Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?
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  1. #1
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    Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    So I'd love to dip into vintage watches that can be worn reliably, without breaking into the high end, expensive, and often fraudulent, watch market. Are there any nice quality mechanicals that may pop up on the bay semi reliably that aren't in the $1000 range? Preferably quite a bit lower than that.

  2. #2
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    You are in luck since there are many brands that fit your criteria of high quality at prices well under $1,000. At the risk of leaving out many excellent choices, here are just a few to get the list started off the top of my head. Apologies to anyone I've offended by omitting their favorites.

    However, just because they are not in the upper echelon of brand names does not mean that you are safe to buy any example you find. Many, many examples will still be questionable.

    certina
    eterna
    cyma
    zodiac
    tissot
    doxa
    glycine
    mido
    nivada
    sandoz
    zenith
    movado
    universal geneve
    girard perregaux

    Also, you can definitely get watches in the next tier up (Omega, IWC, Longines, etc.) for under $1,000 with patience. However, you will wade through even more crap to find them.

    And finally, there are many "no-name" watches (e.g. small defunct brands, or watches assembled by high-end jewelers) that are very good quality. You just need to learn how to recognize the signs of quality in case, dial, movement, etc.
    Last edited by badbackdan; September 5th, 2017 at 01:33.
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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    Lucien Piccard

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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    @badbackdan covered many of the logical choices. I would add Alpina, and perhaps the most obvious of all, Seiko. There are many excellent examples of the latter at under 1000, including the likes of King Seiko chronometers.
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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    It really depends on the style you're after - I do love vintage Bulova/Seiko/Hamiltons. I feel like they have a great combination of provenance and accessibility. Happy hunting!

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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    Thanks for the list guys. I probably should have stated that closer to $200 would do me a lot better than simply "under $1000" lol. Though a prime example that hit the right buttons would get me over that mark easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by rrchmnn View Post
    It really depends on the style you're after - I do love vintage Bulova/Seiko/Hamiltons. I feel like they have a great combination of provenance and accessibility. Happy hunting!
    I usually prefer sporty types, although a subdued "dress" watch is fine. Minimalist divers can be great as I am active and will often go from a long bike ride to a jump in a lake and stuff like that. (Probably would stick with my Vostok, not a Vintage watch for that, though).

    For a more modern example, I like the simple Omega Railmaster type design. Classy, not too much going on, but clearly "nice". I'm not big on chronometers or secondary movements. Seiko Alpinist is another one that just strikes a chord with me. So I'd try to hit a Vintage watch with those marks.

    Old Seikos are probably right down my alley if I find the right one.

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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    I agree with the Seiko choice. leaving the divers for a minute(which can get pricey), you can find nice vintage stainless steel non Seiko divers for a low price. A great place to find them are at thrift stores

    Also consider Citizen watches, some of those are pretty nice

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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarrotIronfoundersson View Post
    I usually prefer sporty types, although a subdued "dress" watch is fine. Minimalist divers can be great as I am active and will often go from a long bike ride to a jump in a lake and stuff like that. (Probably would stick with my Vostok, not a Vintage watch for that, though).

    For a more modern example, I like the simple Omega Railmaster type design. Classy, not too much going on, but clearly "nice". I'm not big on chronometers or secondary movements. Seiko Alpinist is another one that just strikes a chord with me. So I'd try to hit a Vintage watch with those marks.

    Old Seikos are probably right down my alley if I find the right one.
    After reading this, I think that perhaps a vintage-style modern watch would be a good option.
    Last edited by badbackdan; September 5th, 2017 at 04:44.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    Jeez, there are so many. Where are you from? are you looking for a vintage from your country or area? Swiss, German, American? So many out there, you just need to be patient
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    Re: Good vintage brand for Vintage noobs, for users?

    Just be careful about movements. As an example, I inherited my dad's 1968 Girard Perregaux Gyromatic. Lovely but needed a new mainspring. Unfortunately, the GP 32A movement (aka Zodiac 72) had a little quirk - a sealed mainspring barrel meaning you need a whole new barrel rather than just the mainspring which means that part is tricky to come by. My watchmaker locally was able to - by serendipity- find a comparable movement which he cannabilized to repair mine. Not sure how easy that'll be to find again which suck because 2 years on, the hands just started sticking and won't advance with crown so looking at another big outlay of $$. May benefit to stick to movements that are time tested (Valjoux 7750, Peseux 7002, Unitas 6497 for example which are still produced by Swatch group).
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