Vintage Gold Watches – London : Passionate about excellence…

As well as a web destination, ‘Vintage Gold Watches – London’ is a partnership based in Bayswater, London, (W2) engaged in selling ‘fine’ Swiss watches from circa the 1950s and ’60s. We particularly love this time period for its elegance, craftsmanship and quality. In fact, we consider this to be the ‘golden age’ of Swiss watch making, when technical superiority, craftsmanship and design, each combined to provide us with some of the finest timepieces ever made. We are great admirers of 1950s vintage gold watches from Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Longines, IWC , and Zenith and so these form the basis of our collection.

Each of these famous watch ‘houses’ offer something different in terms of character, style and personality. Rolex is of course the most famous, most notably for the robustness of their movements and the record breaking success of their early automatics and Chronometers. However each has their own claims to fame and are on par and in some ways even better than the biggest brand which wears the golden crown!

Not only do we love the design, style and elegance, but we also consider these watches offer exceptional value for money – particularly when found in the condition and the quality offered here. If one considers the incredibly high cost when new (and adjusted for inflation), against the very high price of the new equivalent today, these top quality vintage watches offer tremendous value for money. Then, and only then, if we factor in double digit investment potential, – we have something of great appeal and which really adds up!

However, first and foremost, we understand that buying a vintage gold watch is a significant moment for our customers so our first priority is to make the process simple and as easy and pleasurable an experience as possible. We are very happy to speak with you for as long as you wish, about the key points and differences around all the watches you see here.  We’d like to hear your preferences and to help guide you towards the perfect watch you really are seeking!  As we often have up to 25 watches undergoing full restoration at any one time, it may be that we have exactly the watch you are looking for, becoming available very shortly!

You may for example be seeking a watch manufactured in your birth year, or a watch with a particular kind of dial, or size or price. If so, please let us know as we may already have something of interest in stock. We have strong connections with a good number of fellow watch dealers, so we may well be able to find you a good example of exactly the watch you are seeking much quicker than hours spent on your own. Then if necessary, we will restore a watch for you, using only original parts to make it look as good as the rest of the watches you see available on this website.

For simplicity and your own convenience, we try very hard to select and restore watches only of a similar high standard. All are fully overhauled and restored as necessary to bring the watch back as close as possible to its original condition. All have beautifully restored dials and movements and come with solid gold cases without any personalised inscriptions. Generally and where possible, all of our watches have original crowns and  lenses fitted.

While Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Longines, IWC , Zenith are the watches we specialise in, we are also willing to source other watches for you if you wish. For more information on this, please see the ‘Need Some Extra Help Finding Your Watch?’ section below and further details in our FAQs.

A Vintage Gold Watch as an Investment

It is rare indeed to find an investment a gentleman can wear…. and often quite surprising that these pieces of such beauty and elegance, from time honoured Swiss watch houses, can be acquired for such relatively little money.  While we would always recommend to buy with one’s heart first of all and consider the investment potential second, the advantage of course in buying a vintage watch, is that the value will rise rather than fall from the moment you take it home!   This intrinsic value is  solid, reliable and as perpetual in fact as the timepiece itself!

If we were to take a quick look at trends since 2010, we will have seen double digit growth each year, across each of the collectible Swiss watch houses seen here on this site and since the new markets for high quality vintage Swiss watches expand, in China and across the developing world, the positive effect on prices is likely to continue in the foreseeable future.

Although it is not widely known, for the collector or the serious investor, there are some special tax advantages associated with buying vintage watches. Specifically, HM Revenue & Customs (in the UK) regard these items as “wasting assets” and so cannot charge Capital Gains Tax on the profits made when they are sold, (provided they have not been used in the course of business), so for the private investor, this strange anomaly is actually somewhat of a gift from the taxman. For example if money is retained in a bank account, the small amount of interest earned is taxable. With property, if a second property is purchased and then sold, again there will be tax to pay on the profit generated by the sale. The same applies for shares and other financial investments, but if the same funds are used to purchase a collection of vintage watches and then, in due course, these are sold at a profit, no Capital Gains Tax is owed to the Revenue. Of course we need to add the usual disclaimer not to treat this as ‘advice’ but purely background information for you to check with your financial advisor or HM Revenue & Customs. This situation is not unique to vintage watches – Antique guns, classic cars and motorcycles, antique scientific instruments and some mechanical toys also qualify as ‘wasting assets’ in the same way. But to repeat, ask your financial advisor about this. And perhaps, at the same time, you might ask why he/she hasn’t mentioned this before!! We could suggest, although of course we wouldn’t, that there is no potential commission here available for the advisor, if you buy a vintage watch, or a small collection, or perhaps grow a large one over time!

A Vintage Gold Watch in everyday use

It is useful here to consider there are some similarities, in fact quite a few, in owning a vintage watch and owning a vintage car…  For example, a carefully chosen vintage car, which is regularly maintained and well cared for, can be relied upon in day to day use, quite satisfactorily for a very long time.  The same can be said of a vintage (Swiss) watch. Even though a Swiss watch is superbly engineered with legendary Swiss reliability, a vintage watch remains a piece of micro mechanical engineering, made say over 50 years ago and therefore one may not expect the ultimate performance and reliability of its  modern equivalent. For example a vintage automatic watch may still need help with winding from time to time simply because vintage automatic watches are not as efficient as modern ones. Also typical accuracy may vary by say up to + or – 30 sec per day. However please note, when we restore a vintage watch we aim for a better than ± 10 sec / day  accuracy, when it leaves our hands.

It is best to keep in mind that gold, particularly vintage 18ct gold, is a relatively soft metal alloy which is by no means as hard wearing as the modern equivalent. Therefore some care will be needed to avoid scratches or other damage, which will affect the value of your watch. It is also crucially important that vintage watches are kept away from water, dirt and dust. This is because a vintage watch is unlikely to be be water-proof, no matter what the original specification. We do not test this and it is not guaranteed therefore water and dust must be avoided as these will definitely cause harm if they come into contact with the movement.

Need Some Extra Help Finding your watch?

If you have a clear idea of the watch you are looking for, but your search is not proving very fruitful, or it is taking up too much of your time, why not let us do the searching for you? After all we do this every day and we enjoy it! We will undoubtedly have many more sources and contacts than your good self and for a deposit we will happily beaver away for you until we have found you just the watch you are looking for. We are particularly good at finding watches which have dates which coincide with a special birthday or special anniversary. Please see our FAQs for more details.

Need a little Time To Pay for your watch?

If you see just the watch you have been looking for here today, but it’s just at the wrong time in terms of your cashflow and you prefer to avoid lots of interest on your credit card, then why not use our ‘Layaway’ facility? It is so simple… we take a 20% deposit and provide you a sales invoice for the watch for the full price. The watch is then marked sold so it is yours, but we look after it for you in our safe while you settle the balance over up to eight months in equal 10% payments.  No interest is paid because no ‘loan’ is made!

For more background about Vintage Gold Watches and our services please see our FAQs below.