Looking for a new watch? Why not go the vintage route? Sure, new watches are lovely, but maybe you want a timepiece with a story to tell, or a better price point? Here are a few things to consider when buying a vintage watch.

  1. The Date of Birth

Let’s say you’d love to own a watch that was made the same year as you, or something along those lines. Now, say you were born in 1985. The Rolex Submariner was made in the same year, but how can you be sure it was, indeed, manufactured in 1985? Watches come with serial numbers, and while it’s not a precise science, you can check out Rolex serial numbers online.

  1. Internal Condition

Once you’ve found the vintage timepiece for you and you envision wearing it for years to come, you need to consider its condition. The watch is pre-loved, so it may have some scratches, a slightly worn strap, or an over-polished case. These things are all fine in moderation, but be careful of the condition of the guts. Find out if the movement has been serviced, ideally, at 5 or 10-year intervals. The watch may have service records to confirm this. Check the Kalmar Antiques vintage watches collection to find your timepiece today.

  1. Fading

The patina is the paint that has naturally faded, and patina wear, like dings and well-lived scratches, is fine, it’s a natural extension of the watch’s condition. For instance, if the dial is a dark chocolate as opposed to its former black dial, that is patina. If the lume was once bright but has yellowed, that’s patina, too. But, huge gouges may not be okay. Take a careful look at the watch, what may be natural aging to a wearer, may be a condition issue to you. Overall, the patina should accurately reflect the age of the watch and the different elements that match.

  1. The Paperwork

The right paperwork means you will receive the original papers and box. But, usually, you will get the original buyer’s service records, replacement documentation, and perhaps a receipt to verify that the watch is as the seller claims. The more paperwork a vintage watch has, the better. It’s worth noting that with vintage watches, you may not get much in the way of receipts and paperwork, since people tend to throw these things away, including the instructions and original box, but try to get as much and whatever you can. Full sets are just amazing to have.

  1. Do the Research

You already know that nothing beats knowledge. Make sure you find out as much as you possibly can about the type of vintage watch you are looking for. Check out blogs, talk to jewellers, hang out on forums – do what you can to do as much research as possible.

Use these five tips to help find the perfect vintage watch for your wrist or simply for your collection.

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