Vintage watches on Ebay
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  1. #1
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    Vintage watches on Ebay

    Hi guys! First time posting here. Getting older and finally getting a watch. I love the look of simple dress watches and there are some really pretty vintage Omega seamasters, JLCs and Girard Perregauxs for cheap. However, 99% of these watches do not have the original strap. Are these (not having original straps) very common and how much would you think is a good price point i should pay for them? Does 400-600 USD sound good? Thanks a lot guys. :)

  2. #2
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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    Not having the original strap isn't that big of a deal, it's common to swap the original strap for something else. In any case, most of the time when someone sells a vintage watch on eBay they are going to remove the strap if it's a nice one, and replace it with something else. Myself, I don't care what strap comes on a watch, I'm going to put something else on it anyway.

    Bracelets are another story, a watch is always worth more when it has the original bracelet. For instance, a SS Seamaster with the original bracelet is worth a fair bit more than the watch alone. If you want an original bracelet try to get it with the watch, because they can be hard to find separately.

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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    Welcome to WUS and the Vintage forum. Straps/ bracelets are consumables in my book and weren't kept necessarily away in box, for future sales by the owners. So are the crystals. Even though some crystals are signed ( like in Omega ) vintage timepieces were being worn daily - not kept in watch-boxes as we do now for collecting purposes, and wear in rotation on occasions, therefore changes can be expected.

    You would be able to find a well taken care watch in box and with original strap/bracelet from 70's but the back you go the less would it be available. The price range you mention 400-600 USD vs the brands sounds very reasonable, especially for JLC, so reasonable that it can raise questions of authenticity. If you don't have enough information about the product and brand you will buy, just post pictures here WUS citizens are pretty helpful sharing their opinion. Wish you luck and welcome to the world of vintage time measure instruments.

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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    if you are looking at ones on a bracelet also make sure it has enough links to fit your wrist. it seems that many have almost all of the removable links missing, and it can cost quite a lot of time and money to find links later. it will be very discouraging to do all the research, bid and win, and then finally pick it up at the postoffice only to find that you can't wear it because it is too small.

    by the way the research is a very important part of understanding what you are going to bid on and WUS is a great resource.

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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    If you think about it, if you wore a watch every day, how long would a leather strap last before it started looking worn? I think in daily wear, most watch bands last only a few years, so an original band - i.e. the band this particular watch came with - wold be a rare bird indeed! Bracelets last a bit longer, but gold filled ones will wear through, and if they're the expansion type, the springs will wear out. Clasp-type bracelets, the clasps will wear out. As someone above said, band and bracelets, and crystals are consumables - that's why you can get them at those kiosks at the Mall! Even crowns are considered consumable.

    That being said, one does sometimes come across a New Old Stock (NOS) piece, either never sold, or never worn, with the box, papers, etc. Those go for A LOT more!!

    Regarding buying watches on Ebay, here's my advice, as someone who's bought hundreds - Choose one brand, research it DEEPLY, and stick with it. For most brands, there's at least one guy obsessed enough to put up a website or blog about them. Watch the sales of your brand for at least a month, to get a feeling for the variety of watches available. Note the selling prices, and try to determine why two watches from the same era, and of similar description might sell for radically different prices. Learn what's original, and what's likely a Franken - a watch put together inaccurately from parts, unlike anything the factory ever produced - and there are a LOT of them out there! Knowledge is your shield, and your weapon.

    The brands that routinely bring hundreds of dollars for a watch are prone to fakery. For example, there's a whole site about Omega Constellations, largely devoted to helping the collector detect fakes and frankens, because these watches are so highly desired that it's profitable to fake them - usually putting them together from a lower-grade movement, a case that looks ALMOST right, and a dial that also looks ALMOST right. It's all in the details to find them, but you have to know what to look for!

    WUS and other vintage collector forums are a great place to look for advice and to acquire knowledge. And you can find the guys who specialize in particular brands and seek their advice on particular pieces. You may want to think carefully before posting about any auction on an open forum, however, since it also alerts everyone else to the listing!
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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneJockey View Post
    If you think about it, if you wore a watch every day, how long would a leather strap last before it started looking worn? I think in daily wear, most watch bands last only a few years, so an original band - i.e. the band this particular watch came with - wold be a rare bird indeed!
    That's true, however I'm a fan of worn-looking vintage straps myself, and straps can actually last a really long time if they are taken care of. However, few people bother to condition their straps and take care of them so most vintage ones are dried out and falling apart. Often they can still be brought back to life with some conditioning and gluing/sewing bits back together. I really like having a worn vintage strap on a vintage watch, it adds a bit of character, so I actually hunt for old straps like this.

    Here's a pic of some of my vintage straps, some I found NOS and others I had to piece back together (none of these straps are original to the watches, as GeneJockey said that's almost impossible to find unless the watch was tucked away in a drawer soon after it was bought):

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  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    Thanks a lot for the advice people!!! :) Hahaha I think Omega would be my choice of brand. Absolutely love their Seamaster, Deville & Constellation line up.
    When buying, is not being able to see the inner workings/wordings a deal breaker? Quoting from an auctioneer "This is a one piece case and I am not skilled enough to open the watch." Would it be "too mature" for me? Thanks anyway I'd still wear them, as long as they look pretty to me...
    Girard Perregaux Automatic Gyromatic 17 Jewel 10K GF Watch | eBay this GP looks stunning :) wondering if i should snag it! It states B1808 is that the reference number that GeneJockey referred to
    Last edited by Markipooboo; November 23rd, 2013 at 19:17.

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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Markipooboo View Post
    When buying, is not being able to see the inner workings/wordings a deal breaker? Quoting from an auctioneer "This is a one piece case and I am not skilled enough to open the watch." Would it be "too mature" for me? Thanks anyway I'd still wear them, as long as they look pretty to me...
    The seller is not kidding, the only way to open those watches is to remove the crystal and you don't want him/her to do that. There were a number of different movements used in vintage Seamasters, AFAIK they are all great movements, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Emre View Post
    You would be able to find a well taken care watch in box and with original strap/bracelet from 70's but the back you go the less would it be available. The price range you mention 400-600 USD vs the brands sounds very reasonable, especially for JLC, so reasonable that it can raise questions of authenticity. If you don't have enough information about the product and brand you will buy, just post pictures here WUS citizens are pretty helpful sharing their opinion. Wish you luck and welcome to the world of vintage time measure instruments.
    Oops wrong link... My bad. Here's the right one. http://www.ebay.com/itm/CLASSIC-GENT...item4d153562bf but it's would increase significantly though. HAHAHA i guess you're right! :) Jaegers are above GPs and Omegas?
    Last edited by Markipooboo; November 23rd, 2013 at 19:25.

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    Re: Vintage watches on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by Markipooboo View Post
    I don't know much about those watches, but the hands on that one give me an uneasy feeling. The style looks a bit odd for the dial, and the hands seem to be in far better shape than the dial (check out the lume, looks restored). The dial is military-style but the hands are dressy. I don't know, but my gut feeling is that the dial or hands aren't original. Take that with a huge grain of salt though, I don't know what this watch should look like in original condition, it's just seems a bit off to me.

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