Buyers in today's watch market are spoiled for choice, with a wide range of styles, functionalities, and materials to choose from. Others may find this intimidating, but committed watch collectors will see it as a new challenge: finding that ancient, rare piece that only a few people have.
The market can be a minefield for inexperienced vintage watch buyers due to today's tremendous interest in vintage watches such as vintage omega watches, vintage invicta watches, vintage rolex watches. Your best instrument for making your vintage watch purchase memorable and productive is still education. Here are five essential steps to getting started in the vintage watch business.
You should be aware of the type of watch you desire
Understanding what kind of vintage watch you want, just like knowing what kind of new watch you want, will help you narrow down your search. Are you purchasing for sentimental reasons? Perhaps you're looking for a watch from a specific year or period. Is there a sport or activity that you regularly participate in? You might be able to choose from sport, dress, or casual watches. Another option is to concentrate on specific sorts of movements. Searching for a watch that meets your needs, desires, and budget is still at the heart of vintage watch collecting.
Learn everything you can about the watch model you want to buy.
Narrowing your search not only makes things easier, but it also allows you to learn more about timepieces. When a seasoned collector purchases an antique watch, it is frequently a specific model or reference number that they have researched and followed for a long time. You can conduct your study here:
Books are still the most reliable source of confirmed information on a watch's provenance and milestones.
Catalogues from auction houses - these will almost certainly include provenance, documentation, other forms of authentication, and a price estimate.
Blogs - There are a plethora of collectors who blog about specific brands, categories, or even models.
Many collectors are online and happy to share their expertise about the brands and timepieces they are enthusiastic about through forums. You'll not only learn about watches, but you'll also benefit from their experiences in finding and acquiring one.
The first two may be expensive, and searching many sources may take time, but they can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars by stopping you from purchasing a counterfeit or Frankenwatch.
Find a trusted dealer
So you've decided on a watch; now all you have to do is figure out where to get it. While an independent seller on eBay may offer it for a lower price, the security of buying a watch from a reputable retailer far surpasses the cost. You might wish to ask the following questions:
Is the seller in the watch-selling business?
What is the length of time they have been in business?
Do they have positive feedback and reviews?
How much information on the watch can they provide?
Is it possible to get a guarantee of authenticity from them?
Will they be able to do future repairs and maintenance?
A retailer with a physical store or showroom is the best option. There, you may examine the watch in person, play with it for a while, and ask questions of the salespeople.
Make contact with the manufacturer
Most watchmakers have extensive archives of previous models, and some will even be able to extract exclusive information about the watch, such as the number of pieces created and the countries to which they were shipped. You can usually reach out to a point-of-contact via email. This will take some time and money, but it will assist you in validating the facts you've obtained. Be patient; numerous collectors contact them, and they receive similar requests on a daily basis.
The final barrier is confirming that you've paid the correct price for the watch after you've located it and confirmed it's the real deal. Prices for the same or comparable watches might vary significantly. Go to a few dealers and obtain an average - what counts is that the price you're paying isn't too far off the market and that it's a price you're willing to pay.