Art Deco Man's watch--Seeking advice and counsel

Thread: Art Deco Man's watch--Seeking advice and counsel

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  1. #1
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    Art Deco Man's watch--Seeking advice and counsel

    Good morning,

    I am new to the Forum and seeking a rectangular Art deco mans watch from 30s-40s to wear on special occasions and enjoy. I don't care about how collectable it might be--I simply love the look of the period and have a few art deco objects--like my 36 Ford Convertible. Here are my questions;

    1. What is likely to be the most affordable source? What can I buy for $100-200?

    2. Are there particular brands that are desirable because they are reliable and easy to repair?

    3. Would I be wiser to have a modern interpretation of these--not as authentic, but affordable and reliable? For example, here is one from
    J Peterman: 1930s Wristwatch > Accessories et al. | The J. Peterman Company

    Are there others that you know of and might suggest?

    Thanks in advance for your advice

    John

  2. #2
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Art Deco Man's watch--Seeking advice and counsel

    You can find a variety of watches to fit your needs. I would lean toward Elgin, Bulova, and Waltham in that era and price range. Often nice examples of these watches can be had for under $75 add a service and a new strap and you will be pushing the $200 mark. I think an original piece would be better than a reproduction.

  3. #3
    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
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    Re: Art Deco Man's watch--Seeking advice and counsel

    Quote Originally Posted by jwats View Post

    1. What is likely to be the most affordable source? What can I buy for $100-200?

    2. Are there particular brands that are desirable because they are reliable and easy to repair?

    3. Would I be wiser to have a modern interpretation of these--not as authentic, but affordable and reliable? For example, here is one from
    J Peterman: 1930s Wristwatch > Accessories et al. | The J. Peterman Company

    1. The most affordable source is going to be eBay, unless you can get wired in with an American watch collecting group, such as the NAWCC.

    2. In addition to the other brands mentioned above, might I suggest Hamilton? They were at their peak during the art deco era of the 1920's and '30's. At a time when 7 to 15 jewel watches were the norm, Hamilton didn't make a watch with less than 17 jewels.

    Here is a website that profiles many of their models: http://hamiltonwatch.info/. You can certainly get into many of the gold-filled models for around $100 or so. Most parts are plentiful, and even if you can't find a particular part, eBay is full of non-running movements good for donations.

    3. The reproductions are likely to cost far more than the real thing, even with servicing. So I don't see the point.

    Hope this helps,
    gatorcpa

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  5. #4
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Art Deco Man's watch--Seeking advice and counsel

    I'm amused by the text of the ad you linked to; the description of the "offset second hand" as indicating a "Doctors watch" is hilarious. If they can't even get the terminology right, I'm afraid I can't hold out much hope for the value of their "interpretation".

    That said, if you want reliable and easy to repair, a quartz reproduction may be best. The Art Deco period tends to pre-date shockprotection, which makes wearing them a bit more risky the a more modern mechanical. Doesn't have the same feel though.

    Benrus had some nice designs in the 30's/40's (include some with shock protection), but Bulova tended to have a higher level of quality (IMO).
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  6. #5
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: Art Deco Man's watch--Seeking advice and counsel

    Benrus had some nice designs in the 30's/40's (include some with shock protection), but Bulova tended to have a higher level of quality (IMO).
    I agree...It really is a case by case situation. I like Bulova because you rarely see one with less than 15j and often encounter movements with multiple adjustments.

    In addition to the other brands mentioned above, might I suggest Hamilton? They were at their peak during the art deco era of the 1920's and '30's
    Hamilton is also an excellent choice...A bit more money and competition for purchase but nicer movements.

  7. #6
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Art Deco Man's watch--Seeking advice and counsel

    Hi Jon,

    The style of watch you're after is called the "tank" watch (so called because of the rectangular/square shape). From what I've seen, they were very popular and common in the 1930s and 40s (in the 20s too, but not as much).

    Good brands are ones like Bulova, Hamilton, Elgin and Omega.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

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