Vintage vs. New?

Thread: Vintage vs. New?

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  1. #1
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    Vintage vs. New?

    I have been looking for the right wristwatch for years, but have yet to find it. Most new watches, especially those under $500, are either to big or bulky for my wrist or are too gaudy and ugly. My Skagen titanium is nice--small (34mm), thin, and plain-looking--but the titanium scratches easily. I am looking for a durable, classic-looking watch (definitely under 40mm) with a leather band--in the neighborhood of $500. Should I try a classic Swiss watch (i.e. Concord, Longines, Omega, etc.)? If so, please be as specific as possible and recommend a dealer (in either case, new or used). I have had some good suggestions in another thread, but the watches suggested are not easily obtainable in the US. I have been looking at Finer Times. Can anyone recommend this dealer?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    Go vintage. For $500, you usually don't get in-house movements with modern watches unless you buy Seiko or Orient; you end up with ETA, Selitta, or worse - and lower end versions to boot. In that same price bracket in the vintage market you could get a really nice Omega Seamaster De Ville or Geneve (34 to 35 mm), a Longines Admiral, Ultra-Chron, or Grand Prize (33 to 36 mm), or a few different Hamilton models. The Omega and Longines are some of the best Swiss timepieces of the 60's, and the Hamiltons of the 40's and 50's are the tops of the US made watches.

  3. #3
    Member Niccolo's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    Remember to factor in the price of a service in addition to the purchasing price of the watch.
    Cataratas do Iguaçu, Brazil => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9KyiwSscdo

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    Member JohnnyMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    If you can say, or even post up pictures of what sort of style appeals to you, it will be easier to point you in the right direction

  6. #5
    Member Ray916MN's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    I'd say buy vintage, but it takes more research and care to buy vintage and the point about factoring in the cost of having a service done can't be understated.

    The tough thing with vintage is stuff that has been around for decades has a greater probability of being bastardized or worse, so to be successful at buying vintage you need to know what you are buying. In many cases parts are not widely available too, so buying vintage to wear daily may not be the thing to do if you are rough on watches or a perfectionist about their appearance. Service costs vary tremendously and getting good service done can be a challenge too, so you want to make sure you know of a good reasonable priced watchmaker before you buy.

    So why buy vintage? If you know what you're doing you can easily buy a watch which would cost you much more than three times the price if new. The best values I've found are buying non-mainstream models from non-mainstream makers. If you buy mainstream models from mainstream makers (eg. Omega Seamaster, Longines Admiral) the potential for bastardization is much higher as are prices.

    As there are decades of vintage watches available, if you want specific suggestions on what to buy, folks might be able to do a better job of helping you if you post up some vintage watches you've found which are of interest to.

    Ebay is a great way to get an idea of what is available. Do a "Buy it Now" search in watches specifying what broadly fits you're interest and price range and you'll see thousands and thousands of different possibilities.

  7. #6
    Member parrotandpitbull's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    I have paged through finer times, many a time, for fun, and only fun. I get a kick out of the outrageous prices of their watches. Watches Ive picked up for the 10th of the price they are selling at, on Finer Times. Sorry Finer Time, its true.....Unless they have sprinkled them with diamond powder or given them magical properties. With some judicious looking on ebay or even going to your local pawn shop, you can find something for 1/2 the price. They do have magnificent specimens Ill say that. And I might be exaggerating a tad for arguments sake, but in the long run Im on base. If money is no object... sure, buy. But make sure they have been serviced for that kind of money........

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    I appreciate the input. I know I can save a dime or two (I am exaggerating a bit), but I am not interested in searching for the ultimate bargain (which usually ends up being a beat-up watch) or taking my chances with an eBay seller...one who will not be around after the sale.

    With regard to what I like, here it is: http://www.finertimes.com/graphics/i...ches/rm908.jpg

    With the exception of the nasty blue band, I think this watch is very nice. It is thin, elegant, and very understated. It also seems very "vintage" and very "Swiss," if that makes sense. I like the fact that it does not have a second hand cluttering the dial. The seller said he would be able to offer me a different band. With regard to servicing, I believe all of Richard's watches are serviced, but I will check. When one factors in the servicing (which normally runs about $125-150), the condition of the watch, and the 5-day NQA return policy, I am not an expert, but to me it does not seem like a ripoff.

  9. #8
    Member Ray916MN's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    Eterna Eternamatic 1000, 2000 or 3000. The higher the number the better the watch. These watches all use precursor movements to the ETA 2824.

    Girard Perregaux Gyromatic

    Omega Deville

    If you don't want a sweep hand a watchmaker can always remove the sweep hand of any watch you buy. I discount "serviced" watches and prefer to have my watchmaker service whatever I buy. I figure if I buy a serviced watch and it has a problem, I'm not going to be really excited about sending it back to whomever "serviced" it.

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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray916MN View Post
    Eterna Eternamatic 1000, 2000 or 3000.
    Nice call Ray. Eterna is one of the most underrated and underpriced vintage brand out there. Gruen and Benrus are up there too, except it's getting hard to find parts for those brands while Eterna is easier. Bulova is worth looking into also - if you stay with their 23 and 30 jewel autos.

  11. #10
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    Re: Vintage vs. New?

    Thanks, all...

    The Eternas I have seen are a bit to modern for my taste. Even some of the Omegas are a tad cold for me. Anyway, are there any other opinions out there? Any views of the Gubelin I have cited above?

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