Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018

    Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    Hi All,

    I have been looking for my first wrist watch for a couple of weeks. Generally, I like vintage stuff (from furniture to cars, and even stereo system, etc). So, I am hoping to extend my vintage collecting habit to watches as well.

    It's been quite hard for me to pinpoint the exact model, or even brand that I want, so I'd love to have some helps here. Here are some of the traits that I'd like my first watch to have:
    1. I'd like it to be hand-winding mechanical watch. I have a pock watch that is hand-winding, and I just love it.
    2. I'd like to case to be at least 38mm. I have found a lot of the vintage watches have smaller case size-- probably between 30mm to 35mm?
    3. It'll be great to be Swiss made. I have heard that Swiss made is more reliable and more accurate (please correct me if I'm wrong). But I'm open to others as well.
    4. Parts are somewhat easy to find. In other words, I'd like to keep it for a long long time, and be able to fix it if needed.
    5. Appearance wise, these two really caught my eyes: Zenith A271 and DOXA WAFFEN ZZ M-B (Sorry that I cannot include photos or links to photos)
    I like the design of chronograph, but I have heard that it's more costly to maintain one. And it seems that the price of them is most likely to exceed my budget. So, I think I'm leaning towards the Doxa pilot watch. Are those the real deals? I thought pilot watches would cost way more than $300, but these are generally selling for under $300. Another question is that it seems like there are the Russian made ones that look very similar, but are a bit cheaper. Is it a good idea to go with those ones? I couldn't find more information about these watches online. What words should I use to google?

    Sorry for the long post, but as a newbie to watches, I do have a lot of questions. Any suggestions/advices will be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Member bobo90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Doha, Qatar

    Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    Welcome to the forums!
    Around 300 you can find a good first piece (better if you can stretch this a little), including some chronos and Swiss made. Longines, Zenith, Omega are probably the most common to find, plus many less known brands. The size is going to limit you a little, costume was to wear smaller watches years ago (watch out this trend is coming back btw)
    The universe of vintage watches tho is just huge, so before buying I suggest you some reading and Pic scrolling in order to sharpen and define your taste, and most of all to give a deep look to our vintage forum which is very good and can surely help you. Lastly, you will need to be more attentive when buying since the watch is older so there is more chance it has some potential issues.

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  3. #3
    Member timefleas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Hiroshima, Japan

    Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    I really wouldn't suggest that someone new to the game dive in hoping to get a deal on a good used vintage watch for under $300--this is an area where you really need to know a little bit about watches to know whether one deal is good or not--you could end up with a real mess. Rather, I would get something that is reasonable for now, such as a Glycine Combat 6 (brand new at $299 on the bay and elsewhere, Swiss automatic movement, 43mm), and as you get to know more about watches, then perhaps look into a good "vintage" deal.
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  5. #4
    Member Targaryen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    the Netherlands

    Wink Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    Welcome to the forum. I would take the advice above to heart. When searching for a $300 vintage watch you're treading in very murky waters, especially on Ebay. Expect to pay more and factor in service and repair

    Sadly, the times for picking up a nice vintage watch for a steal are gone as demand for vintage watches has risen exponentially. It has been known to happen to find a real gem for a penny on the fleamarket but those are exceptions and not the rule.

    Doing your research is essential. This is imo part of what makes it fun but use caution and take your time. Read up on the vintagesection and also WoW did a nice buying-guide for Ebay, I'll include the links below:

    A Guide to Buying Vintage Watches on eBay Part 1 - Worn & Wound
    A Guide to Buying Vintage Watches on eBay Part 2 - Worn & Wound

    Have fun and take your time

  6. #5
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    The Hague-Amman-London-Berlin

    Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    The „Doxa Waffen“ thing is a fake. No such watch ever existed. There are lots of crappy watches offered on ebay with Waffen SS emblems and Totenkopf emblems. All fake. See our PilMil forum for more info. Feel free to flick through. Plenty of info over there.

    The only watches made for the SS I know of were made by Lange & Söhne. And we are talking about a very, very small run here.
    Those are not to be found for $300, not even for $3000.

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    Btw: there are 10.000 of vintage watches in your price bracket on ebay. Junghans, Berg, Stowa, Laco, Union, Tissot, Longines, Rado, Mido, Hamilron, Bulova, Timex, Pallas, Parat, Osco, Lanco, Bifora, Alpina to name some to start with.
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    Kind regards

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  7. #6
    Member Gunnar_917's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

    Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    You can get plenty of stuff for that Budget, problem is the condition they’re going to be in

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Philadelphia, USA

    Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    I feel compelled to ask why, fake or not, you’re interested in wearing a watch that says “Waffen-SS”? Does that really appeal?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    GA USA

    Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    girard perregaux vintage units in ss. Just gave a 38mm stainless auto one to my brother in law. Almost regret it. Had an eta movement if I recall correctly, amazing brand and just a classy watch in all regards. And undervalued in many ways on the used market

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    You can find a lot of vintage Longines at that price point here or on Ebay.

  11. #10
    Member rfortson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Houston, TX

    Re: Helps on Finding a Vintage Watch under $300

    You've got lots of homework to do. Get to studying!

    It's a great hobby, but you can spend foolish money if you're not careful.

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