WHICH BRANDS SHOULD
YOU CONSIDER WHEN
BUYING A VINTAGE WATCH
There are several high-quality vintage watch brands we love here at Vintage Gold Watches. Each watchmaker represents its own unique style with a rich history and heritage. But with so many options, it can be difficult to narrow down your search to the best brands for you. Here are a few key factors to help you make the perfect purchase!
Vintage Watch Styles
Undoubtedly, if you are looking for the perfect vintage watch your first preference will be a watch you find attractive, one you identify with and matches your personal style. You will soon begin to notice that each brand has a particular style and utilises its own themes or designs which extend to most of their watches, be it through the shapes, colours or materials. They also tend to specialise in watches for sports, leisure or to match a formal dress code. Sports watches, dress watches and chronographs are three of the most popular styles. These influence the shape of the watch, the dials and all the other detailing, including the internal components. Once you become familiar with the style associated with a watch brand, you will probably be able to spot one of their timepieces from a metaphorical mile away.
Price Ranges for Vintage Watches
You likely have a specific budget in mind when buying your vintage watch. Brands tend to cater to different price ranges, so it is worth narrowing in on a select few brands when making your decision. Price, like most luxury items, may dictate a certain level of build and component quality, craftsmanship and prestige – but this is by no means the limiting factor in owning a wonderful vintage watch. After all, you may love the look of a £2,000 watch more than one priced at £20,000.
Entering at the more modest end of the spectrum, you have the likes of Longines and Zenith. These offer superb value for money as their movements stand up well next to any mid or high level watch brands save for say Patek, Vacheron, and JLC. Albert Einstein, Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn have famously owned Longines watches, while Zenith remains one of the most respected Swiss makers. Founded in 1865, Zenith is the producer of the famous El-Primero with an extraordinary chronograph movement which was for many years fitted to the Rolex Daytona. Longines and Zenith are famously accurate and reliable and present no problem for a vintage watchmaker to service and repair if required.
Omega, Jaeger-LeCoutre, and IWC sit in the mid-tier price range. As some of the industry’s most respected technical pioneers, these brands present excellent value for money, outstanding reliability and timeless understated aesthetics. You would be thrilled to wear one of these watches every day and it will almost certainly never let you down. Take a step up in price and you will find yourself a Rolex. Arguably the biggest name on the roster, Rolex offer a huge range of bestselling classic watches and instantly familiar design. Rolex watches are characterised by their robust design and everyday wearability and solid investment potential.
At the top price point, we have the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Swiss watchmaking in Vacheron & Constantin, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. These are the most prestigious watchmakers in the world, with Vacheron Constantin recognised as the oldest watchmaker, in continuous operation since 1755. Known for their highly complex masterpiece builds, you should rightfully expect the most exquisite craftsmanship and the pinnacle of style. These are the most sought-after timepieces on the market and they also tend to make the best investment.
Reputation and Value in Vintage Watches
We only sell timepieces with outstanding reputations and strong investment potential here at Vintage Gold Watches. Your watch will carry with it a heritage associated with the most reputable watchmakers in the world. Each brand, however, has its own standing both in popular culture and among vintage watch experts. The brand you choose will likely play a deciding factor in its future value. Omega and Rolex are two of the most widely recognisable names on our list, and for good reason – they have always made outstanding watches and have established themselves through their quality, reliability and longevity in the industry. But there are plenty of other watchmakers that are loved by enthusiasts and they might just catch your eye, too.
How Reliable are Different Vintage Watch Brands?
You will of course want your watch to work without faults long into the future. The Vintage Gold Watches team fully inspects, services and guarantees every watch we sell. However, a little bit of knowledge on your end will help you make a great future-proofed decision. It’s important to note that vintage watches can vary in terms of reliability, but in general, we find that Rolex, Omega, Vacheron & Constantine, Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Longines and Zenith are safe choices when it comes to reliability.