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The Perfect guide to buying a Vintage Watch in 2020

Vintage watch buying guide 2020


Avoid a watch made with spare or broken parts from other watches, known as a Franken Watch. Look for these details in the watch you are considering to buy:

  • STEP 1.1. Make sure the colors match between the indexes and that the color matches the luminous dots on the dial and the hands. Ask if the dial is original or has been repainted or restored.

  • STEP 1.2. Ask the seller if the pics in the listing are of the actual watch and for real time pictures of the watch by the seller to make sure it’s actually theirs. Request them to set a specific time like 3:15 in the pic or to show it on a wrist to confirm.

  • STEP 1.3. The pictures need to be clear and detailed. Check the condition of the entire watch closely. Look for scratches, marks on the watch, on the edges of the dial. Ask if the crown is original or has been replaced.  The wear and tear and aging of a timepiece tells a lot about its authenticity.

  • STEP 1.4. Ask for pictures of the movement and caseback and note all of the serial numbers, the number of jewels and calibre of the movement. Ask the seller if there are any aftermarket parts and confirm that everything is original.   If the serial number doesn’t coincide with the manufacturing number on the case or the other parts, avoid buying it.

  • STEP 1.5. Vintage watches can be very costly to repair and service. Ask if the watch has been recently cleaned, serviced and calibrated.  Ask when the watch was last overhauled and if there is a certificate of authenticity offered.

  • STEP 1.6. If you are buying a gold watch, do not hesitate to ask the seller what is the gram weight, the carat of gold, a picture of the stamping, and if the watch is gold, gold plated or gold filled. Once you receive the watch, get the timepiece checked.

  • STEP2:


    Buy only from for a Reputable seller.  Look for these important things about your seller:

  • STEP 2.1. Check for seller’s reviews on Chrono24, eBay and Google. The market is very risky and full of fraudulent sellers. Buy with confidence from a seller which has 98% positive reviews or higher.

  • STEP 2.2. Seller should have a no hassle return policy. Check the seller’s refund policy and avoid sellers who don’t have an easy refund policy.

  • STEP 2.3. Check the warranty offered by the seller. A reputable seller will definitely offer a minimum 90 day warranty with the watch.

  • STEP 3:

    Go for well-known and trusted brands like Breitling, Tudor, Omega, Rolex, Patek Philppe, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and other classics. Don’t pay for a brand you have never heard of or is unpopular. Servicing those watches can be a huge issue and they have poor resale value if you are in for a trade later.

    STEP 4:

    If you are buying for the purpose of investment, look for a limited edition model or a rare timepiece with original box and papers. Search the reference number of the model on search engines and look for its availability across the web. A rare piece becomes more and more valuable with time. Browse the inventory of a site thoroughly.

    STEP 5:

    Don’t fall for tempting offers from forums, private dealers or classifieds. Do your research. Check for all above points and also ask the seller for return policy and warranty.

    STEP 6:

    Store as much information about your timepiece as possible. Selling or trading it to a dealer can help you get an excellent value if you have all the detailed specifications of the watch. Keep your timepiece in excellent condition. Service your watch when needed.

    STEP 7:

    Use a secure form of payment like a credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay or Amazon Pay to complete the transaction. If the seller tries to defraud you then you have some recourse and can file a charge-back to get your money back.

    STEP 8:

    Vintage watches are always open for negotiations when there is interest to purchase. Try to negotiate with your seller for the right price and always be courteous. You might be able to save a couple of hundred of dollars or even more depending upon your negotiating skills, the dealer’s cost, and the market price of the watch.

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