Golden rules for antique watches collectors

When starting an antique watch collection, it can be easy to get carried away, buying the first item that you see. But if you do not choose your antiques carefully, you could end up with a collection which will gain little value over the years, and also one that offers little cohesion when you take a step back and overview your complete collection.

Fear not, the experts at Pieces of Time have gone to the effort and written a list of golden rules for collecting antique watches that will help get you started and on track with your new collection:

An illustration of an antique pocket watch for sale at Pieces of Time

How to get started

Find out as much as you can about what you are trying to collect – you can never have enough knowledge about your chosen field of expertise. Recent finds and sales may affect the market of that antique category, which will then reflect on how you decide to continue building your collection. Learning more about the subject will only enhance the enjoyment that you gain out of collecting too, so invest in books, magazines and collector’s clubs and you will suddenly appreciate the worth of your antiques a whole lot more.


Give your collection a particular focus – this will keep you on the straight and narrow and allow your collection to define itself and mature as it gets larger. It also prevents pieces from detracting from the rest of the collection and allowing the collection to work together as a whole. There are several ways to give your collection focus, including focusing on particular manufacturers, themes (such as antique fob watches, vintage pocket barometers, or antique pocket watches), time frames or regions.

Know your budget

Buy the best example that you can afford – it will pay off in the end, and having one perfect example is many times better than having three or four sub-standard examples, which will really add an extra sense of worth to your collection.

Don’t buy things just because they are ‘in vogue’ – although it is tempting, what is in fashion can quickly change, and you may be paying over the odds for something which will quickly depreciate in value once the next fashion takes over. If you stick to your own area of expertise, you will quickly learn what a good price to pay for an item is, and to follow your own instincts, rather than what is in vogue.

Last of all

Only ever buy something you really like – you will get much more enjoyment out of buying something which you have set your heart on, and it is more likely to remain an important part of your antiques collection throughout your life!