You are a vintage watch dealer? Cool. So what the hell does vintage mean?!
If we are asked, what we define as vintage watch we refer to the following points: It's a wristwatch, between 30 and 100 years old, fine, valuable and collectible.
That narrows it down a bit. But why would anyone would something so old and sometimes even fragile? We made our argument for why we love vintage watches already. Feel free to follow up if you haven't read it here already.
Still, there are some more objective and legit questions we are facing frequently regarding “vintage”.
What's the difference between modern and vintage in everyday use?
Generally, being a precise instrument, any mechanical watch - modern and vintage is fragile. For obvious reasons, vintage watches are slightly more fragile, so it is important to avoid significant vibration and shock impacts. That doesn’t mean, however, that vintage watches are not suitable for everyday use. It all depends on the age and the type of the watch. For example, some watches from the late 1930s are not shock-resistant at all, while some watches (like Omega Speedmaster cal.321) engineered in the mid-50s are not only shock-resistant but passed extremely strict tests performed by NASA.
So what is okay for most vintage timepieces?
In the course of normal day-to-day wearing with average activity, your watch should be okay. What usually is not okay are Sports activity (any activity causing significant shocks, vibrations or sweating), Swimming, diving and any activity involving water (including heavy rain etc.), Severe changes of temperature/humidity within a short period of time and other extreme environmental conditions.
But don't to be afraid to break your beloved timepiece. As long as you apply common sense and maintain the watch regularly it will be fine and keep its value and proper functionality.
The hottest question in the watch community: How can I be sure a watch is authentic?
This question is important and not very easy to answer - that's why it's so interesting. How can you tell if the watch you spent 2 months salaries on, is exactly what it claims to be?
In general, if you follow your instincts that should be a good start. If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is “too good to be true”. Even we at VintageCaliber have to invest a lot of time in research and testing to guarantee the watches we are dealing are authentic, and this is our main job!
As a Watch Dealer we get at least 200 % margin on every watch, right? Wrong!
For an outsider, it's not really obvious what goes into running a vintage watch dealership. This is probably the foundation of the common misconception watch dealers are facing sometimes. It may seem as if we are only buying watches, markup the price by 200 % and sell them immediately. That's absolutely not how the business works...