Interview with Mesut Özturk

This is the 6th interview on WahaWatches. This time the interview is with Mesut Özturk. Mesut is an econometrics student and has been collecting vintage watches for 7 years. He’s very active on different auction sites and he’s also a regular on the Dutch watch forum.

How did your love for vintage watches come to be?

It all started when I was 15 years old and a classmate was wearing a vintage Breitling chronograph. It was a unique one because that Breitling belonged to the trainer of Real Madrid in 1952. It was probably given by the club with their logo on the dial. That jumpstarted my interest in vintage watches. It’s always great to find out a watches history.

How is your collection made up?

I started buying vintage watches almost 7 years ago. I tried to buy as cheap as possible. I bought some fake watches and some redials as well during those first years. I thought these were genuine watches, but when I did some research it turned out they weren’t.

Gradually I started to recognize genuine Omegas and some other brands as well. I tried to focus on vintage Breitling and Omega watches. I’ve had a lot of Dynamics, Seamasters and other Omega models. But I’m aiming to reduce my collection and only keep the watches that are truly special or significant.

Some watches I’ll never sell are a 1967 Breitling Cadette with a Valjoux movement and a 50s Breitling Geneve.

Breitling Cadette

Currently, what is the watch you love to wear the most?

That’s a funny story because I rarely wear vintage watches. I wear my Casio B640W a lot. Great bang for buck.

Sometimes I swap it for a Mido Commander Day Date. A budget alternative for the Rolex Day Date.

What is your vintage watch top 3?

  1. I’ll put my Omega Seamaster in first place. This watch is dressy but can be worn as a daily beater too. It was a must for me to have when I started to collect watches.
  2. I also wanted a Vulcain Skeleton watch, I found a NOS piece on the Rikketik (a clocks and watches fair). I always wanted a skeleton piece and this is also a typical 70s watch. Two birds with one stone.
  3. A mystery watch was a grail for me when I was 18 years old. It was rather difficult to find one, though. I saw a Helbros one for sale 4 years ago but the owner hesitated to sell it and in the end he decided to keep it. Luckily, I found a Gigandet mystery watch on eBay, It’s just marvelous to study the design and the way the discs work.
Seamaster automatic with date, ref 166.002

What is your grail watch?

A Heuer Dato 12 Triple Date and a Rolex Chronograph 6238. Wonderful watches but not realistic, at least for now.

What is a watch that is now on the wishlist but you’ll eventually own it?

A Rolex 116200 Roman with a blue dial.

If you’d start over, what would you do differently?

I believe that I’d go to fairs and meetings much sooner if I could start over. To browse watches and meet people who could show me all the tips and tricks. I tried to figure it all out on my own.

It’s smart to become a member on different fora to read and learn about watches.

Vulcain skeleton

What is the next brand that will go through the roof price wise?

I believe that American watches might be interesting. Bulova, Waltham and other USA watches are still affordable now. I do notice that prices are increasing in Europe, so that may be a trend.

Do you have any tips for starting collectors?

Don’t buy any watches that need to be restored or “project pieces”. Those will give you headaches and are better left for the more seasoned collectors. Buy affordable pieces that you like and don’t worry too much about anything else.

I bought the Omega and Vulcain of my top 3 vintage watches a few years ago. It’s ridiculous if you focus on the market value then and the value today. The vintage market has changed a lot. It might be overwhelming for beginning collectors to join the vintage world because of all the details you need to keep in mind. You can still find good deals if you do your homework and have some patience, though. Don’t give up!

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