I’ll readily admit our weekly Found is a way for me to vicariously shop for old watches without having to actually commit to a purchase and part with my money. That said, there’s always the dangerous possibility of finding a deal so sweet I can’t pass it up. Because that’s the thing about vintage watches: For every hyper-expensive, sought-after model, there are dozens of lesser-known, undervalued watches out there. And for collectors just starting out, or watch addicts on a budget you can find some incredible watches for just a couple hundred bucks. Here are three for just under $500. Please, buy them so I don’t.
What we like: Doxa is known for making some incredible dive watches during the ’60s and ’70s, but Doxa made plenty of non-divers for decades before. The Doxa Antimagnetique here is one such watch. Prodcued during the 1940s, it appears to be pretty oversized for its era with a 38mm case size, though that should make it more appealing to modern wearers.
From the seller: The dial is perfectly balanced and looks very vintage with the original leaf hands, raised metal arabic and arrow markers and sweep seconds. The DOXA movement was just cleaned and is accurate.
What we like: Caravelle is a sub-brand of American watch company Bulova, which is why this Set-O-Matic diver bears a resemblance to, and has the same depth rating as Bulova’s iconic 666 diver. Despite being made during the thick of the Quartz Crisis in 1978, this Set-O-Matic is powered by an ETA 2879 automatic movement.
From the seller: Original condition overall with honest wear consistent with age and use; superb original Tritium dial and handset with matching patina. Original red and black rotating dive bezel exhibits minor wear and the red section is attractively faded.
Seiko Lord Marvel 36,000
What we like: This has to be the cheapest way into the world of high-beat watches. Not only that, this watch is fitted with Seiko’s first high-beat movement, the 5740C — yet despite its historical significance, it’s still an aboslute steal. Going by the photos in the listing, the watch itself appears to be in pretty clean condition, inside and out.
From the seller: Runs well; approximate daily rate (flat) +8 seconds per day. For practical, everyday use, it would be advisable to have the movement cleaned and oiled.