Make clear The Difference Between an Antique Watch and a Vintage Watch
As with other popular and expensive luxury items, Watches are subject to counterfeiting. Buyers interested in purchasing watches should learn as much as they can about the product before buying.
When collectors locate an old watch, they may wonder if it is a valuable antique. Watches that are at least 100 years old are antique while vintage watches must be at least 25 years old. However, vintage also refers to the era in which the watch became popular. For instance, a Swatch from the early ‘80s is a vintage item while a pocket watch from 1875 is an antique. Experts may use the terms "vintage" and "antique" interchangeably since classic watches can be both antique and vintage. A piece that is over 100 years old but from a specific period, such as the Victorian era, could be described using either term. When an expert describes a vintage watch, he or she is usually referring to a piece that is several decades old while an antique watch will most likely be several centuries old.
About Vintage Watches
Watch collectors will locate a variety of vintage watches. Options include wristwatches, pocket watches, and small attractive clocks. Also, collectors can learn to recognize quality craftsmanship and identify watch producers who are known for manufacturing valuable pieces. When assessing a timepiece, inspect the watch’s outer shell. Expect to see signs of wear such as scuffs and yellowing faceplates in addition to clasps and bands that have damage. Some of the most collectible watches are pocket watches used by the railroad companies. The model’s high value is a result of government-enforced time keeping standards, which was necessary to keep trains running on time. With each watch’s stringent time keeping abilities, staff members were able to prevent train accidents and maintain a timely schedule. Another way to determine a watch’s value is by the number of jewels included with the timepiece as well as the amount of adjustments it requires to run accurately. The jewels will be industrial grade gems, which watchmakers use as bearings for the device’s gears. In addition, the gems will reduce friction and decrease wear and tear on the watch’s internal elements. Quality constructed watches will have more gems. In fact, some timepieces have as many as 25. When collectors find a watch with a high number of jewels, they will have a valuable piece.
Tips for Determining a Valuable Watch
Most vintage watches feature metal parts. Typically, they will not have plastic elements. Be sure to check the watch to determine its material. It should show signs of gold or silver. For instance, a silver watch will have a sterling silver or 925 stamp, which explains the metal’s purity. When manufacturers use gold, they will emboss a watch with grades such as 10k, 14k, 18k, or 24k, which determines the amount of pure gold included in the timepiece’s material. Often, American produced watches will feature 14-karat gold while European watches frequently contain 18- or 24-karat gold. Collectors can complete a metal test to determine the genuineness of a watch’s material by holding a magnet near a detached band. If the magnet attaches to the band, then the watch is not produced from gold or silver. Avoid touching the main section of the watch with the magnet because the device can damage a watch’s interior elements.
How to Care for Classic Timepieces
Once collectors buy an antique or vintage watch, they must take care of the timepiece and perform proper maintenance. Be sure to wind a watch every 24 hours and try to wind it at the same time every day. Also, avoid opening the back since foreign particles and moisture can enter the moving parts, which may cause functioning problems. When a collector owns a wristwatch, he or she should wear it often to ensure that their body heat and wearing habits maintain the correct time. Oil a vintage or antique pocket watch every 12 to 18 months. With a classic wristwatch, complete the oiling every six to 10 months. In addition, consider taking the timepiece to a trusted jeweler for upkeep. During cleaning and oiling, an expert will remove the watch’s movement and then wash the internal elements in benzene to eliminate grime and dirty oil. A watch’s interior includes screws, wheels, jewels, and a balance mechanism. Once the old oil and dirt is removed, the jeweler will wash the inside components in a soap solution and then cyanide. They will clean the parts yet again in soap and water. Before reassembling the timepiece, jewelers will rinse the interior parts in alcohol and let them dry. Jewelers will regulate a classic watch according to the personal use of the owner. Keep in mind that a watch will not maintain the same rate with two different wearers. With regular maintenance, a watch will work properly while preventing wear and tear on the fragile pivot areas, which reside in the jewels.
About Watch Metals
If a collector purchases a watch made after 1985, then platinum is the most valuable metal that they can buy followed by white gold, pink gold, and yellow gold with steel as the least valuable watch metal. However, when collectors shop for a vintage watch, they’ll find that a steel timepiece is often more expensive due to its rarity. For instance, a steel chronograph watch produced in the 1940s during World War II is a highly collectible and valuable timepiece.
About Watch Manufacturers
Collectors who research watch manufacturers may locate a vintage piece more easily. Hundreds of companies produce watches. However, some world-renowned watch companies stopped production several decades ago, and by locating a watch made from one of them, collectors will know that they have a vintage piece. For instance, Elgin stopped making watches in 1968. Other famous companies to be on the lookout for include Rolex, Bulova, Omega, and Hamilton.
About Antique Watches
Collectors may consider buying an antique watch to own a unique item. Also, antique pieces often increase in value making the watch a wise investment and a worthwhile item to pass down to future generations. With antique watches, collectors will likely have a piece that features quality artisanship as the device has proven its durability by its continued existence. Furthermore, antique jewelry may include hand finishing and materials that modern watchmakers no longer use such as red coral, tortoiseshell, and Burmese rubies.
How to Avoid Buying a Fake Watch
By learning several common facts about popular watch brands, collectors can avoid buying a counterfeit product. For example, an authentic Rolex watch will feature a smooth back and will not have a logo or embossing of any kind. Often, a fraudulent watch will include a clear back to display the product’s inner elements. In addition, scammers will frequently add the watch’s logo to the wrong location. Keep in mind that when a price is more generous than it should be, the watch is most likely fake.
Purchasing Vintage or Antique Watches from eBay
Shoppers will find plenty of watches for sale on eBay. Upon reaching the company’s homepage, type in the watch’s brand name or a short description of the item into the search window. When Internet users prefer to shop through the company’s website, they should select the Jewelry & Watches category from the homepage followed by the selection for Watches where they’ll see listings for Wristwatches and Pocket Watches.
At last but not least, by investing in an antique or vintage watch, collectors will have a valuable piece. Furthermore, choices include watches made from materials such as gold and silver along with the addition of precious stones and one of a kind detailing. Classic watches are an ideal gift for a variety of occasions including holidays, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, and birthdays as they are useful and designed for men, women, and children.Buy the best watch in your mind.