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Patek Philippe 1953 18k Rose Gold Calatrava Mens Watch 1491
Patek Philippe 1953 18k Rose Gold Calatrava Mens Watch 1491
$22,000
Seller
New York Jewelers
 
US
Rolex Bubble Back 1956
Rolex Bubble Back 1956
$5,455
Seller
Brenny's Jewelry
 
US
Rolex Explorer, 1962
Rolex Explorer, 1962
$17,000
Seller
CWCUSA
 
US
Rolex Submariner 1680 18K Yellow Gold Nipple Dial
Rolex Submariner 1680 18K Yellow Gold Nipple Dial
$29,995
Seller
Kara's Watches
114
US
Rolex Datejust 1601 Buckley Dial 18K Yellow Gold Vintage Watch
TOP
Rolex Datejust 1601 Buckley Dial 18K Yellow Gold Vintage Watch
$8,999
Free shipping
Seller
Phigora
160
US
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 | gilt dial | Pepsi bezel | full set
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 | gilt dial | Pepsi bezel | full set
$30,705
Free shipping
Seller
A Collected Man
8
UK
Rolex GMT-Master
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master
$14,995
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Rolex 5513 Vintage "Non-Serif" Matte Dial Submariner INCREDIBL...
Rolex 5513 Vintage "Non-Serif" Matte Dial Submariner INCREDIBL...
$23,500
Seller
European Watch Company
133
US
Rolex Datejust 1601 Yellow Gold
Rolex Datejust 1601 Yellow Gold
$8,995
Seller
OCWG Inc.
40
US
Patek Philippe 1955 Patek Philippe 18k Gold "King Size"...
Patek Philippe 1955 Patek Philippe 18k Gold "King Size"...
$15,700
Seller
New York Jewelers
 
US
Rolex Submariner Red Line MKIV Dial
Rolex Submariner Red Line MKIV Dial
$19,995
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
117
US
Patek Philippe Ref# 2457, Yellow Gold Vintage Calatrava, Circa...
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 2457, Yellow Gold Vintage Calatrava, Circa...
$14,000
Seller
Michael Ashton
5
US
Omega Constellation  Automatic Ref. 168.004 18k Gold Vintage
Omega Constellation Automatic Ref. 168.004 18k Gold Vintage
$3,150
Free shipping
Seller
Best Deals HD
31
US
Rolex 1971 VTG Rolex Submariner 5513 Serif Feet First Matte...
Rolex 1971 VTG Rolex Submariner 5513 Serif Feet First Matte...
$8,493
Free shipping
Seller
Collectors1946
92
US
Heuer 2446 Second Execution | one-owner | chronograph
TOP
Heuer 2446 Second Execution | one-owner | chronograph
$46,725
Free shipping
Seller
A Collected Man
8
UK
Rolex Datejust
TOP
Rolex Datejust
$4,250
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Heuer Autavia
Heuer Autavia
$2,900
Seller
Private Seller
US
Rolex 5513 Vintage Matte Maxi Dial Submariner GREAT PATINA...
Rolex 5513 Vintage Matte Maxi Dial Submariner GREAT PATINA...
$16,500
Seller
European Watch Company
133
US
Rolex Vintage Submariner (No Date) Black Spider Dial - 5513
Rolex Vintage Submariner (No Date) Black Spider Dial - 5513
$8,499
Free shipping
Seller
Certified Luxury Watches
37
US
Rolex Daytona Big Red
Rolex Daytona Big Red
$249,995
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
117
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
$2,999
Seller
The Vintage Luxury
 
US
Omega Constellation Pie Pan 168.004  Automatic 18k Gold Vintage
Omega Constellation Pie Pan 168.004 Automatic 18k Gold Vintage
$3,250
Free shipping
Seller
Best Deals HD
31
US
Rolex 1974 Vintage Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Pepsi Blue Red Maxi...
Rolex 1974 Vintage Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Pepsi Blue Red Maxi...
$9,399
Free shipping
Seller
Collectors1946
92
US
Rolex Submariner Plastic Crystal VINTAGE RED SUBMARINER ...
Rolex Submariner Plastic Crystal VINTAGE RED SUBMARINER ...
$27,000
Free shipping
Seller
Interwatches
133
US
Omega Vintage Constellation Day-Date with Linen Dial
Omega Vintage Constellation Day-Date with Linen Dial
$700
Seller
Private Seller
US
Patek Philippe 18K Solid Gold Calatrava 1960s Ref 3468 Swiss...
Patek Philippe 18K Solid Gold Calatrava 1960s Ref 3468 Swiss...
$7,565
Seller
GMTSKY
342
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava
$11,150
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Rolex 5512 Vintage 5512 Submariner MkII MATTE MAXI DIAL (28020)
Rolex 5512 Vintage 5512 Submariner MkII MATTE MAXI DIAL (28020)
$15,750
Seller
European Watch Company
133
US
Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601
Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601
$3,900
Seller
Second Time Around Watch Company
49
US
Rolex Oysterdate Prescision
Rolex Oysterdate Prescision
$3,350
Seller
Private Seller
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3411 18k Gold 34.5 mm Manual...
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3411 18k Gold 34.5 mm Manual...
$8,250
Free shipping
Seller
Best Deals HD
31
US
Heuer "Monaco - Steve McQueen" Vintage Ref. 1133B
Heuer "Monaco - Steve McQueen" Vintage Ref. 1133B
$9,900
Seller
AZAD WATCH NYC
7
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
$9,995
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
117
US
Rolex Daytona
Rolex Daytona
$56,194
Seller
Private Seller
US
Rolex 1972 Vintage Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Pepsi Blue Red Mark I...
Rolex 1972 Vintage Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Pepsi Blue Red Mark I...
$9,794
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
39
US
Omega Vintage Memomatic 1970s Swiss 40mm Automatic Mens Orig...
Omega Vintage Memomatic 1970s Swiss 40mm Automatic Mens Orig...
$2,032
Seller
GMTSKY
342
US
Rolex 5513 Vintage Maxi 5513 Matte Dial Submariner VERY NICE...
Rolex 5513 Vintage Maxi 5513 Matte Dial Submariner VERY NICE...
$16,300
Seller
European Watch Company
133
US
Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513
Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513
$8,500
Seller
Second Time Around Watch Company
49
US
Omega Vintage Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Chronograph
Omega Vintage Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Chronograph
$4,750
Seller
Menta Watches
29
US
Rolex Submariner Red 1680 Mens Vintage Watch
Rolex Submariner Red 1680 Mens Vintage Watch
$15,999
Free shipping
Seller
Phigora
160
US
Rolex OYSTER PERPETUAL 1002 GREY DIAL 1963
TOP
Rolex OYSTER PERPETUAL 1002 GREY DIAL 1963
$3,044
Seller
Goldammer
10
DE
Rolex VTG Rolex DateJust 1601 Two Tone Gold Steel Champagne...
Rolex VTG Rolex DateJust 1601 Two Tone Gold Steel Champagne...
$2,443
Free shipping
Seller
Collectors1946
92
US
Rolex Oyster Date Precision, Ref# 6694, Steel, 12 m Warranty
Rolex Oyster Date Precision, Ref# 6694, Steel, 12 m Warranty
$2,200
Seller
Luxsly
29
US
Rolex Vintage 1969 Rolex Submariner No Date Meters First 5513...
Rolex Vintage 1969 Rolex Submariner No Date Meters First 5513...
$13,944
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
39
US
Omega Swiss Made 1960s Gold 18k Bumper Automatic 34mm Men's...
Omega Swiss Made 1960s Gold 18k Bumper Automatic 34mm Men's...
$3,397
Seller
GMTSKY
342
US
Rolex 1675 GMT Master Gilt Chapter Ring Exclamation GLOSSY +...
Rolex 1675 GMT Master Gilt Chapter Ring Exclamation GLOSSY +...
$43,500
Seller
European Watch Company
133
US
Omega Speedmaster Mark II
Omega Speedmaster Mark II
$2,995
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
117
US
Rolex 36mm TT Datejust Factory Blue "Fat Index" Dial w/ Rolex Box
Rolex 36mm TT Datejust Factory Blue "Fat Index" Dial w/ Rolex Box
$3,495
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
165
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Linen Sigma Dial 1601
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Linen Sigma Dial 1601
$3,799
Free shipping
Seller
Phigora
160
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
TOP
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
$12,878
Seller
Outdoor and Watches
 
NL
Patek Philippe Vintage  Calatrava 3445 18k Yellow Gold...
Patek Philippe Vintage Calatrava 3445 18k Yellow Gold...
$8,493
Free shipping
Seller
Collectors1946
92
US
Rolex Datejust, 36 mm Two-Tone Ref# 1601, with Box
Rolex Datejust, 36 mm Two-Tone Ref# 1601, with Box
$3,200
Seller
Luxsly
29
US
Rolex DateJust 36mm 1601 Wideboy Two-Tone Gold Stainless...
Rolex DateJust 36mm 1601 Wideboy Two-Tone Gold Stainless...
$3,493
Seller
Collectors Coins & Jewelry
39
US
Omega Deville Swiss Made Precision Accuset 1980s Quartz...
Omega Deville Swiss Made Precision Accuset 1980s Quartz...
$1,182
Seller
GMTSKY
342
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Vintage 70's Ref. 5402 SA Rare...
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Vintage 70's Ref. 5402 SA Rare...
$33,000
Free shipping
Seller
WatchMen
40
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date
$1,895
Free shipping
Seller
AJ Watches
117
US
Rolex Vintage Submariner (No Date) Unpolished Maxi 5513
Rolex Vintage Submariner (No Date) Unpolished Maxi 5513
$17,500
Seller
Menta Watches
29
US
Rolex Submariner 5513 'Meters First' Circa 1967
Rolex Submariner 5513 'Meters First' Circa 1967
$12,999
Free shipping
Seller
Phigora
160
US
Rolex Oysterdate precision 6694 From 1960’s
Rolex Oysterdate precision 6694 From 1960’s
$1,850
Seller
Awad Watches, Inc
12
US
Rolex 1965 1.2Mil VTG Rolex Submariner 5512 Matte Maxi Black...
Rolex 1965 1.2Mil VTG Rolex Submariner 5512 Matte Maxi Black...
$13,993
Free shipping
Seller
Collectors1946
92
US
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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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