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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello there,

I am a newbie in buying a vintage chronograph but they appeal a lot to me. I am looking for a dress chronograph time period 1965-80. I have been looking in ebay and sale forums.

My question is:

Do I have good chances to buy a vintage chronograph in good working conditions for under $400 - $500?

I would love to get an Omega chronograph for such a price. But, am I out of reach?

That is why I am asking for your advices.

Cheers
 

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Hello there,

I am a newbie in buying a vintage chronograph but they appeal a lot to me. I am looking for a dress chronograph age 65-80. I have been looking in ebay and sale forums.

My question is:

Do I have good chances to buy a vintage chronograph in good working conditions for under $400 - $500?

I would love to get an Omega chronograph for such a price. But, am I out of reach?

That is why I am asking for your advices.

Cheers
I have a few I am happy with that I got in that price range... but no Omegas.

My advice: Take your time... spend a month looking.
Learn the market... do lots of searching and reading.
Ask questions... specific questions usually get specific answers.
And finally - Buy the seller. Reputable people sell good watches they stand behind.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Eeeb

Thank you for your valuable advices. I would really appreciate some reputable sellers name on ebay via P.M based on your buying experience.
 

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FWIW, I always assume that a pre-owned watch I buy will need a service sooner rather than later. Most don't, but if every now and again one does need to go off for a service I'm not really upset.

I tend to get my watches serviced if I feel there's something wrong, not just at some arbitrary time frame. I try to wear all of my watches in rotation so any given watch may only be worn for a few weeks a year. However, with a vintage watch you'll never know how long it's been since the last service. Try to find a good local watch repair person who's willing to work on vintage watches to get an idea of what the servicing costs could be like.
 

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Hi -

Everyone has given good advice here, let me try to add to that.

1) HilltopMichael has a very, very good point: even if you do find a lovely vintage chrono for $500, unless you are buying it from a local watchmaker who gives you a guarantee, you need to get any vintage purchase via eBay to a watchmaker to give it a once-over, just like you'd take a used car to a mechanic to see if there is anything wrong with it before buying it.

2) I'd really, really recommend getting a compy of the "Complete Price Guide to Watches" from Shugart et al, Tinderbox Press. It's a big, thick book of mediocre pictures and three prices for every watch listed: the wholesale price, the retail price and the price if the watch is in excellent condition and recently serviced (the wholesale price is the selling price to a dealer; the retail price is the price you can expect to pay for a working watch in decent condition). While obviously it's just a price guide and there is leeway for a lot of variations on those prices, I've found the prices to be fairly accurate and fair.

3) There is no replacement for research. There are plenty of vintage chronographs out there for just a couple of hundred, but they'll need serious work on them or are in rather bad condition. You'll need to figure out what works for you: a bicompax vertical or horizontal; a tricompax; day/date/none; automatic or manual wind; bezel or not; etc etc etc. That's why the Shugart is a good place to start: the pictures may be lousy, but there are so many of them to look at to figure out where to start... :)

Good hunting!

JohnF
 

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Hi -


2) I'd really, really recommend getting a compy of the "Complete Price Guide to Watches" from Shugart et al, Tinderbox Press. It's a big, thick book of mediocre pictures and three prices for every watch listed: the wholesale price, the retail price and the price if the watch is in excellent condition and recently serviced (the wholesale price is the selling price to a dealer; the retail price is the price you can expect to pay for a working watch in decent condition). While obviously it's just a price guide and there is leeway for a lot of variations on those prices, I've found the prices to be fairly accurate and fair.

JohnF
John, haven't purchased a Shugart in a few years, but in years past, I've found it so unrealistically undervaluing or overvaluing just about every watch, that it just wasn't a good barometer. Prices never jived with real-world situations i was looking at - either online auction, with local watch resellers, or even local hobbiests. I never thought they were doing their homework.
 

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Hi

I've bought a few vintage chrono's recently for the sort of money your talking about and both were in excellent condition altho one has already been to my watchguy for a service, and the other one's going soon, just so I know where they're at!!

I regularly go to watch fairs, and see lots of Omegas, all going for lots of money as they seem to be the 'in thing' at the moment, and altho I have a couple of vintage Omegas, I got into Tissot watches a while back, and have some very nice Seastars etc that I havn't paid huge sums for!!

The two chrono's I picked up recently are Tissot Navigators with the Lemania 1341 mov't, which I believe was used in quite a few Omega watches of the same period, that would now cost considerably more than the Tissot!!

Here ya go.....:)




I love these watches, and they have a real presence on the wrist, and are a good size :)

As others have said, it's the seller you must study first if possible. I've got a few that have some interesting bits in and I've had good service from, so wouldn't hesitate to go back. All of these have put good quality close up photo's of the watch up so you can see exactly what your getting, which is obviously a big plus!!

Enjoy your search, and hope you come up with a nice watch..............and be sure to put some pics up!!
 

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Agreed with all the posters above, and esp. want to emphasize finding a competent watchmaker who knows his way around the vintage chrono stuff. Some say they do until all the excuses come out why a particular watch couldn't be fixed. Local guys are always preferred because you can converse with them exactly what needs to be done. I thought for sure a crystal on one of my cal 1040 Omega Seamaster chronos needed replacing and even brought it in with me when I had that watch given a much needed COA. The watchmaker bless his heart found an exact spare 'laying around' and didn't even charge me extra for that to be installed AND I got to bring home my extra crystal still unopened in its original blister pack. If you find that right watchmaker to set you up, then buying vintage chronos become a much more enjoyable long-term adventure.
 
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