How To Buy Vintage Replica Watches

As noted in my previous article about buying pre-owned watches, the market for truly “vintage” watches is something quite different from that for relatively young “pre-owned” watches. Any replica watch made before 1990 could be considered vintage, although some collectors put the maximum year of “vintage” at 1980 or even earlier. I’d like to use 1990 as the baseline for this article, which offers my tips on buying vintage watches, but in the end you’ll have to decide for yourself whether a given watch is old enough for you to qualify it as “vintage.”

There are two very important questions to consider when it comes to buying vintage watches:

• Can you and do you trust the seller of the watch?

Does the seller has a good reputation when it comes to selling classic vintage replica watches? Investigate! There are enough forums, Facebook groups and blogs out there that might have mentioned the seller in a positive — or negative — manner. Although it might sound cliché, also learn to trust your gut feelings. If the purchase doesn’t feel good or legit, let it go, and rest assured that another nice vintage piece will come along.

• Have you gained as much knowledge as you can on the watch you want to buy?

Reading WatchTime and WatchTime.com is always an excellent source of info (of course)! But also take a look at other partner watch blogs like Watch-Insider, Fratello Watches and so on. There is quite a bit of coverage out there on vintage watches. Google is your best friend if you’re just starting out. Sometimes you will find relatively small websites that specialize in just one brand or even one model, and these can be gems. An example is this website on vintage Omega Constellation watches. A truly amazing source of information, and all for free. And along with websites, we also have these old-fashioned things called books. Don’t forget about those.

Vintage Omega Constellation watches

The publisher Mondani has done a good job on documenting Rolex watches, but the recently released book on Speedmaster watches (by WatchPrint), Moonwatch Only sets new standards. Books such as these may seem expensive, but they can prevent you from making mistakes that will cost you a fortune later. Read here why you should invest in a good book on watches. In the WatchTime Shop, you will find a selection of available titles that might be of use as well. Another interesting source of information are the auction-house websites and catalogs.

Rolex watches book

Beyond all that, there are a few other things to consider, some of which I addressed in my article on pre-owned watches in general. On the next page, I will address them specifically for vintage watches:

Service history

Don’t expect invoices from the 1950s and 1960s to be included in the sale. I assume your parents or grandparents don’t have these anymore either, do they? It is important that a vintage discount fake  watch is technically in good working order. If not, you can go through hell with regards to the availability (and prices!) of spare parts. It can be a long road. I had to wait for over a year on a silly movement part for one of my 1950s Omegas. Some watchmakers are able to reproduce the parts themselves, or reuse something from another movement. It would be best if the watch is serviced at the manufacture, but having receipts from a good watchmaker will also do the job — as long as there is some kind of proof that the watch has been taken care of.

Longines Vintage watch

Box and papers

If a watch is 30 or 40 years old, it is quite common that its original boxes and manuals are gone. If possible, make sure to get the correct box for your watch. It should match the actual watch or at least be period-correct. Through the years, some watch brands used different boxes for their watches. Some brands can supply you with information on the correct boxes and manuals.

One more topic I would mention is “provenance.” Be very careful when a watch seller offers you items that speak to a watch’s provenance in order to prove to you that it is authentic. These may include photos of people wearing the watch to napkins with the signature of the first owner. I’m not joking here, unfortunately. Only real provenance counts. Acceptable items include invoices with mention of the correct serial number and/or movement number and the work performed on the watch, as well as original, stamped papers and warranty cards. Do not pay a premium for items that look fishy or have the slightest signs of being fabricated to make a sale.

Vintage Tudor watch

So what are the best places to find some of these beautiful timepieces? I’m glad you asked. Keep reading.

I have left out one of the most obvious sources — watch auctions — as I have covered that topic in detail elsewhere previously.

• Watch Dealers

Yes, this is another obvious one. Many of these have websites where they list their stock, or use websites like Chrono24 to display their stock. Either way, if they don’t have a website and are not close to you to visit, it becomes troublesome. Make sure to get into a daily or weekly routine in which you visit the websites of these watch sellers so you won’t miss out on the “incoming” watches they have. There are some awesome websites, such as www.subgmt.com, which specialize in specific brands and have a great reputation. Make sure to bookmark them and work your way through them. Descriptions and good(repeat: good) photos are key. I’d rather see a picture that doesn’t have the best composition, or beautiful surroundings, but instead shows all the minor details and essentially the watch “as is.” Nowadays, some dealers are nowadays also show their stock on Instagram, so make sure to follow them there, too.

Vintage watches on table

• Watch Forums

I’ve found some of my best timepieces by using watch forums. Most watch forums, like www.watchuseek.com and www.omegaforums.net, have a “sales forum” on which their members can offer their watches. The latter offers not only vintage Omega watches but also a bunch of other brands. Since you are probably dealing with private sellers, please re-read part 1 of this article again to know what you should pay attention to. The great thing about forums is that the prices tend to be more tempting than those offered by watch dealers. Keep in mind that private sellers rarely offer a warranty, so you have to be sure what you are buying. That task can be tackled by checking the posts about these sellers on the forums that offer the watches. Is it a guy who seem to have a good reputation, a good knowledge of the subject, and so on? Do a check!

• Watch Fairs / Trade Shows

As you might be able to tell by my use of the English language, I am not from the U.S.A. So I can’t speak for the watch fairs over there. However, the watch fairs here in Europe (mainly in Germany) are great sources for vintage watches. The only drawback is that you have to decide on the spot to purchase, and do all the checks on the spot as well. Don’t let the seller rush you and ask for his business card when you want to have some time to think it over or do some online checking. Take pictures of the fashion swiss replica watches uk sale online with your phone. In any case, always ask for warranty (or at least return policy) when you buy at these fairs. Most of the dealers are professionals that use these fairs to sell their stock but also to buy new watches themselves (they often have an hour ahead of the opening time to do their own “shopping”). There are several overviews available that will let you know about watch fairs nearby. Click here for an overview in Europe, here for an overview in the U.S.A.

Watch fair crowd

• Facebook Groups

There are a couple of groups on Facebook where watches are being offered. Is this Marketplace 2.0? Perhaps not, but it is a very efficient (and free) way to advertise for someone who wants to sell his or her watch. Most of these groups are not open to public, so you have to request membership. This is mainly due to privacy/security reasons. Just go to Facebook and search for Watch Sales or similar phrases. You might find a local group in your region or country where vintage watches are being offered.

• Private Sellers / Classifieds

The ideal scenario would be for a seller to find YOU when he wants to sell a watch. In such cases, these sellers need the money and you will get the best price. However, that’s not very likely to happen if you don’t make yourself known to other watch collectors. When you are active on forums or on watch-related Facebook groups and let people know what kind of vintage clone watches you are into, you are bound to be offered something sooner or later. My rule of thumb is: if you actively search for a watch, you will pay the highest price. If people come to you to offer their watch, you get the best price.

Vintage Hanhart watch - 1938

Next week I will introduce you to some interesting vintage watch brands and models which you probably haven’t give much thought to yet. As a preview, check out this beautiful vintage Tissot Navigator Yachting.

Classic vintage replica watch

The majority of classic vintage replica watch collectors always look for a nice bargain. It doesn’t matter how much money we have in our pockets,  we always dream of finding that special vintage watch at a flea market or car boot sale. But also in the drawer of our grandparents or distant uncle or even on eBay (which is getting more difficult by the way).

Let’s be honest though; the chances of finding a truly valuable vintage watch for pennies are pretty much zero. As far as I’m concerned, I do not really believe in a “barn find”. Collecting vintage watches wisely and buying a few sleepers. But what is a sleeper watch and where and how can we find it? The answer is probably much more simple as one would think it is.

vintage watch

A sleeper is a fashion swiss replica watch that has no significantly high price tag in current times but is likely to gain value or become more sought-after in a few (or more) years time. This could be because of historical significance, because it was produced in a smaller number or maybe because – like everything in life – fashion change. Five years ago nobody would care about a 1980s Casio or Seiko quartz watch, nowadays thousands of trendy teenagers rummaging throughout their dad’s drawers in hope of a working example that they can wear with their skinny jeans, knitted hats and flannel shirts.

A sleeper watch can be of any brand. Obviously the better the brand the higher the price, the bigger the profit will be if the watch indeed turns out to be a sleeper and you want to sell it.

One great example is the Omega Speedmaster 125. This vintage watch was produced in a very limited number of 2000 examples more than 40 years ago (1973). It also houses a movement Omega has never used in any other model except the Speedmaster 125. Yet, prices for a decent example are not exceptionally high and you might be able to find a used, honest example even cheaper. All you need is a great watchmaker and you have a wonderful time piece in excellent condition from one of the top brands.  

vintage watchvintage watchAnother Omega I could put money on becoming a sought after model in the long run is the Seamaster 300M Chronometer worn by the 007 portrayed by Pierce Brosnan.

Omega-Seamaster-001 Omega-Seamaster-002So what would the ideal sleeper watch be that once will turn into a sought-after or at least appreciated vintage watch? The ideal sleeper watch is mechanical. There are a few quartz examples but I don’t see them still functioning in another 50-70 years. A mechanical tag heuer replica watches uk on the other hand will still bring you joy for many  years to come.

As said before, originality is King. Imagine you find a vintage watch like a 1960s Rolex Datejust or Omega Speedmaster. That won’t be too hard, right? Now picture that watch with its box, papers, hand tags, extra bracelet links and the rest. It changes the whole game.

For decades from now, or for the next generation, you can source a sleeper watch like the aforementioned Seamaster 300 2531.80 with boxes and papers – everything complete – for a relatively small amount of money. Now all you need to do is store the watch safely, only take it out every 5 – 7 years for a quick change and seal swap and you might have yourself a little treasure there for your grand kids .They will be thrilled and thankful when they find it when they are rummaging through your drawers one day.

Star Time: Celebrity-Branded Sports Watches

There is no shortage of celebrities, many of them celebrity athletes, who serve as “brand ambassadors” for watch brands, appearing in ads and attending events wearing their watches. However, a few of these stars go the extra mile, giving input and often even becoming involved in the design process, for special celebrity fashion swiss replica watches uk sale online to which they lend their names. Below is a list of 13 celebrity watches developed in honor of, and named for, their famous representatives.

Richard Mille has developed several watches in collaboration tennis star Rafael Nadal, including the RM 035 Chronofiable® certified, the RM 027 Tourbillon, and most recently the RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal. Nadal often wears (and occasionally loses) his Richard Mille watches during his games. The RM-027 worn by Nadal was donated to the Only Watch auction in 2011 to fund research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. His latest discount luxury replica watches, the RM 27-01, was first unveiled in Geneva during SIHH as the “the world’s lightest tourbillon” at 19 grams.

Nadal wearing the Richard Mille RM 27-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal

Richard Mille RM 027 Rafael Nadal

Richard Mille also designed a watch for professional golfer Bubba Watson, the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson. As Watson golfs while wearing a watch, Richard Mille designed the best quality replica watches with an emphasis on shock resistance, so that the tourbillon could endure the force of a golf swing. The RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is a limited edition of 38 pieces priced at $525,000. Click here for more details.

Richard Mille RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson

After partnering with the L.A. Lakers, Hublot made NBA star and known watch lover Kobe Bryant its newest brand ambassador. The brand subsequently unveiled the King Power Black Mamba, named for Bryant’s NBA nickname. The watch, priced at $25,200, is a limited edition of 250 pieces, of which part of the proceeds will go toward the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. The watch features gold and purple details as an homage to the L.A. Lakers’ uniform colors. More on the watch, and the partnership can be found here.

Kobe Bryant and the Hublot King Power Black Mamba

Hublot previously partnered with another NBA player, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, to create the Hublot King Power “D-Wade.” Wade collaborated with the brand to design the watch, which features a dial resembling a basketball and a strap with a basketball net-like pattern. The watch also has the color scheme of the Miami Heat uniform. Proceeds from sales of the watch — a limited edition of 500 pieces — went to Wade’s charity, the Wade World Foundation. (Click here for WatchTime’s interview with Wade about the watch. Hublot has also produced a special Miami Heat “team” watch; you can read about it here.)

Dwyane Wade wearing the Hublot King Power “D-Wade”

Ulysse Nardin produced a watch in honor of official “friend of the brand” and baseball legend Randy Johnson, aka “The Big Unit.” The Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph features several baseball-related details, including the number “51″ on the bezel — Johnson’s number — where the “50″ would normally be, as well as a small baseball icon as the counterweight of the seconds hand. The watch has a retail price of $15,500. Each of the 100 watches in the limited edition comes with a baseball autographed by Johnson. Click here for more on the Ulysse Nardin Big Unit and its origins.

Ulysse Nardin Big Unit Chronograph

Audemars Piguet has produced a series of tag heuer replica watches for a longtime friend of the brand, actor and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an avid watch collector. Their collaboration resulted in several special editions, all with Schwarzenegger’s design input, most recently the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy Chronograph. (Click here for audio excerpts from WatchTime’s exclusive interview with Schwarzenegger about his partnership with AP and his love of watches.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Arnold Schwarzenegger The Legacy Chronograph

In 2013, yet another NBA superstar got his own personalized watch, also from Audemars Piguet. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James limited edition, designed with the input of “King James” himself, combines a rose-gold case with a brushed titanium bezel for a more understated look than that of his former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade’s Hublot. (Click here for details on the LeBron watch.)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James - front

Couture 2015: Bell & Ross Courts Cigar Aficionados with Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada

One of the most anticipated events at each year’s JCK and Couture watch and jewelry shows in Las Vegas is Bell & Ross’s Friday evening cocktail party at its villa in the Wynn. And one of my annual traditions is enjoying a fine cigar — rolled on the premises by a skilled torcedor — with Bell & Ross CEO and fellow cigar enthusiast Carlos Rossillo (the “Ross” in Bell & Ross) at the party. This year, the experience was extra special, since the cigar in question was an all-new, official Bell & Ross cigar — a Nicaraguan puro made specifically to accompany the brand’s Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada timepiece, packaged in a unique box that doubles as a humidor.

The Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion, Limitada, with its rich brown and rose-gold color scheme  is Rossillo’s attempt to blend the diverse but similarly tradition-rich worlds of watchmaking and cigar making. The 42-mm-diameter rose-gold case is fastened to the tobacco-brown alligator leather strap with fine wire lugs that echo those of the earliest wristwatches, first seen in the World War I era from which the discount fake watches takes its name. The font of the Arabic numerals, the highly domed sapphire crystal, narrowness of the strap, and the gilded hands are also elegant, vintage-style touches, and the text on the dial is in Spanish (contrasting with the French verbiage on most Swiss-made watches), a tribute to the language of Cuba and other cigar-making nations.

Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada - front

Since cigar smoking is a leisurely experience, in which one is not expected to be concerned about whether or not one’s timepiece needs winding, Bell & Ross has equipped the Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada with an extra-lengthy five-day power reserve. It’s indicated on the dial by means of a hand that moves along a semicircular arc with the inscription “Reserva de Marcha 5 Días.” The manual-winding movement (Caliber BR-CAL.202) has two mainspring barrels and a three-quarter mainplate, adorned with a côtes de Genève finish and punctuated by blued screws, all visible through a clear sapphire caseback. The front of the watch also offers a glimpse of the inner mechanism: the movement’s balance peeks out of a round aperture at 9 o’clock on the dial.

Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada - back

Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada - box

The Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada, a Bselword 2015 premiere that also highlighted the brand’s new products showcased at Couture 2015, is limited to just 99 pieces. It is presented in a distinctive, color-coordinated box made of Makassar ebony, designed to be converted into a cigar humidor (which can store up to 50 cigars) with the addition of a humidifier and a hygrometer. Below, you can check out a few live shots of the fashion swiss replica watches uk sale online and the cigars, snapped at Bell & Ross’s villa at the Wynn.

Bell & Ross Vintage WW1 Edicion Limitada - wrist

5 Fashion Brands You Didn’t Know Made Men’s Mechanical Watches

Watches bearing the names of big fashion houses tend to get written off by serious tag heuer replica watches aficionados, who tend to think of them as only for ladies or, worse, only inexpensive pieces with quartz movements. In addition to brands like Hermes, Ralph Lauren, and Chanel, who have taken strides to establish themselves in the world of men’s mechanicals, here are five other such brands that may have flown under your radar.

Burberry has introduced a line of high-end watches with Swiss movements. The five models in the Britain collection include three mechanicals: two three-hand date discount luxury watches with automatic movements, and another automatic with a power reserve display. The others are a chronograph with a Swiss quartz movement, and a ladies’ model with a quartz movement and diamond-set case.

Burberry Britain Automatic

Jeweler David Yurman offers a line of masculine sports watches, known as Revolution, featuring Swiss mechanical movements. Yurman teamed up with the late Carroll Shelby, creator of the legendary Shelby Cobra muscle car, to create the brand’s first limited-edition sports watch, the David Yurman Revolution Shelby 1000. The high quality replica watches features a 43.5-mm case with rubber side insets and is powered by an ETA/Valjoux 7753 automatic chronograph movement.

David Yurman Revolution Shelby 1000

Dior makes ladies’ luxury replica watches with both quartz and mechanical movements, but also offers some significant men’s models, including the Chiffre Rouge C03, introduced at Baselworld 2013. The watch is powered by Zenith’s Elite 691 movement and is made in a limited edition of 100 pieces.

Dior Chiffre Rouge C03

At Baselworld 2013, Gucci announced the Gucci Dive, the brand’s first official divers’ watch, certified to adhere to ISO standard 6425. While Gucci’s other mechanical watches use a standard ETA movement, the Gucci Dive is powered by the automatic GP3300 movement, made for Girard-Perregaux by the Sowind Group. (Both the Sowind Group, which owns G-P and JeanRichard, and Gucci are part of the luxury-goods group Kering, formerly known as PPR.)

Gucci Dive

Versace introduced a new skeleton best quality swiss replica watch for men at Baselworld, the DV One Skeleton. Its dial is divided into two hemispheres, with only the “east” half skeletonized. The watch also features a Dubois-Depraz chronograph movement, the inner workings of which are partly visible through the skeletonized half.

Versace DV One Skeleton

Omega’s 4 New Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” Watches for 2015

Omega turned heads in 2013, when it debuted the first Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon tag heuer replica watch at Baselworld. And in 2014, the brand complemented it with a sister in gray. But for those who have wanted more variations on the Dark Side of the Moon, look no further: in 2015, your time has come. Here are four new versions of the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon that Omega presented at Baselworld.

All four of the new Speedmasters bear certain crucial similarities. They’re all certified chronometers. They all have a bicompax chronograph layout: the chronograph hours and minutes are in the 3-o’clock subdial, running seconds are at 9 o’clock and a date window is at 6. They all bear a tachymeter scale around the bezel. There are nonreflective sapphire crystals on the front and back.

Under the dial, all have Omega Co-Axial caliber 9300: an automatic, 4-Hz movement that runs in 54 jewels. It has two serially mounted barrels for a 60-hour power reserve. Its balance spring is made of silicon and it has a column-wheel chronograph mechanism. There are Geneva waves on the movement and the screws, barrels and balance wheel have all been blackened to keep to the dress code.

Omega DSOTM_4 watches 560

The first of the new swiss replica watches has an extra-demonstrative name: the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Black Black.” So nice they had to say it twice, the Black Black has a polished and brushed ceramic case and a matte black ceramic dial. The brushed hands are blackened, as are the applied indexes. The chronograph subdial hands as well as the indexes have black Super-LumiNova on them. On the bezel, the scale for the tachymeter is in black lacquer. The Black Black comes on a coated nylon fabric strap with a black ceramic clasp. Price: $12,000.

Omega DSOTM Black Black 560

Next up is the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Pitch Back”.Its case is in polished black ceramic, while the ceramic bezel has been brushed for a different finish. It has matte black subdials with varnished hands. Its distinctive feature is the Super-LumiNova coating for its indexes and on its tachymeter scale. It has a black leather strap with ecru stitching and a ceramic folding clasp. Price: $12,000.

Omega DSOTM Pitch Black 560

Omega used its special proprietary alloy for the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Sedna Black.” The brushed black ceramic case is complemented by a bezel ring in 18-karat Sedna gold. Also adding that rosy accent to the Sedna Black are the applied Sedna gold indexes and hands. A laser ablation process was used to mark the text and graduations on the dial. A shade of “vintage” Super-LumiNova, not unlike that used on last year’s Omega Seamaster 300, coats the three center-mounted hands, the hour indexes, and the two dots at 12 o’clock. The Sedna Black comes on a black leather strap with a ceramic folding clasp. Price: $15,000.

Omega DSOTM Sedna Black 560Finally, there is the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon “Vintage Black.” The only high quality replica watch in the set on a brown leather strap, the Vintage Black has brown hour indexes to match the “vintage” Super-LumiNova used on the hands and dial. The tachymeter scale is also embedded with the same color of luminous coating. It has a brushed ceramic case and a matte ceramic dial. The centrally mounted hands are blackened, while the subdial hands are brown. Price: $12,000.

Omega DSOTM Vintage Black 560

All of these Dark Side of the Moon watches have a case diameter of 44.25 mm and a case thickness of 16.14 mm. They are water resistant to 50 meters. And of course, all of their caseback rings bear the name “Dark Side of the Moon.”

New Objectivity – MeisterSinger relaunches the Neo

MeisterSinger manufactures single-hand watches. The leanest and flattest of these is the Neo. It is one of those timepieces that appears ultimately familiar in its measurements and design, as if it had been around for decades. Its diameter of 36 millimeters, the thin bezel and the Hesalite glass make the Neo seem like it was created in the 1950s. However, not in an old-fashioned way, but embracing the modern aspects of the decade. After all, the 50s was a time of creative awakening and, above all, the renunciation of superfluous embellishment. The unadorned clarity of the dial also follows this tradition, although it was only designed half a century later by Manfred Brassler, the founder of MeisterSinger.

After meticulous redesigning, the Neo looks more modern now than ever. The Baskerville type previously used for the hour markers has been replaced by the sans serif Helvetica – the epitome of clear, factual messages since the 60s. The typography of the logo has also been redesigned and is now based on the more recent Meta Serif. The Neo now somewhat reminds us of the No. 01, MeisterSinger’s very first single-hand discount fake watches online, and its instrument-like character. The Neo’s new, round date window, taking up the shape of the case and drawing attention to itself with the date display’s contrasting color, is also in keeping with this design.

2-Classical-modernism.-The-new-Neo-(left)-has-been-meticously-redesigned

The discreet size of the Neo remains unchanged. Thanks to its thin plastic glass, the Neo is only 9.7 millimeters high. The neat relief of its steel screw-in back shines just like the sunburst pattern on the silver-white and blue dials. Two additional versions of the Neo are available with either a black or an ivory lacquered dial respectively.

The Neo is powered by the proven ETA 2824 Swiss replica watches automatic movement or by an identically constructed Selitta SW 200-1 and comes with a suede strap in a matching color.

3-Neo-sunburst-silver-and-black-1 4-Neo-ivory-and-sunburst-sapphire-blue-1

Model                       Neo

Movement                 ETA 2824-2 or Sellita SW 200-1, automatic; 38 hours power reserve

Diameter                   36 mm

Case                          Stainless steel, screwed back, water resistance 3 bar, domed, hardened acrylic glass

Variants                     ivory, black, sunburst silver und sunburst sapphire blue