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Hi Everyone,

I am planning to buy my fiance a pocket watch to give to him on our wedding morning. I'd be grateful of your recommendations. I'd be happy to spend up to £350, I also quite like the idea of vintage, but have no idea where to start or where I can buy from reliably - ebay would concern me through my lack of knowledge more than anything else!

Many thanks in advance.
 

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If you find any watch on eBay that you would consider buying, simply post the link here, and we'll be happy to tell you if there is anything wrong with the watch, or is it safe to buy. That includes the seller's feedback- there is a saying in here: "Buy the seller".
First of all, what style of pocket watches you think will be right? Open-face (crown at 12 o'clock), or hunter (crown at 3 o'clock, hinged lid over the crystal)?
What origin and age would you want? 19th or 20th century, Swiss or American?
I'm definitely not well-versed in American pocket watches, but experts on this topic here will probably be here soon with their recommendations.
Should you want to choose a Swiss PW, I think that you might want to have a look at Zenith, Longines and Omega. These brands have a truly great reputation, made good-looking PWs with great movements- AFAIK, all three were usually scoring the best results at chronometer competitions.
 
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mkws has given you already a good lead, but consider the following: There is a difference between a collector and someone (especially without expert knowledge) making a gift - and here a very special one on a very special occasion. Even the most reliable dealer cannot guarantee the (long term) function of a vintage watch. If you already have 250 watches in your collection, you can live with a bad buy, besides often having the capability to fix things are at least the necessary connections to know where to bring a watch for fixing/service. I am also leaving aside the question of accuracy in daily use.

People here in the vintage forum are often proudly displaying family heirlooms from the father or grandfather, which originally have been gifts or purchases of new watches, passed on in the family. I don't know if a starting point with somebody elses family heirloom is a good thing. An exception would be, if you buy a verge watch from the 18th century, not intended for daily use. Even as a hard-core vintage watch collector, I must say that for 350 quid you get a nice new watch (mechanical of course). Keep the box and papers and keep it in the family. I might be different, if your fiancé has a special vintage watch in mind, which you could buy and a service or repair would be a more normal thing.

If your price limit expressed in pounds means British pounds, you are most likely living in the UK, which is the country with the highest divorce rate in the EU and you do not want to blame things one day on a wedding-day gift which went wrong.

One the other hand, we would be very sorry to see you go over to another forum where new watches are discussed, as we would be missing nice pictures of your purchase, all the instructions you will get concerning the opening of the case as everyone wants to see the movement to give an opinion, and of course the continuation of the story.
 
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