Use the link below to
Professional listing and dictionary of watch terms.
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH
Looking for a Watch Battery
Cross reference all batteries and Companies that make them
watch battery cross reference
Check out this very interesting website DreamChrono.com for an extensive database of watch brands
Trying to date a watch
British watches are usually signed with the makers name, and often the address as well. Those that are of precious metal and hallmarked can be dated by the assay office marks.
For most american companies archives exist and the watch date of manufacture can be traced using the movements serial number.
Some leading European companies numbered movements and/or cases, however many early european watches were not numbered or were made with the name of the jeweller who sold the watch rather than the maker.
Rolex, IWC, Lange, Omega, Patek-Philippe are brands that should have numbers be easy to trace.
Hallmark tables and number archives are held by collectors and sometimes a little hunting about is needed to find the relevant information.
There are many sites, blogs and boards with more information.
Some people ask is it better to run a watch run continuously or keep it aside to prevent wear on the parts. Generally if a watch is stored in a cool dry place the watch should not deteriorate over time, if theres no movement then there’s no wear. However some collectors like to wear their watches occasionally and believe this is the best way of keep them working.
Often people fear that they will damage their automatic watch if winding it manually.
All modern movements have the torque limiter integrated in the barrel to prevent damage.
The average automatic will be overwound all day long as it is constantly being wound up when worn.
However, keep in mind that many automatics are not designed for continuous manual winding. The barrel will bear manual winding but the gears may be worn.
BUYING A TIMEPIECE
Legend has it that the wrist watch first became popular in World War 1. Cartier was the first of the
Swiss watchmakers to produce a wristwatch in 1911. Today the early Swiss watches are highly
Collectable. A vintage Swiss watch became the essential accessory for any well dressed man.
Choosing which brand ?
Rolex is certainly the first name that would come to mind when people are talking about vintage
Watches. There are many other collectable brands, Omega, Longines,Farger, Le Coultre, Bresling……etc.
Guide to buying a watch.
Watches are generally divided into Sport and Dress watches, Including any additional horological
The functions eg. The small windows in a Watch displaying the day of the week, date or other time zones.
Gold watches are not necessarily worth more than their stainless steel equivalents.
Be aware of Fake Watches
Fakes are a hazard for watch collectors. Watchmakers in Asia have produced pieces that are almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing. This is why you need to know where your watch comes from and ask the advice of a reputable dealer and watchmaker.
Buying a Vintage Watch could be a great investment , but know what you’re looking for and learn about the history and story of the watch , buying at the right time is an asset.
Having a little knowledge will give you a slight advantage an understanding of what you are looking for before you spend your money. Educate yourself on the condition of the watch before buying it. There is a book available ..(Condition is the biggest differentiation in Vintage Watches) worth having a look if you’re thinking of investing.
Rolex and Patek Phillippe are considered as a good investment, Omega best known as a mass market manufacturer of modern watches, are becoming more collectable.
- When buying a vintage watch original condition is important.
- Are the edges of the case smooth or sharp?
It is better to have a watch in its original finish, rather than one that is polished to death.
- Check the serial number for the age of the watch.
- That the movement sits up with the case.
Franken watches are those with mismatched or replaced parts, pieced together to make a complete timepiece or improve its appearance for the unsuspecting buyer.
Owning a Vintage timepiece is a lot like owning a Vintage Car but without the oil leaks.
You have spent time looking for that special piece, now you can care service and maintain it.
It is important to note that Vintage Watches will never be as accurate as a modern piece
(particularly Quartz) but this does not compare with the satisfaction and pleasure of one
Owning a beautiful crafted timepiece and experience the movement of time, not just telling it.
Courtesy of Kish Jewellers