5 things you should know before purchasing an antique wrist watch

Deciding on which antique wrist watch you are going to purchase can be a tough task, so we have put together a list of 5 things you should know before making the big decision:

  1. Face Value

The condition of the watch face can often determine the value of a vintage watch. When the face has been re-painted or touched up it easily loses a substantial amount of its value. Often the re-paint will not be as accurate as the original and may end up marginally misprinted, and sometimes it can even be the tell-tale sign that the watch is a fake. The face can often hold up to 70% of the value.

  1. Originality is the key

You should try to be original in your choosing, both in style and in the buying. Original hands, movement and bezels can boost the value of your timepiece, particularly those with original pieces in conjunction with receipts and boxes. Also, an over polished watch will decrease in value – although this may mean having a watch with scratches, it is worth it for such a prized possession.

  1. Research beforehand

Know what kind of watch you are looking for, have a focus on a specific piece and keep to that main idea. It’s important to get to know a little bit of specialist language when it comes to watches to help you know what you’re looking for and eventually what you’re buying.

  1. Always check the serial number

The serial number can tell you more about the watch’s age, it can also help you to spot un-original parts of the watch. This can also be a telling factor in whether the watch is fake or real. You must check the serial number on the movement, usually found by taking the back off the watch. Whilst checking the serial number, check the movement for signs or wear or rust – if buying online, you can request photographs of this.

  1. Ask questions

If buying from a website, the description should be quite comprehensive, however if there is something you would like or need to know before buying, it is always safer to ask. The biggest factor in purchasing a vintage wrist watch is all in the knowledge; the more you know, the happier you will be with your final purchase, and it will save having a surprise when your timepiece arrives.

Image: SplitShire under Creative Commons