Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

Thread: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

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  1. #1
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    Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    Hello;

    I have long wanted to purchase a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch -- a "bargain" at least as far as Pateks go. I think what's kept me from taking the plunge is the fear of getting stroked on a deal because I simply don't know enough about watches.

    My desires in a PP pocket watch are fairly simple. First, it actually needs to work and keep time. Second, I prefer physically large pocket watches. And third that it be a "bargain." While I would consider a PP watch that was sold under a private label name I would prefer one that actually said PP.

    Would anyone here be good enough to point me in the right direction in terms of what to look for in terms of a PP pocket watch? More than likely my purchase will be via eBay.

    Thank you all for any help.

  2. #2
    Member tinknocker's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    Well, if you're that interested in a specific item, I suggest you do your homework, study up on that particular item, so you have a knowledge base to make the right decision.
    This is a good place to start though.
    Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

  3. #3
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    You need to elaborate on what you mean by "bargain".

    If you are looking for an example that is in excellent condition, yet is somehow priced well below market value, you better have a lot of patience. If, on the other hand, you would be willing to accept certain condition flaws, then there will be opportunities.

    Finally, why is it so important to buy a PP? For less you could find a superb example of a top-class pocket watch from makers such as Vacheron & Constantin or Ulysses Nardin, etc.

    Regards,

    Tony C.
    Last edited by Tony C.; March 14th, 2016 at 17:35.

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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony C. View Post
    You need to elaborate on what you mean by "bargain". If you are looking for an example that is in excellent condition, yet is somehow priced well below market value, you better have a lot of patience. If, on the other hand, you would be willing to accept certain condition flaws, then there will be opportunities. Finally, why is it so important to buy a PP? For less you could find a superb example of a top-class pocket watch from makers such as Vacheron & Constantin or Ulysses Nardin, etc. Regards, Tony C.
    I'm both patient and willing to accept certain condition flaws. I'm not really sure what my fascination is about PP? I remember years ago back in college during the Rolex craze, my very best friend said that RR is not only the very best, but it's the last privately owned great Swiss watch maker. A while later I wrote to PP in NY and they sent me what amounted to a press kit which I still have today. I have only seen one used PP pocket watch for sale in my entire life. It was in Los Angeles at an upscale antique store. Looking back the price was right and I probably should have nabbed it, but this was before the WWW and I wouldn't have had any reliable way to ascertain its value.

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    Member ceanag's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Abraham View Post
    I I have only seen one used PP pocket watch for sale in my entire life.
    Two minutes on Google ...
    Patek Philippe pocket watches on Chrono24

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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by ceanag View Post
    Two minutes on Google ...
    I guess I should have added "in real life." That would have taken less than two minutes...

  8. #7
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Abraham View Post
    the fear of getting stroked on a deal because I simply don't know enough about watches.

    My desires in a PP pocket watch are fairly simple. First, it actually needs to work and keep time. Second, I prefer physically large pocket watches. And third that it be a "bargain."

    Would anyone here be good enough to point me in the right direction in terms of what to look for in terms of a PP pocket watch? More than likely my purchase will be via eBay.
    Not knowing anything about watches is the first thing you need to overcome. Without knowing what you are looking at the risk of making an expensive mistake becomes high.

    Your first criteria means buying a serviced watch and that means one with a receipt from a reputable watchmaker. If it isn't then your first task will be get it serviced and swallow any repair costs. And being a Patek the repairs need to be to a high standard which means the expensive time of a good watchmaker.

    Large is a self selecting criteria in your search.

    Bargain. Patek is the one name that everyone with access to Google is aware of. If it's cheap to buy then there is a reason for it and a high chance that it's cheap because the watch will cost more to fix than it's worth. Or it's a fake.

    You can buy a 'bargain' if you have educated yourself on what you are looking for or you are lucky. SDASurrey, a member here has done that with his own chosen brand and so have many others.

    So I'd also recommend education first. Asking questions here and in the high end forum about watches you like will assist you in that journey.


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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    Scour the internet and look at as many real Patek's as you can find so you are familiar with what they should look like. Next, look at as many fakes as you can find and again discover what to avoid.

    Look for a seller that doesn't sell watches as their prime offering and that has a one off Patek for sale. Some sellers don't do the research to know what they have or just don't care. If you decide to bid on one make sure all numbers match and that the font's are correct and use your research stated above. Look for bids closing in the morning or early afternoon while most people are busy. A lot of potential bidders will not be sitting at their computer to bid during those times. Expect to pay $500 or more to have the watch serviced after you purchase it. Lastly, don't expect to get one for pennies on the dollar but half of normal price is attainable.

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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    Thanks for all (actually at least most of) the replies. After receiving input here and doing a bit of searching I suspect that I really cannot justify the price of a used PP. I might look into another brand like Vacheron & Constantin or perhaps one of the better American made pocket watches of years past. Can anyone here recommend any other makes models to look into other than Vacheron & Constantin? I know about: Hamilton, Waltham, Illinois and Elgin. Thank you.

  11. #10
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on buying a vintage "bargain" Patek Phillipe pocket watch

    What about some of the other more well-known European brands?

    Rolex? Omega?

    Although I believe they're rare, I have seen a handful of antique Rolex pocketwatches around.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

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