Let’s face it, the vintage watch market is flooded by overhyped and overpriced watches, but what about the ones that offer a lot of watch for fairly little money?
Let’s have a look at some of them.
If your reaction is like “Whaat? Speedmaster below Wostok?”, you need not worry. This list is not a ranking. Just a list of suggestions.
There’s something for everyone on it.
- Bulova and Elgin
- Poljot De Luxe
- Wostok Amfibia
- Roamer and Medana
- Omega Speedmaster Mark II
- Anything with a Landeron 48 (or a derivative of it)
- Anything Seiko
- 1940s-1950s Eterna hand-winders
Collecting vintage watches is a fantastic hobby, but during the last few years, the raging hype leaves less and less for the average collector.
Many of these watches are – against the claims of some – not rare, nor are they anything special in terms of the movement and other technical features.
Let’s look at some of them.
- Rolex Daytona
- Universal Geneve Compax (all versions)
- Enicar Sherpa-Graph
- Omega Speedmaster 105.012 and 145.012 “Pre-Moon”
- Wittnauer (most of them)
- Various vintage divers or diver-style watches
- 20th-century Breguets (including the Type XX)
- 1960s Movado and Mondia
- Tudor Submariner
- Cartier Tank
Recently, the so-called microbrands are getting quite a lot of attention. Why are there so many of them? What makes them so popular? What are the pros and cons?
Let’s try to answer these questions one by one.
It’s only for the last few years, that microbrands gained the attention of watch collectors and the media. The phenomenon can be most easily traced to the rise of platforms such as Kickstarter (founded in 2009), which have consistently gained popularity since the early 2010s.
Generally, crowdfunding seems to be the remedy for the basic problem of every new watch entrepreneur- the budget. Even when you’re starting the watch company in a garage or a shed, as so many manufacturers and inventors of all sorts did (think of Apple, Rolls-Royce…), there is a problem.
Not only do you need that shed, but also the tools and materials.
Preferably, also some employees, unless you firmly believe, that you can handle producing enough watches yourself in order to avoid the down payment blues, and at the same time not work yourself to death.
There are 2 situations where the term over-winding might be used:
1. Over-wind a watch so you force and break the watch (most likely the mainspring)
2. The watch is fully wound but it doesn’t run. It’s impossible to wind it any further so it must be over-wound.
1. Break a watch by winding it too far
The mainspring in a manual wound watch is secured on both ends. One end is secured to the barrel arbor and the other end is secured to the barrel. The mainspring has a hook or an extensions spring, that locks in a groove in the barrel wall. This hook or extension spring is also called the bridle.
When you wind a manual watch you’ll slowly start to feel the mainspring building up resistance. It’s best to slow down when you start to feel resistance and gently continue to wind until you can’t wind it any further.
Some hand wound watches do have some sort of protection against over-winding.
Rolex, for example, uses a system in some of their watches that uses 3 bigger notches inside the barrel wall. The spring clings to one of those notches until the pressure gets too high. Then it will simply “jump” to the next notch and so on.
Spending a lot of time in the forums, I see a lot of people ask the question “what model is it?” in reference to their watch.
Reactions to the answer “it doesn’t have one” tend to vary. Some ask “what does it mean?” to which there is but one answer: it means just that. It doesn’t have one.
It generally wasn’t popular until the 1960s to really give a name to a watch, or a model line (collection). Among Swiss brands, Rolex did give names to a lot of watches… but still, most of their watches are known by their reference numbers rather than names (that period, when reference numbers were 5 digits long – tops).
American brands are a different story. Find me a pre-1970 Bulova or Hamilton wristwatch, which doesn’t have a name. Banker, Clipper, President, Senator, and so on…