Before I state the reasons why you should consider collecting vintage watches first one must define a vintage watch. There is no definite cut off date as to what makes a watch vintage or contemporary but many vintage watch collectors would consider watches that pre-date the quartz revolution as being vintage. They are also usually made with a mechanical movement of a mainspring wheel.
There are a number of advantages to collecting vintage watches over the modern replicas or contemporary watches today.
Firstly vintage watches make quality investments. They will tend to appreciate in value over time rather then depreciate so long as you look after them and keep them in good condition. This gives them greater collectible value as you can buy a vintage watch for a bargain today and sell it for a profit in a few years time. Like a modern car modern watches will depreciate in value fast. They have also not withstood the test of time like a vintage watch.
There are also aesthetic and nostalgic reasons to collecting vintage watches. These mechanical devices were intricately crafted through beautiful craftsmanship. They reflect an era gone by or a lost art. There are also many styles to choose from which make them diverse and interesting.
While there have been improvements to watches over the years such as their accuracy and their metal content, titanium watches being the most durable, the essence of how a movement is designed, made and adjusted has remained relatively the same. The major differences between vintage and contemporary mechanical watches are with design and style but even the design and style of many watches today are recreations of classic designs.
Buying Vintage Watches
When purchasing a vintage watch you need to be aware that there are fake vintage watches out there and that some sellers scam people by selling something which is not authentic and stating it as original.
If your buying online such as from an auction site like eBay you should only buy if the seller can show photos, preferably detailed photos of the watch so you can inspect them carefully and compare them with the same watches on the official website of the watch brand in question. Also check out the sellers feedback. A seller who sells genuine vintage watches is unlikely to have negative feedback about the authenticity of the watch.
Ask the seller for the serial number of the watch in question as all authentic vintage watches come with serial numbers. If they cannot provide them then move on to a different seller as it is possibly a fake.
Vintage watches are pre-owned or worn. If a seller tells you that the watch is brand new or it looks brand new its unlikely to be a vintage watch and more likely a modern replica.
If you learn a bit about vintage watches and their value it should be easier for you to spot a bargain and you may even make a nice profit should you choose to resell it at a later date.