WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 70 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't know how or why it started.

A few months ago, on a whim, I bought a 1947 Gruen Precision. I cleaned it up, polished the case, buffed the crystal, and threw it on a nice nato. I gave it to my dad as a gift (he likes old mechanical watches).

Hadn't even given it a second thought until yesterday, when I felt the urge to start another vintage project.

I did NOTHING today but scour everyone's favorite auction site for deals. Gotta be honest, I feel like a waste of space right now :)

I ended up buying two pieces; a Timex diver, and a Waltham (not running, but I loved the case, so I couldn't pass it up).

I love the history. I love the refurb process. I love the retro looks. I love that in a world of 50mm Mixon's and Nichael Kors, I'm rocking a 33mm classic, and flipping the bird to the status quo. I'm a big fan of originality and getting in touch with your own personal style, and vintage ticks both of those boxes.

I'm even contemplating selling some of my newer pieces to fund older pieces. The value for money is outstanding with vintage.

Guys and gals of the vintage forum, where does this end? How far does this rabbit hole go?

Will I / can I go back from here?

I'd love to hear some of your experiences.

And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without some obligatory pics of today's purchases:



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
I know exactly how you feel, and by now I'm sure you already know that there is no turning back! I've always said to myself that once I get "the one" vintage watch that I have always wanted, that im would stop. And then you get the itch, you see something that catches your eye, or a deal too good to pass up, and then you're back off the wagon! At the height of my vintage watch hoarding, I had over 30,000 watches, and after I sold them all off, I decided that I would keep my collection under 100. But alas, I folded under the pressure.
Long and short of it, just enjoy it while you can, and buy it as long as you can afford it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,167 Posts
I'm only about 400 watches deep into it... but I really only consider about 250 part of 'the collection'. So I don't know how deep it goes... LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
I was in a dark place when I bought the 30,000, there was literally 4 storage boxes FULL of all vintage mechanical wrist watches! From complete and working to not working but complete. It was overwhelming to buy that many at one single time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,703 Posts
I think Roland pretty much summed it up, but if I had a word of advice for a beginning collector it's not to rush. Take time, do research and find a focus. This will help to curb the amount of bad buys or excessive watches you have. Good luck!

P.S. I'm pushing around 100 pieces and I thought my collection was getting too big but you guys have some crazy numbers!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
The guys are all correct, no end in sight.
I would say, look at watches, all watches, and find what floats your boat. When you find the ones you like best, research them, find out the good and bad about them. When you have done that , find out prices by looking at past sales. Now, find examples and pick out the ones you like best, and go for it.

Or ignore the above and just buy, buy, buy!
Bye-bye, Bob. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,447 Posts
For me... I think I have got the balance about right between buying and selling....

I have bought 100s of watches (not 30,000...... ). I dont know how many, as I stopped keeping a record after the first couple of years (think its was up to around 200 watches at that point).... but I bought (and still do) watches to handle, research, learn and then sell on. This process (albeit time consuming) brings me lots of joy... and for me that is one of the most important things. It has also opened my eyes to watches I would not have considered when starting on this journey.

I probably own around 100 watches at present... again, not sure exactly. Some of these form part a small collections (brand, age, military, etc) and some are just stand alone pieces.

Enjoy it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
For me the 'vintage bug' bite this year was pretty substantial (although NOT 30k!!) - as I never purchased a vintage watch before 2014, and this year I have purchased between 25 and 30. I think as a relative 'newbie' (I'm using a year definition for 'newbie') relative to some of the long-time collectors that have commented already, I would say here are a few of the lessons I have personally learned:

(1) Having an IPhone app for 'the web that should not be named' IS DANGEROUS TO SAY THE LEAST! I have found myself searching and bidding on vintage watches at all times of the day and night because my phone was near - I have since slowed down....simply by restricting surfing on EB...

(2) There are many different 'sub-genres' and styles from WW1 and 'trench-style' watches to art deco, early chronographes, WW2, 50s, 60s, 70s, solid gold etc - one thing I have found is after purchasing and wearing vintage watches for a while, my tastes have evolved some - so as some have already suggested, take some time early to decide what you like - which means wearing them!

(3) Radium - having seen your other thread - the older watches are more a concern here -- but only if you open them and work on them without being careful. I actually purchased a Geiger counter and probably hold the informal forum record for more than 10,000 CPM on a 1930s Waltham - but I traded that watch back !

(4) Accuracy - even though I use Watch Tracker (a great IPhone app) to monitor accuracy - when you get bitten by this 'bug' you tend to wear a different watch every day so who cares about accuracy unless the watch is off more than 5 min day !

(5) Learn not to trust ANY seller -- I learned this quite quickly as my infamous 'Vintage Omega' experience taught me. I'm originally from the States, where people tend (I'm generalizing) to start with trust that then has to be eroded. Early on the experts here argued 'trust no one' unless you can verify hallmarks, dial, movement etc. - so my view switched to trusting no one - unless I knew the seller.

Anyway - some quick feedback from a 'newbie' - have fun and good luck ! Scott

PS - THE 'EXPERTS' ON THS FORUM ARE INCREDIBLY HELPFUL - SO YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE !!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Wow, I wasn't expecting so many replies in this thread.

Already there's a wealth of information here for the new vintage collector.

Everyone, thanks so much for sharing your stories and providing your insight.

Keep em' coming!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,233 Posts
'Dex' not to 'jack your 'Alice' Thread - but to follow up on the Informal Forum Radium 'Record' ..... The evidence please ?! SDA

 
  • Like
Reactions: busmatt

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,428 Posts
Know the difference between focused collecting and obsessive compulsive disorder.....One is a joy the other will do you over...! We all learn but it's just how much the lesson will cost.....
Excellent advice
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sdasurrey

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,033 Posts
I still feel like there is so much out there that I don't know about vintage watches, but that's what makes it fun, interesting and fascinating for me. I'm Learning things all the time. My collection is only 25 last time I counted. A good example of what I like to collect is: I have a simple Helbros wind up that I bought a couple years ago for next to nothing, it's shows it's age, the case is worn in some spots, the the face is not the prettiest, but It's so comfortable on my wrist.
So when I stupidly got it wet a few weeks ago and it stopped running I could not just let go, I'm going to get it fixed because I love it!
Now that $10.00 watch is going to be a $100 watch after I get it fixed.
Some say why put money into fixing a "cheap" watch? I say: "I'm not in it to make money I'm in it for the enjoyment"

When I first started collecting I didn't know much, I'm much wiser since my first vintage watch thanks to all who have helped me on this, I think the BEST Vintage Forum going.


p.s. If there is any advice that I can pass along: Don't be afraid to ask questions, ask the seller questions, come here and ask questions, AND get movement pics. If the seller is not willing, then move on. I know this may not apply to all watches but it has saved me from buying many watches that I know would not of been right.

Cheers!
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,428 Posts
I still feel like there is so much out there that I don't know about vintage watches, but that's what makes it fun, interesting and fascinating for me. I'm Learning things all the time.
Chris
And after 30 years and you feel you know it all, then something new pops up, and you realize that in Horology there is always so much we do not know

Adam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,710 Posts
I buy a lot of cheap lots so I have over 1000 watches so obsessive compulsive disorder sounds about right...

I have sold back 300+ watches to the market now and I doubt that more then a handful would have made it without me buying them and fixing them up again and that's a good feeling. I say 1000 watches but most are just junk that I will take parts for other watches and most will just be going in the bin.

So in short I stay in the bottom end of vintage watches and sure I haven't any real great watches but it's very fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
I love this thread. I started collecting about a year and a half ago after being bequeathed a 50's Hamilton and 2 early 60's Timex, and I started following this forum about a week ago. With little knowledge, but fascinated by the visual beauty of mechanical mechanisms, I began to buy. I made some mistakes ( thankfully nothing horrible - like buying a couple Hamiltons that I did not realize had refinished dials or paying a bit more than I would now.). Maybe beginners luck, but I did buy some nice pieces without seeing mechanisms( sorry Roland- your advice is well advised and should be followed.) and I did get some worthwhile pieces at excellent prices due to bad photography so few people would bid. I try to bid on items that have solid return policies.


But I have found myself continually examining and re evaluating what my desires and motives for buying are. I have learned how important one of this forums most important pieces of advice is...Patience. Patience and information will help keep one out of trouble. I also try to ask myself before I buy how I will feel if I don't get the watch .


Problem is is the more you learn the more your interests evolve. I go to an estate sale and this hefty feeling Seiko is there with a rubber, torn Timex Chrono- alarm watchband on it. I know nothing about Seiko, but for 10 bucks, who cares. I look it up- it's a near perfect, certified chronometer King Seiko. Point is, now I'm following vintage Seiko. Hamilton micro rotors led me to Universal Geneve...and so it goes..the rabbit hole. For those into art or math, fractals are a good analogy too. And now this forum is opening up whole new worlds of information. Thanks I think. Another time for re evaluation. Current plan....aim to have 15 to 20 pieces and sell and buy as interests evolve.


Im amazed at all the knowledge and generosity here. Thanks. Great fun.


giotime
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Right now I'm primarily interested in the looks.

For instance, that Waltham isn't running (seller says water damage), but I love the looks of the case and the dial. I think I'm going to paint the hour markers black, source a running SGT 100-1 or FE 140-1 movement for it, clean it up, throw on a nice black nato, and it'll be a great retro piece.

I love taking old things and personalizing them. I also love taking old things and tweak them look as I feel the manufacturer should have offered them.

I guess I'm starting to understand that my new found love for vintage stems from the fact that I'm a tinkerer.
 
1 - 20 of 70 Posts
Top