Everything You Need to Know to Buy a Vintage Watch

Because if you're going to drain your bank account, you should do it in as informed a manner as possible.

analogshift x wolf flatiron watch box
Analog Shift/Wolf

Buying a vintage watch can be intimidating — we get it. There's so much to consider: Does the watch function properly? If not, how do you fix it, and what will that cost? Is the seller trustworthy? Is the watch priced correctly? Will watchmakers still have parts to service it several years from now? Will your wife divorce you if you buy it? Will your friends laugh at you? Does it matter? Do you have any friends?

We don't want you to freak the hell out about any of this, however. After all, it's just a watch. So we've collected the best in our many years of covering the vintage watch market all in one place for your convenience. Interviews with experts; market studies; highly opinionated rants — it's all here. (Actually, it's only mostly here — there's so much of it that we had to put all the rest of it here.)

So, dear reader, check out the vast amount of info available below at your fingertips, and good hunting.

How to Buy a Vintage Watch

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Rolex

In which Jason Heaton explains the entire glorious hobby, why you should get into it, and how you should go about it.

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Affordable Vintage Watches That Experts Love

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Sam Gardiner

In which several dealers explain their favorite picks in the vintage watch world that won't break the proverbial bank.

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A Brief Guide to Affordable Vintage Rolex Watches

affordable vintage rolex
Analog/Shift

In which we examine the final frontiers in "affordable" vintage Rolex. (Whatever the hell that means.)

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A Few Vintage Watches We Love

Watch Experts Discuss Their First Vintage Watches

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In which we poll experts in the space about the first vintage watches they owned.

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The Downside of Cheap Vintage Watches

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Hunter D. Kelley

In which we issue a cautionary tale as to why you should avoid the cheapest of the cheap.

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A Brief Guide to Vintage Omega Watches

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Those Watch Guys

In which we examine some great vintage buys from one of the world's best watchmakers.

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How to Find Your Watch's Serial Number

watch serial number
Hunter D. Kelley

In which we help you find that most magic, revelatory combination of digits.

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Sings That Your Watch May Need Maintenance

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Rolex

In which we help you determine if your vintage watch needs a trip to the "spa."

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Add This Vintage Rolex Book to Your Library Right Now

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Vintage Rolex Field Manual

In which we recommend one of the best books available on the highly esoteric subject of vintage Rolex collecting.

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Why You Aren't Supposed to Polish a Watch

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Henry Phillips

In which we introduce you to one of the great "no-no"s of watch collecting.

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These Forgotten Watch Brands Are Back with New Models

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Yema

In which we reveal several recently resuscitated firms that you should have your eyes on.

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How to Trade a Watch

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Chris Wright

In which we explore how to swap a watch you don't like for one that you'll like very much.

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