Beginner Collector Tips for Spotting Pristine Vintage Watches

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Nothing communicates class better than donning a classic timepiece. And, fortunately, there are a number of quality watches that can be bought online these days. As a beginner collector, you likely want to spend your hard-earned cash on genuine vintage timepieces only. The good news is that it is possible to become a veteran collector and learn to spot a classic watch from a pile. All you need to do is look out for specific signs that are highlighted in this article.

Naturally Faded Luminescence

Ultraviolet light should be your friend when shopping for vintage watches. This is because some vintage watches have luminescence that fades away naturally as the watch ages. However, when serviced and reserviced, the horologist adds radiance to the watch face. Therefore, you can tell whether a vintage was serviced by shining UV light on it in a dark room. If the dials glow brighter under the UV light than they should for the watch's age, then it is an indication that the watch was serviced over its working life. However, if the dials don't shine as bright, then you can rest assured that the timepiece has been kept in pristine condition since its manufacture.


While this is a no-brainer to veteran vintage watch collectors, it is not the same with beginner collectors. Ideally, a vintage watch has few to no modifications, indicating that the timepiece was not tampered with. Therefore, inspect the watch in question for add-ons and changes that are not factory-based. If there are no new modifications, then the watch is more valuable. However, if there are new pushers or a new crown design that doesn't match the watch's manufacture period, then the best advice is to proceed with caution. Notably, the simplicity of vintage watches makes them highly valuable to collectors.

Sharper Edges

When you take a watch for servicing, it is possible that you will want it polished and the edges smoothed to eliminate an aged look. Such service gives the vintage watch a more rounded edge and a cleaner, glossy look. However, this is precisely what you should avoid when collecting vintage timepieces. Carefully examine the watch, and if you notice soft, round and blurred edges, then the value will be lower than that of a similar vintage watch that was left to age naturally. Your objective, therefore, is to look for classic timepieces that have sharper rather than rounded edges.

If you are interested in buying a vintage watch, there are many who would be happy to show you some options.