All your questions about buying your first vintage watch, answered

Invest wisely, says Watchfinder & Co

Want some stylish, futureproof wrist action? Watchfinder & Co expert Andrew Morgan has the answers to all your most pertinent questions about how to pick your first vintage watch. 

Watchfinder’s Andrew Morgan

What was your first vintage watch and why did you choose it?

An Omega Speedmaster from the Seventies was my first. When I purchased it, they were still relatively unknown and a really affordable entry into vintage ownership – and, of course, they went to the Moon.

What are the key things a person should consider when buying a vintage watch?

Pick a properly looked after watch from a well-respected brand and you should be  fine. It’s wise to avoid anything that’s been over-polished, as originality, even after decades of wear and tear, is more desirable than a watch that’s lost all its crisp details to polishing.

Are there any under-the-radar brands that are becoming more collectible?

Collectors are turning their attention to brands like Omega, Breitling and TAG Heuer for their vintage fix. But any brand with long-standing heritage is worth looking at, from Jaeger-LeCoultre to Longines – both masterminds of the development of mechanical watches in the last century.

Are there any complications that are solid investments?

The chronograph is a desirable function that’s quickly appreciating. Longines is gaining popularity amongst vintage collectors, a big part of which is due to the brand’s introduction of the chronograph complication to wrist watches. A 13ZN Longines in good condition can fetch north of £10,000.

What mistakes should I avoid when investing in my first vintage watch?

A big worry in vintage watch collecting is originality. A good watch can turn out to be a mishmash of parts assembled to create a clean yet unoriginal result, which is ultimately less valuable. Avoiding this is most easily done by using a retailer you trust.

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