Newbie to World of Pocket Watches
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Thread: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

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  1. #1
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    Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    Hi Guys,

    I was thinking of getting into pocket watches and I was reading through the threads on this forum and the general consensus there seems to be that you can get a whole lot more for your money on vintage rather than try to buy something new. Either it will be crap or it will be really expensive for what you receive. The problem with that approach is two-fold. I don't know enough about vintage to not get screwed over on any deal and I don't have any experience with any watchmaker in my area (Greater Toronto Area) that can restore or service a vintage pocket watch. That kind of makes me just want to stick with new modern brands like Tissot or Longines even though there are potentially better buys out there. How did everyone else get over this initial hurdle?

  2. #2
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    Welcome, and I hope you will just take the plunge. I'm confident that you will find plenty of qualified watchmakers in a major metro area like Toronto. Many of them will actually have a few PWs for sale in their shops. Or you can find a solid PW on eBay. Give us an idea of your budget and preferences, and you will get good suggestions. PWs are a good value, as you mentioned, so don't skimp on quality.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  3. #3
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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    I have nice wristwatches already for my regular rotation in the office so I don't expect to be getting a lot of wear out of a pocket watch but I'd be prepared to invest between $1-2K on a vintage. I'm looking for something in a hunter case either in stainless or sterling silver. It would need to be in really clean condition. Maybe my OCD would get in the way of being able to enjoy a vintage piece if in the process of getting it restored I want it to look brand new again? Would that destroy its value to collectors or would it not really matter since most non-gold watches aren't that expensive anyway?

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  5. #4
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    Well, maybe spend a bit more time reading and researching PWs before jumping in. What makes them interesting is often the quality of the movement (e.g. RR-grade watches) and then the originality of the dial/hands, etc. If I were going to invest that much in a PW, I wouldn't be focusing on the case material, but identifying a really high quality and historically interesting watch.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  6. #5
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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    $1K - $2K is a fair bit of money in the pocket watch world, even with the cost of a competent service included. You learn as you go and your first pocket watch may well not be quite what you end up wanting, and so keeping expenditure lower might be something to consider initially. I would recommend American watches - plenty of variety and high quality, and relatively good prices. There's plenty of good Swiss/European vintage pocket watches, but often the prices are significantly higher largely due to brand name and not necessarily the inherent qualities.

    You touched on a very important issue - watchmakers/repairers. This is as important as being able to ascertain what to buy in the first place. I addressed the matter in a previous thread - see here:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/po...l#post47207967

    Good luck in the pocket watch world. The're great, and carrying the watches is a different and enjoyable experience.
    Last edited by Gumby992; November 19th, 2018 at 13:20.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    Hi richterto, I gave up smoking 3 years ago, and I promised myself that if I made it to 6 months, I would buy myself a quality pocket watch as a reward. Like you I was a Newbie...so I made sure that I put a fair bit of effort in researching not only the brand & type of watch that I wanted, but also who were the most reputable sellers. Also there are a couple of websites that can give you quite a bit of information about a watch that your considering (Including an estimated rice range based on the watches condition) simply by typing the watches serial number in. One is Pocket Watch Database. I agree with Gumby992 on the question of a lower expenditure on your first purchase. I myself paid just over $400 (Australian) for this 1910 Omega silver full hunter pocket watch, and I think you'll agree it is in excellent condition and looks fabulous. It was purchased from one of the most respected Sellers in Germany. So for an initial outlay of around a quarter of your budget, you can certainly get a quality brand watch in excellent condition.Name:  OMEGA 1A.jpg
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    Doons

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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Doonsbury View Post
    Hi richterto, I gave up smoking 3 years ago, and I promised myself that if I made it to 6 months, I would buy myself a quality pocket watch as a reward. Like you I was a Newbie...so I made sure that I put a fair bit of effort in researching not only the brand & type of watch that I wanted, but also who were the most reputable sellers. Also there are a couple of websites that can give you quite a bit of information about a watch that your considering (Including an estimated rice range based on the watches condition) simply by typing the watches serial number in. One is Pocket Watch Database. I agree with Gumby992 on the question of a lower expenditure on your first purchase. I myself paid just over $400 (Australian) for this 1910 Omega silver full hunter pocket watch, and I think you'll agree it is in excellent condition and looks fabulous. It was purchased from one of the most respected Sellers in Germany. So for an initial outlay of around a quarter of your budget, you can certainly get a quality brand watch in excellent condition.Name:  OMEGA 1A.jpg
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    Thank you for your advice. That is an incredible watch. I'm especially taken by it since I'm a sucker for the Omega brand.

    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk

  9. #8
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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    Your welcome richterto. Yes I decided to go for an Omega right off the bat as I could be assured of the quality workmanship & materials used in these watches. To be sure I didn't find this one in 10 minutes, but it was well worth the searching to be able to get one in such magnificent condition. On this note about finding a watchmaker.....I live in a small rural town in Queensland Australia and my local watch maker does not repair pocket watches......but he certainly knew the right man to send it to in Brisbane.....so not a major problem and, baring any unforeseen accidents, you will only need a watchmaker to service it every few years. In any case, good luck with the search mate, and please let us know how you get on.
    Doons

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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    To be sure I didn't find this one in 10 minutes
    Well, maybe spend a bit more time reading and researching PWs before jumping in.
    All has been said there, finding the right vintage watch is all about... time ;) It's very important to be patient and not rush things. With your budget and a careful search, you can easily grab a top grade watch WITH still having enough left to service it. My advice is to learn a little about watch history, badbackdan suggested railroad watches but you could also look into deck or "torpedo" chronometers if you want top quality, or learn about complications maybe if you want something more unusual...

    Just a little personal advice, I wouldn't necessary look for big known brands. A lot of lesser known gems having sometime a higher quality can be found pretty cheap for the trained eye ;)
    badbackdan and SunnyOrange like this.

  11. #10
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    Re: Newbie to World of Pocket Watches

    Hi there,

    my response would be pretty long and boring. So I better recommend to read the following page twice:
    Ranfft Watches, Second Timepiece

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
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