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  1. #1
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    New enthusiast looking for advice!

    Hi there,

    I am fairly new to watches, although I have always loved the old vintage watches which make an understatement rather than being flashy.

    I have recently finnished my studies which means I can finally afford a decent watch :)

    I am looking for a vintage watch that is affordable, kind of like the old omega seamaster from the 50s and 60s (automatic). I like the plain yet stylish look however the rather large glass of the seamaster kind of puts me off as I have really tiny wrists. In terms of price, the seamaster is pretty much spot on. I dont want to spend to much as this will be my first watch, but I see no point in paying to little either as I want a good, quality piece.

    Could you guys/girls who are way more knowledgable than me on the subject, perhaps give me some suggestions of models/brands to look out for that fits in with the style/price as per above?

    I appreciate your help!

    Best Regards
    Nick

  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    Welcome to the forum. A lot of the watches from the fifties were quite small (30m or so) so that should suit nicely. The main question here is whether you really need to invest in a "name". Sure, Omega is well known and made excellent watches. There are a whole heap of other, no name watches from that time, using generic but high quality movements (Adolf Schild, ETA, FHF, etc.) which are getting on towards "as good" and at the same time are much cheaper. At the same time, brands like Omega are plagued by the old problem: Frankenwatches! Unless you know what you are doing, you risk getting burned by overpaying for a jumbled mess made from half a dozen different original watches or at the very least paying for a redone dial that looks nice but lowers the value to the collector. Although, on the last count, it depends what you really want: authenticity or nice looks.....

    I would advise you to first of all list the things that are important to you. Obviously, size is an issue. Manual, automatic (or don't care)? With date, without (or don't care)? Dial colour? Etc. etc. Once you have done this, it will be easier to narrow things down.

    Good luck!

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    Plenty of other makes out there, Tissot did some great watches also hamilton and longines. Most of the styles in the 60s look the same so you will find many looking like the omegas without the price tag and like Harmut said you need to do research when buying an omega.

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  5. #4
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    Welcome to the forum. A lot of the watches from the fifties were quite small (30m or so) so that should suit nicely. The main question here is whether you really need to invest in a "name". Sure, Omega is well known and made excellent watches. There are a whole heap of other, no name watches from that time, using generic but high quality movements (Adolf Schild, ETA, FHF, etc.) which are getting on towards "as good" and at the same time are much cheaper. At the same time, brands like Omega are plagued by the old problem: Frankenwatches! Unless you know what you are doing, you risk getting burned by overpaying for a jumbled mess made from half a dozen different original watches or at the very least paying for a redone dial that looks nice but lowers the value to the collector. Although, on the last count, it depends what you really want: authenticity or nice looks.....

    I would advise you to first of all list the things that are important to you. Obviously, size is an issue. Manual, automatic (or don't care)? With date, without (or don't care)? Dial colour? Etc. etc. Once you have done this, it will be easier to narrow things down.

    Good luck!

    Hartmut Richter
    Thank you for your reply Hartmut and thank you for the welcome!

    Your answer kind of validates my post to a certain point, as being rather new on this subject there are so many things that I dont know, which naturally make me go for the better known brands, which in turn will cost more, when the brand itself makes little difference to me. I am definately going to check out the AS, ETA, FHF etc!

    In accordance with your advice, I have tried to read up on the subject, both on here and google, and come up with a more detailed list:

    Usage: As a starting point, I will be wearing the watch on a daily basis for work. I am a consultant and as such wear suits/shirts for work where I interact with clients, so I want the watch to be classy/stylish without it being overly flashy.
    Size: Need's to be rather small as I have rather small wrists. Width can be normal however the 'thickness' needs to be rather sleek.
    Wind: Automatic. As I will be wearing it regularly, this just makes things easier rather than a manual wind.
    Date: I really like the old omega seamaster's with date (kind of like this one), however I dont necessarily have a preference
    Case: Silver/Platinum (perhaps some lighter shades of gold tilting towards silver/platinum, something like this one)
    Dial: Silver or champagne, where champagne is probably my favourite as it gives it an older look in my opinion.
    Numerals: Again, I dont really have any preference, however the batton numerals does make it look more sleek in my opinion. Could be a combination where there is batton numerals with 12/3/6/9 being numbers. Numerals can be both silver or gold - no preference.

    In terms of looks vs. authenticity, looks naturally factors in however I am willing to pay slightly more to get authenticity and so this is important. However the brand itself makes little difference to me, a well known or something relatively unknown is all the same (It is here I need help as I am unaware of the 'unknowns'). What is important however is quality (which I guess comes with authenticity?). I dont want to buy a watch which will need constant service or that will break (naturally).

    On a general note I prefer watches that make an understatement, and I prefer used watches with a history rather than new ones. In terms of new ones, I suppose IWC makes some pretty nice watches (to get an idea of looks as I am unfamiliar with vintage watches) however most IWC are really expensive, or something like this one (which I suppose is also really expensive) :)

    Looking forward to learning more and thanks for your help!

    Regards
    Nick
    Last edited by nickem; December 11th, 2012 at 10:11.

  6. #5
    Member joeuk's Avatar
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    You will find many many mechanical watches will need a service, and that is 3-5 yrs and most likely will need a service when bought off such a place like ebay even if the seller claims they have just had it serviced if they make such a claim a receipt should be proof. A good watch case will be made of steel, platinum is a very very expensive material, lets take the platinum Omega Speedmaster it sells for about £100,000. The cases you want to avoid is chromed brass as these tend to age and the brass will start to show through. They did plenty of dress watches in the 60s like the omegas. Just do an image google search on watches like hamilton, longines and tissot remember tissot and omega merged in 1930s so you will find both used the some of the same parts and design.

  7. #6
    Member john*thomas's Avatar
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    Just to note.....you still need to wind automatics, just not as often. I like the fact that I can wear mine and not worry whether or not it needs wound. They all do require service now and then but a well serviced watch will keep very good time. Myself, I really like the 75* series Omega's.



    The above is a late 60's stainless steel 751. They also come gold plated.

    You will find that a large majority of Omega's on eBay have had restored dials. A well done one for everyday use is O.K. but it's something collectors tend to avoid.
    In theory the restored dials should be cheaper but there seems to be a large market for those who simply want the watch to look new. Again there is nothing wrong with
    that if that is what you want but IMO if you are on a watch forum looking for advice, my advice would be to take your time and find the nicest original one you can find.

    There are "cheap" automatics out there that are very nice also. While it doesn't seem to be your style, I wear an early 70's Hamilton that I paid $10 for at a flea market as
    my work watch as I work in a manufacturing setting and my watch tends to get beat around a bit.



    If you are not sure, ask on a forum that deals in the watch you are looking at. It's amazing what the experts there can tell you.

  8. #7
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    Jouek: Thank you for the practical advice, and I will most definately stay away from Platinum hehe. Do you have any good advice in terms of places to shop for used watches in the UK besides ebay? I travel to London quite alot as I have family over there, but I live in Norway, and unfortunately there isnt an abundance of vintage watches over here unless you are willing to shell out £5000 and above, or atleast I haven't found a place...

    John: That omega is wonderfull! It is one of my favourite watches so far, yet I was unaware that there were so much to keep in mind when shopping around for one! Authenticity is still important for me, even though I am not a collector per say. Half the charm is having it in the original condition!


    So far I have a keen eye for Longines after browsing ebay/google. I found a couple of interesting ones and was wondering if there is anything in particular I should be aware of before buying (other than making sure its all original/in working condition).

    1962 Longines Jamboree
    1948 Longines (I was quite surprised that I liked this one, not necessarily the type of watches I normally like)
    1968 Longines
    Rodania (I dont know anything about this watch, and the information is rather limited)
    Universal Geneve
    Omega Bulls Eye

    Those are the type of style I go after. So far the Longines is an excellent tip as they seem to be substaintially cheaper than omega yet are equally nice in my opinion!

  9. #8
    Member sherwoodschwartz's Avatar
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    eternas are nice.

    jsw41 and Tick Talk like this.

  10. #9
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    Of the linked watches, the Rodania looks OK - probably an Adolf Schild or ETA movement, nothing special but solid and reliable. The Universal I would stay away from - claims to be a Cal. 261 but not a single movement photo! On top of that, the dial script is dodgy (all capitals "Universal" but small script "Geneve").

    Hartmut Richter

  11. #10
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    Re: New enthusiast looking for advice!

    I was in your shoes about 2 years ago and I wanted an Omega. So I searched and watched for the right combination of features for 9 months and then I bought this refurbished 1958 Omega Seamaster for everyday wear. It has a new dial etc. but this is what I wanted as I wanted it to look brand new. A few friends said that it looks a bit small but I like it.





    Since then I have bought a few more vintage watches, and this one has been my every day watch for the last 9 months....it was a watch that I just spotted and didn't know much about, but it was near enough new old stock so I bought it for less than 200 quid:

    1960 Zodiac Glorious







    So the point being that there are loads of lovely vintage watches out side the normal Omega, Tissot brands that you would never think of and are also cheaper.

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