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Rolex Submariner Gilt Gloss Meters First Dial Pointed Crown...
TOP
Rolex Submariner Gilt Gloss Meters First Dial Pointed Crown...
£29,995
Seller
Xupes.com
148
UK
Rolex Explorer 1016 from 1969
TOP
Rolex Explorer 1016 from 1969
£9,546
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
6
MC
Rolex Submariner Gilt Gloss Meters First Underline Pointed...
TOP
Rolex Submariner Gilt Gloss Meters First Underline Pointed...
£23,995
Seller
Xupes.com
148
UK
Rolex Watch GMT Master 1675
Rolex Watch GMT Master 1675
£8,750
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Rolex Oyster Precision Steel Watch Black Dial Manual Wind
Rolex Oyster Precision Steel Watch Black Dial Manual Wind
£2,495
Seller
WT Time Pieces
44
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Date 6916 Vintage Watch
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Date 6916 Vintage Watch
£2,200
Seller
Golden Cash ltd
15
UK
Rolex Explorer 1
TOP
Rolex Explorer 1
£8,800
Seller
Private Seller
 
UK
Rolex 5513 Submariner Metres First - Matte Dial 'Ivory Patina'
Rolex 5513 Submariner Metres First - Matte Dial 'Ivory Patina'
£14,750
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
38
UK
Rolex Datejust 18K Gold Gelbgold Herrenuhr Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 18K Gold Gelbgold Herrenuhr Automatic
£3,809
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
218
DE
Rolex GMT-Master Vintage UAE Air Force 1675
Rolex GMT-Master Vintage UAE Air Force 1675
£95,000
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
203
UK
Patek Philippe Calatrava
Patek Philippe Calatrava
£7,981
Seller
The Watch Movement
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi Gilt Dial Stainless Steel Men's 1675 -...
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi Gilt Dial Stainless Steel Men's 1675 -...
£27,995
Seller
Xupes.com
148
UK
Rolex Watch Explorer 1655
Rolex Watch Explorer 1655
£15,950
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
£1,916
Seller
Barnhart Jewelers Gemologist Pawnbroker
 
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date
£2,754
Seller
Proper Time
 
US
Omega Constellation
TOP
Omega Constellation
£1,200
Seller
Private Seller
 
UK
Rolex 5513 Submariner Maxi Dial - Plexiglas Exceptional Example
Rolex 5513 Submariner Maxi Dial - Plexiglas Exceptional Example
£15,500
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
38
UK
Heuer 2446 Second Execution | one-owner | chronograph
Heuer 2446 Second Execution | one-owner | chronograph
£34,000
Free shipping
Seller
A Collected Man
12
UK
Rolex Big Red Daytona 6263
Rolex Big Red Daytona 6263
£79,950
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
203
UK
Breitling Navitimer 806 Twin Jet Dial Hands Calibre 178...
Breitling Navitimer 806 Twin Jet Dial Hands Calibre 178...
£1,189
Seller
Used Jewelry Buyer
 
US
Rolex Daytona Cosmograph "Big Red" Stainless Steel 6263 - COM1677
Rolex Daytona Cosmograph "Big Red" Stainless Steel 6263 - COM1677
£98,950
Seller
Xupes.com
148
UK
Rolex Watch Explorer 1016
Rolex Watch Explorer 1016
£14,750
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Omega Constellation 'Pie-pan' 18ct gold case and dial automati...
Omega Constellation 'Pie-pan' 18ct gold case and dial automati...
£4,995
Seller
Austin Kaye and Co Ltd
71
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 1002 - Watch Only - 12-Month Warranty
Rolex Oyster Perpetual - 1002 - Watch Only - 12-Month Warranty
£2,400
Seller
Bloombar Watches
48
UK
Rolex GMT-Master
Rolex GMT-Master
£7,000
Seller
Private Seller
UK
Rolex 6694 Oyster Date - Vintage 1966
Rolex 6694 Oyster Date - Vintage 1966
£3,350
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
38
UK
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
£7,978
Seller
Boxer Time, LLC
14
US
Rolex Explorer II Steve McQueen 1655
Rolex Explorer II Steve McQueen 1655
£19,950
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
203
UK
Rolex Datejust 1971 14k SS 2 Tone Silver Dial Mens Watch Ref...
Rolex Datejust 1971 14k SS 2 Tone Silver Dial Mens Watch Ref...
£3,592
Seller
Used Jewelry Buyer
 
US
Omega Constellation Stainless Steel Men's 168 018 - COM1693
Omega Constellation Stainless Steel Men's 168 018 - COM1693
£1,795
Seller
Xupes.com
148
UK
Rolex Watch Explorer 1016
Rolex Watch Explorer 1016
£14,750
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Omega Geneve gold plated automatic watch ORIGINAL DIAL/50th...
Omega Geneve gold plated automatic watch ORIGINAL DIAL/50th...
£1,195
Seller
Austin Kaye and Co Ltd
71
UK
Rolex GMT-Master
Rolex GMT-Master
£9,550
Seller
The Lanes Watch Company
 
UK
Rolex Oyster Precision Mickey Mouse Dial
Rolex Oyster Precision Mickey Mouse Dial
£2,150
Seller
Private Seller
 
UK
Patek Philippe 3445 'Serpico Y Laino' - Automatic  Rare...
Patek Philippe 3445 'Serpico Y Laino' - Automatic Rare...
£10,995
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
38
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust
£2,950
Seller
Ian Blowers Jewellers
33
UK
Rolex Comex Submariner Vintage 5514
Rolex Comex Submariner Vintage 5514
£42,500
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
203
UK
Rolex Oyster Precision
TOP
Rolex Oyster Precision
£2,500
Seller
Chase Hattan
21
UK
Rolex Watch GMT Master 16700
Rolex Watch GMT Master 16700
£7,250
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Omega Seamaster 600M 'ProPlof' steel automatic on rubber strap...
Omega Seamaster 600M 'ProPlof' steel automatic on rubber strap...
£5,500
Seller
Austin Kaye and Co Ltd
71
UK
Rolex Oyster Precision
Rolex Oyster Precision
£2,100
Seller
Maunder Watch Co
24
UK
Rolex 5513. Pre Comex Dial
Rolex 5513. Pre Comex Dial
£9,995
Seller
Private Seller
 
UK
Patek Philippe 3445 Gubelin Dial - Vintage Automatic
Patek Philippe 3445 Gubelin Dial - Vintage Automatic
£10,495
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
38
UK
Rolex Vintage Datejust 1601
Rolex Vintage Datejust 1601
£3,595
Seller
Watches of Sutton Ltd
23
UK
Rolex Submariner Tropical 1680
Rolex Submariner Tropical 1680
£29,500
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
203
UK
Omega Memomatic Alarm Vintage
Omega Memomatic Alarm Vintage
£1,450
Seller
G.W Blower
 
UK
Rolex Explorer II Steve McQueen Stainless Steel Men's 1655 -...
Rolex Explorer II Steve McQueen Stainless Steel Men's 1655 -...
£22,995
Seller
Xupes.com
148
UK
Rolex Watch GMT Master 1675
Rolex Watch GMT Master 1675
£8,250
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Omega Constellation watch stainless steel automatic
Omega Constellation watch stainless steel automatic
£1,495
Seller
Austin Kaye and Co Ltd
71
UK
Heuer Autavia
Heuer Autavia
£16,500
Seller
Maunder Watch Co
24
UK
Rolex Datejust 36mm Steel & Rose Gold - Serviced by Rolex
Rolex Datejust 36mm Steel & Rose Gold - Serviced by Rolex
£5,100
Seller
Mark Worthington Jewellers
101
UK
Breitling 806 Navitimer Rare Early Dial - Early All Black Dial
Breitling 806 Navitimer Rare Early Dial - Early All Black Dial
£7,950
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
38
UK
Rolex 16700 GMT Master – 1989 – With Box – £6,750
Rolex 16700 GMT Master – 1989 – With Box – £6,750
£6,750
Seller
Oakleigh Watches
52
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Gold Semi-Bubble Back
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Gold Semi-Bubble Back
£22,500
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
203
UK
Omega Seamaster Vintage Chronograph 176.007
Omega Seamaster Vintage Chronograph 176.007
£1,500
Seller
Golden Cash ltd
15
UK
Rolex Submariner Pointy Crown Guard Meters First Stainless...
Rolex Submariner Pointy Crown Guard Meters First Stainless...
£31,995
Seller
Xupes.com
148
UK
Rolex Watch Oyster Precision 6694
Rolex Watch Oyster Precision 6694
£2,500
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Breitling Navitimer 806 'Twin Plane' stainless steel manual...
Breitling Navitimer 806 'Twin Plane' stainless steel manual...
£3,495
Seller
Austin Kaye and Co Ltd
71
UK
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
£12,750
Seller
Maunder Watch Co
24
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34mm Yellow Gold - Serviced by Rolex
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34mm Yellow Gold - Serviced by Rolex
£9,135
Seller
Mark Worthington Jewellers
101
UK
Heuer 2446C Vintage Autavia - GMT 1st Series Compressor
Heuer 2446C Vintage Autavia - GMT 1st Series Compressor
£10,550
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
38
UK
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Vintage Watches: A Piece of Watch History

Vintage watches appeal to a wide audience. They offer the chance to buy high-quality, pre-owned watches at attractive prices. Both watch enthusiasts who love particular designs and collectors of expensive, rare pieces will get their money's worth.

Reasons to buy a vintage watch:

  • Wide price spectrum
  • Large selection of different designs and materials
  • Authenticity
  • Access to watch series no longer in production

Vintage Watches: Old, Not Retro

There are no exact guidelines laid out for which watches are considered "vintage." However, time is an important factor. Watch expert Robert-Jan Broer from the site FratelloWatches considers watches from 1990 and earlier to be vintage. However, Broer also says that everyone can decide for themselves if they consider an older watch vintage or not.
Price is one of the main factors involved when buying a vintage watch. A good example is the Omega Seamaster, a prestigious model that's been produced since 1948. A new, mechanical Seamaster costs between 3,000 and 5,000 euros. However, used Seamasters from years past, both automatic and manual, can be found for 500 to 1,000 euros in good or very good condition. This makes it possible for you to be the owner of a famous watch from one of the top Swiss manufacturers for comparatively little money. If you want to show off your knowledge and love of watches on your wrist, a 50-year-old Omega, Rolex, or Breitling is just as good as a new one.
If you've decided to purchase a vintage watch, you have another advantage: You're not limited to current models; you have a large selection of older watch models to choose from. You may even find an older model of a watch that you like better than the one currently being produced. Furthermore, vintage watches are authentic - they've experienced the 1960s or 1970s for themselves. This characteristic gives vintage watches a unique appeal and differentiates them from retro watches. Retro watches are watches that are created in the style of vintage watches, but are recently produced. They aren't historic; they just look the part. A true vintage watch offers real nostalgia.
Vintage models are sometimes the only way to acquire watches with specific qualities. Take the Rolex Explorer for example. Since 2010, Rolex has offered it with a larger case size of 39 mm. If you want a smaller size, then you need to look for an older Explorer model. The last 36-mm Explorer had reference number 114270. You could also take a look at reference numbers 6610, 1016, and 14270.
This example demonstrates the importance of being familiar with reference numbers when buying a vintage watch. Reference numbers help you identify and find watches from a certain time period or with other special characteristics faster and more easily.

Buying Tips

Searching for information and comparing prices from a large selection of watches is part of the watch buying experience. This also includes price checking. To avoid purchasing a fake, the following rule applies: If the price is unrealistically low, then you should proceed with caution. You can easily find the prevailing price level for a particular pre-owned model on Chrono24. There should always be a clear reason given if a watch is either much more or much less expensive than comparative models. Thus, an Omega Seamaster for three figures shouldn't raise any suspicion. A Rolex Submariner at that price, however, should raise alarm, as Submariners are usually much more expensive.
Knowing whether a watch is being offered at a fair price requires experience and expertise. Watch magazines and websites can provide you with a lot of helpful information. You can also ask questions on watch forums and receive competent, informed answers from experts.
The price structure of the vintage watch market can be a bit tricky to understand for the layman. For example, a somewhat damaged-looking watch can be much more valuable than a similar watch in almost perfect condition. This is because the original condition of the watch is what matters most. It's not a big deal if there are signs of wear and tear; what matters is if the watch has its original parts. If many have been replaced, such as the dial, hands, and crown, then even good looks can't prevent the watch from decreasing in value.
The price increases further if the watch is offered together with its original box and papers. The original packaging and manufacturer and dealer papers originate from the initial purchase decades ago. They're considered important proof that the timepiece offered is legitimate. However, this does not mean that you should avoid vintage watches without a box and papers. Often, there is a simple and reasonable explanation as to why they're missing, e.g. they couldn't be found and were probably thrown away by the original owner at some point.
If you don't have the time or you're simply not interested in immersing yourself deeply in the subject, then you're much better off depending on a serious dealer. A dealer can offer you a watch that they have inspected at a fair price and in some cases, even offer a warranty.
Watches without previous inspection are also offered, mostly by private sellers. In these cases, it's a good idea to have a bit of money on hand for any necessary maintenance. Even a simple inspection or repair can cost around 200 euros. When you buy a vintage diving watch, you should have its waterproofness checked and exchange the gaskets if you want to wear the watch underwater.

Small Mistakes Lead to Vintage Treasures

In many ways, buying a vintage watch is comparable to buying an antique car, or at least a highly sought-after used car. Some vintage watch enthusiasts are more like stamp collectors, however, searching for a certain misprint and paying large amounts once they've found it. Take Rolex's Explorer II, for example. Models from the 1970s had a second 24-hour red-orange hour hand which faded significantly under UV rays. Curiously, what began as a defect developed into a treasure - models with reference number 1655 and a faded 24-hour hour hand are sold for five figures today. They're significantly more expensive than a brand new Explorer II. Furthermore, the Explorer II was also linked to the actor Steve McQueen. Famous figures who wear the watch often contribute to a watch's value. This example shows that even vintage watches can be suitable investments and not just a good deal in a lower price range.
A vintage watch that's in good condition retains a relatively stable value. Occasionally, they can increase in value for reasons which have nothing to do with watches directly. For example, those who bought a pre-owned watch with a solid gold case 20 years ago certainly don't regret it, as the price of gold has tripled since then. If it were to be sold again, it would be worth more today simply because of its higher material worth.
Collections no longer in production usually yield high prices in the vintage watch market as well. The Autavia chronograph from Heuer, for example, was beloved by race car drivers in the early 1970s. Today, however, the manufacturer is called TAG Heuer and the Autavia is no longer in production. Pre-owned, it typically costs more than a significant number of new watches from this Swiss brand. A well-maintained Autavia can cost upwards of 3,000 euros. However, whether someone would choose to part from such an old treasure is a different question altogether.

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