I dusted off the Nikon this evening and was photographing some of my vintage pieces and it got me thinking about what got me into old watches. Thought I would share my story and would love to hear others.
I got into watches as a result of my grandfather passing away and leaving me several of his watches. Nothing too spectacular, lots of Seiko's, Citizens and even a few Invicta's. Also a pretty standard quartz RR Aproved Seiko that his dad wore later in life. While none of those pieces really did it for me (save one awesome Kinetic Perpetual), it kick-started the hobby and the love of automatics. He was an engineer by trade and loved all things with gears. Both sides of my family have men with a history of building and repairing pocket watches, and generally enjoying mechanical things. Anyway, over the years my tastes went all over the place, but I always loved the idea of how long autos could last, and the history that a piece forms over time.
I don't have a ton of money to put into the hobby (kids gotta go to college!), but I've thoroughly enjoying snagging deals on vintage pieces, researching movements and serial numbers and the joy in winding up a watch from 1945 and watch the sub-second hand start to take off. To think of what stories these pieces could tell. I am not knowledgeable enough yet to know redials when I see them, or to tell if a movement is all original, if hands have been replaced, etc - in fact it's entirely possible there are some blatant problems in the pics I've included below. But, the process of learning and enjoying the pieces for their age alone is satisfying enough. In fact, I've probably put less $$$ into vintage pieces than any of my modern watches, and I get more joy out of them.
Here are pics of my 3 current favorites in rotation: a 1961 Omega cal.470 (from my dad's birth year, given to me by my uncle), a 1960's Bulova linen dial and a 1945 Lord Elgin, which has really become a favorite and is one of the cheapest watches I've purchased at $30!
So, watchfam - what's your story? How did you get into old watches?