guidance. There’s enough out there now. Also I think I’d have to focus in on one particular model variant because it lead into a rabbit hole I may never escape from! And visit auction (previews and sales) - which is kind fun in itself…

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Yes, vintage is worth it.  Just what is meant by "worth it" changes with the collector.

They make bad investments.  There are maybe ten brands that hold value and will out perform your portfolio.  If you can buy vintage Patek Philippe, you will do fine.  Enicar, Glycine, Mido, and just about every other decent Swiss brand are fun to wear, but do not make good investments.

Maintenance is costly.  You must have a reliable watchmaker.  Those are rare anywhere but in the largest cities.  You will be without a favorite watch for months or you will pay for speed. Quality, speed, and price:  you can only have two.

It also depends what sort of collector you are or want to be.  If you have your eye on a 1950's Polerouter you need to vet the dealer and vet the watch.  It is not an impulse buy. You must target the watch and know its value.  It may be frustrating waiting years for the right opportunity.

If you have $300.00 to blow you can get a few fun vintage watches on eBay as curiosities. You won't find your grail, but you will be amazed at what is out there. Just about every weekend I wear an old Soviet era watch that I bought for $1.00 (plus shipping).  You will make mistakes and buy other peoples' mistakes, but at a cost that you can absorb.

Lastly, you must live with imperfections.  The best vintage watch at the best vintage dealer has still been worn by someone who was occasionally clumsy.  "New old stock" is a lie. "Like new" is a lie.  "Needs TLC" means "needs complete servicing" and maybe re-plating.

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Aurelian

Yes, vintage is worth it.  Just what is meant by "worth it" changes with the collector.

They make bad investments.  There are maybe ten brands that hold value and will out perform your portfolio.  If you can buy vintage Patek Philippe, you will do fine.  Enicar, Glycine, Mido, and just about every other decent Swiss brand are fun to wear, but do not make good investments.

Maintenance is costly.  You must have a reliable watchmaker.  Those are rare anywhere but in the largest cities.  You will be without a favorite watch for months or you will pay for speed. Quality, speed, and price:  you can only have two.

It also depends what sort of collector you are or want to be.  If you have your eye on a 1950's Polerouter you need to vet the dealer and vet the watch.  It is not an impulse buy. You must target the watch and know its value.  It may be frustrating waiting years for the right opportunity.

If you have $300.00 to blow you can get a few fun vintage watches on eBay as curiosities. You won't find your grail, but you will be amazed at what is out there. Just about every weekend I wear an old Soviet era watch that I bought for $1.00 (plus shipping).  You will make mistakes and buy other peoples' mistakes, but at a cost that you can absorb.

Lastly, you must live with imperfections.  The best vintage watch at the best vintage dealer has still been worn by someone who was occasionally clumsy.  "New old stock" is a lie. "Like new" is a lie.  "Needs TLC" means "needs complete servicing" and maybe re-plating.

Pretty great description of the topic. Enicar is definitely not an investment, again the most reliable one would be Rolex. Omega is tempting cause some of the watches seem to be "cheap" but I imagine you would get a ruined watch. The style is cool but I think the costs outweigh the benefits.

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I have been blessed so far. No major malfunction as of yet. I’m sure something bad will hit me sooner or later. I have kept it simple with no excess in complications and, I hope, ”reliable” moments. If it worth it? Time will tell. I buy my vintage as juwelerie, watches is my passion and I am prepared that I have to pay for that pleasure. As you have to do for vintage cars (which I don’t own). I might have another view after that the s-t hit the fan a couple of times.

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WatchYourIntruder

I have been blessed so far. No major malfunction as of yet. I’m sure something bad will hit me sooner or later. I have kept it simple with no excess in complications and, I hope, ”reliable” moments. If it worth it? Time will tell. I buy my vintage as juwelerie, watches is my passion and I am prepared that I have to pay for that pleasure. As you have to do for vintage cars (which I don’t own). I might have another view after that the s-t hit the fan a couple of times.

Which vintage watches do you have?

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CombatWombat

Which vintage watches do you have?

The majority are Omegas but UG and Longines (did a post on that today) and a Tissot (handed over by my father). The majority is late 50s to 60s.

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WatchYourIntruder

The majority are Omegas but UG and Longines (did a post on that today) and a Tissot (handed over by my father). The majority is late 50s to 60s.

I really liked the idea of a Polerouter but the servicing must be a nightmare

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Aurelian

Yes, vintage is worth it.  Just what is meant by "worth it" changes with the collector.

They make bad investments.  There are maybe ten brands that hold value and will out perform your portfolio.  If you can buy vintage Patek Philippe, you will do fine.  Enicar, Glycine, Mido, and just about every other decent Swiss brand are fun to wear, but do not make good investments.

Maintenance is costly.  You must have a reliable watchmaker.  Those are rare anywhere but in the largest cities.  You will be without a favorite watch for months or you will pay for speed. Quality, speed, and price:  you can only have two.

It also depends what sort of collector you are or want to be.  If you have your eye on a 1950's Polerouter you need to vet the dealer and vet the watch.  It is not an impulse buy. You must target the watch and know its value.  It may be frustrating waiting years for the right opportunity.

If you have $300.00 to blow you can get a few fun vintage watches on eBay as curiosities. You won't find your grail, but you will be amazed at what is out there. Just about every weekend I wear an old Soviet era watch that I bought for $1.00 (plus shipping).  You will make mistakes and buy other peoples' mistakes, but at a cost that you can absorb.

Lastly, you must live with imperfections.  The best vintage watch at the best vintage dealer has still been worn by someone who was occasionally clumsy.  "New old stock" is a lie. "Like new" is a lie.  "Needs TLC" means "needs complete servicing" and maybe re-plating.

Aurelian explained it very well 🤜🤛😃. 

I am one to personally admit that owning Vintage Watches comes down to the romaticized idea of being connected to a certain time and era⏳🕰️. 

It's no longer just about the watch, but also about that "feeling" you get when wearing an older piece 😀. Service cost is always justified in my mind, simply because I love Vintage Watches 😊. 

The OP (CombatWombat) can try it out. Buy that Vintage Omega and, only by wearing it will you know if Vintage is something you like and enjoy 🙌.

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chronotriggered

Vintage Omegas are cool, and servicing is expensive. The Chronostop has served me well, and was one of the first watches I actually purchased, but it was not cheap. That’s the positive…

I spent several hundreds getting a replacement movement in my grandfathers quartz Seamaster dress watch. My 1972 Seamaster f300hz has been nothing but problems. I spend more than I paid getting it rehauled because the last watch repairer just took out what was not working and did not replace as he went. Love it, but never again.

From experience, I would implore any new collector to avoid vintage. With brands doing all heritage models, you really don’t need that hassle. When I started building my collection there was none of this and if I wanted something 60s style I had to go for a 60s watch. The market has gone mental in recent years (quartz Tag 1000s for £800? Thanks Wolf of Wall Street). The upkeep is also a huge headache, and is slowly being monopolised by all the major brands. For example, the Vacheron I have just needs to stay alive - I will have to go to VC to get any repairs in future as most watch repairers tell me they will not touch it due to part scarcity and price. Don’t want to think about the cost of that.

People wonder why I like quartz more now…

This is absolutely amazing advice.  I've never heard anyone talk so forthrightly about vintage as this.  Everything we tend to read online waxes eloquent about vintage, and the message is invariably, "So, you think you're a collector because you like buying new watches?  Not so!  You're only a real collector with real appreciation for beauty if you buy vintage!"

Thank you so much for the eye-opening honesty.