noob looking for 1st vintage watch

Thread: noob looking for 1st vintage watch

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Question noob looking for 1st vintage watch

    I've spent 8 hours in the last two days looking at old watches on ebay. I guess I'm obsessed. I'm looking for suggestions on what to get.

    I'm looking for something 1950s or 1960s.
    Want to spend under $50, need to spend under $100.
    I would prefer something waterproof, but this is not a necessity.

    My main draw to these watches is the mechanical movements, so I want something that is either innovative, known for accuracy, etc, or just something nice in a mechanical sense. I'm open to both automatic and manual wind watches.

    I saw a few 1950s Bulova 23j self winders that I liked the looks of. Is that a decent watch? What else should I look into?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Re: noob looking for 1st vintage watch

    You won't get anything waterproof from the 1950's or 60's. Even if the seller notes that it is waterproof, I wouldn't even wear it in the shower without expecting to pay for an overhaul.

    The Bay can be pricey b/c most sellers know what they have. And if they don't, the buyers do and the prices get jacked. There was a great thread about vintage watch steals under $100. I suggest you look there and get to know what you like.

    In the end, buy a watch that you like. Just beware that if the watch isn't already serviced, you HAVE HAVE HAVE to get it serviced before using, which is an additional 70-300 usd depending on the manufacturer (and more for higher complications).

    As far as brands go, each of the guys on the forum have their favorites. There's been more than a few threads about it in the last month, just browse around :)

  3. #3
    Member Outta Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Port Colborne, Ontario

    Re: noob looking for 1st vintage watch

    Your best bet, and one that has served me well, is to find an old watch at a flea market or rummage sale for under $20, that way, you can get it serviced also and the total will be in line with what you can spend. Look for a watch that ticks or ticks and then stops, not one that doesn't tick at all. If the crystal is scratched up, don't worry, they can be buffed or replaced cheap. Stems and crowns may or may not be a problem, it depends on the model and age. Straps and bracelets can likewise be replaced, but the cheapest ones won't even have a strap on them. At least with a flea market you can examine the watch in your hands before you buy.

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  5. #4
    Member DaBaeker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    States: east -nyc/phila

    Re: noob looking for 1st vintage watch

    You may not like the answer but I have to say: Look for some of the older early 60s Timex. You may even find an early 60s Timex dive watch (though I doubt it will still be water-resistant) Many were made in Great Britain and many also have some downright nice looking dials. The mechanical movments may not be the epitome of horological science but they can keep pretyty accurate time when regulated and the old ads really were not lying when they said, "takes a licking and keeps on ticking". But mostly because of your price requirement a Timex will allow you to get the most watch for your dollar. Many can be had for under $50. There are also some interesting pre-quartz electric Timex that have mechanical movment assited by a battery that tick away like crazy. They are kind of clunky but very cool and many are called Dynabeats. But there is nothing wrong with Bulova either.
    :ROLEX OMEGA LONGiNES ♦ SEIKO Aquadive ♦ ELGIN ♦ hamilton O&W imexZodiac......

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