Wanna Start Collecting Watches

Thread: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

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  1. #1
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    Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    I am a very new to the world of watches. I am looking to start a collection and originally thought a vintage Omega Speedmaster Professional would be a good choice for my first watch. After doing some research it seems like Omegas are very common. I still really like the design and idea of the watch I just want something more original. If anyone could give me some direction it would be greatly appreciated. BTW my price range is under $1000.

    P.S. I need something to make up for the watch I currently own which is a Movado Safiro with diamonds inset in the bezel. I acquired the watch through a trade of 3 months free rent at my house. From what I have seen on this site Movados are not the most sought after watches!

  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    Hi -

    First of all, welcome to the forum and WUS! Hope we can help you...

    Second: the idea that you can get a Vintage Speedmaster Professional for under $1000 is ... optimistic at best. Vintage Omega prices have gone through the roof over the last several years, and you'd be lucky to find one in poor shape for that price, let alone one that can be used as an everyday watch.

    Please check prices on eBay if you don't believe me. Just search on "Omega Speedmaster" and you'll see that many start at $1000 for the bidding, with "buy-it-now" for used Speedmasters more at the $2500 mark, give or take a few hundred.

    One of the great regrets I have in collecting was turning down a pre-professional Speedmaster (the one that started it all...) for all of $2500 a few years ago. The watchmaker who had it sold it for $8000 recently. Ouch.

    If you are looking for a good start in vintage watches, vintage Hamiltons are a great placed to start, as are vintage Bunrus and Bulova watches: they were made in very large numbers, were of good quality, you can get spare parts for them and they're fairly reasonable.

    If you're looking for an Omega specifically, you may want to post something in the "Want To Buy" forum or you may want to ask about vendors over on the Omega forum, as those guys are the real specialists when it comes to the arcane lore of Omega.

    There are a lot of outstanding vintage watches out there for $1000. But please consider this: always buy the seller, since as Omega watches have become so desirable (and expensive!), they are also the most frequently faked watches. Hence: caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.

    And if that is your budget, also consider that you'll almost definitely have to have the watch worked on if you acquire one, for instance, on eBay. That can cost several hundred dollars as well.

    Oh, and there are about 10 different versions of the Speedmaster as well: some cost more, some cost less. The Omega forum would be a great place to narrow that quest down!

    JohnF
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  3. #3
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    Yeah, I know $1000 is optimistic. Ive done quite a bit of research. The reason I threw that number out was because it's pretty damn intimidating trying to buy something like that considering all the fakes. My research will have to continue until I am confident enough I guess. Thanks for the great info!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    I believe the best thing you can do as a watch collector is to form
    a relationship with an enthusiastic and competent watchmaker. My guy
    lives on the other side of the continent but I would not consider buying
    a watch without his OK. He then gets the watch and services and
    restores it as needed (he has a three month backlog but it is worth the wait).
    Finding him allowed me to leap from being a casual collector to getting
    into high gear!

    Kjell

  6. #5
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    How did you go about developing that relationship? I am not very trusting when it comes to the internet so I need a lot of assurance before I just jump into something.

  7. #6
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    Kjelln-

    I just noticed you are from California. Do you know any quality watch shops that I could check out around LA/Orange county?

  8. #7
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    Hi Braden,

    probably you should read my advice for newbies:
    http://www.ranfft.de/uhr/info-zweite-e.html
    May be boring to read, but not useles.

    The main conclusion applied to your price: It will ask more than $1000 to
    bring a $1000 watch to the shape of a $2000 watch.

    You may have huge luck, but believe me: luck is more a matter of knowledge
    than of luck

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  9. #8
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Braden View Post
    Kjelln-

    I just noticed you are from California. Do you know any quality watch shops that I could check out around LA/Orange county?
    Hi Braden, I live in a very rural area many hours from the nearest
    city, so have no knowledge of watchmakers in the so cal area. However
    there must be more than a few. Perhaps you can check something like this -

    http://www.watch-clock-makers.org/

    Then go and visit, talk to them and ask for advise, perhaps buy a
    watch or have them service one, get to know them. Likely you'll
    discover one who you can "connect" with.

    Kjell

  10. #9
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Kjelln View Post
    Hi Braden, I live in a very rural area many hours from the nearest
    city, so have no knowledge of watchmakers in the so cal area. However
    there must be more than a few. Perhaps you can check something like this -

    http://www.watch-clock-makers.org/

    Then go and visit, talk to them and ask for advise, perhaps buy a
    watch or have them service one, get to know them. Likely you'll
    discover one who you can "connect" with.

    Kjell
    Thanks, I'll check it out!

  11. #10
    Member sherwoodschwartz's Avatar
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    Re: Wanna Start Collecting Watches

    bishop! holy cats. you are out there. my father grew up in needles.


    well, i was going to recommend an LA seller called coolvintagewathes, but i see from his web page that he now resides in missouri, so never mind.

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