Looking for the perfect graduation or wedding present, or to mark an important milestone? Make a timeless style statement with a classic vintage watch from a reputable supplier selling some of the strongest brands of watches the world has known. All Vintage Watches are passionate about the mechanisms, history and aesthetic beauty of vintage watches. A passion that has enabled us to build a collection of high-quality watches which we are proud to sell.
Why buy vintage watches?
A vintage watch is a solid investment. In the current economic climate vintage watches are one investment that has continued to rise in value and is considered one of the most buoyant markets in collectables – they are also free of capital gains tax. According to the Picollecta Rare Watch Index, the value of classic watches has grown by an average of more than five per cent a year over the past decade with some second-hand models, from brands such as Omega and Rolex, having more than doubled in value over the past decade.
Every watch has its own story. A vintage watch represents, in part, the story of the evolution of precision timekeeping. As the ancient Egyptian sundials and the water clocks of China responded to the demands of their times, vintage watches responded to a demand for precision timekeeping at a given period in history. Evolving from John Harrison’s chronometer (the H4) – built to assist seafarers in more precise nautical navigation – the vintage wristwatch revolutionised timekeeping into a single precision instrument worn on the wrist.
Such was the success of this achievement that in 1910 Rolex were the first wristwatch manufacturer to be awarded the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, granted by the Official Watch Rating Centre in Bienne. Followed, four years later, by a ‘class A precision certificate’ from Kew Observatory, a distinction previously reserved for marine chronometers. While in 1930 Omega held a string of observatory precision records which remain unparalleled to this day.
Vintage watches were made for purpose: Omega watches enabled railway companies to maintain accurate timetabling in China, the United States, Canada and much of Europe and were worn by the armed and special forces of Britain, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, France, Italy among many other countries. And as the official choice of NASA astronauts Omega achieved the unsurpassable status of becoming the first watch on the Moon. In the 1950s and 1960s both Rolex and Omega, along with Patek Philippe and Longines, developed chronographs with ‘pulsation dials’ to help doctors take a person’s pulse. Over the years watches were devised with unique specialisms in areas as far ranging as diving, mountaineering and racing car driving.
Yet the story of vintage watches is not only one of function, it is also one of aesthetic beauty. Omega’s artistically creative designs, ranging from minimalist to ornate, won gold medals and grand prizes at international exhibitions in Brussels, Paris, Milan and Barcelona. As well as, in 1925, winning the prestigious Decorative Arts of Paris prize (at the exhibition that gave art deco its name) and over-time seven Golden Roses of Baden-Baden.
It is, undoubtedly, a statement to both the style and quality of vintage watches that they continue to allure and perform well in today’s market and are proudly worn by celebrities and world leaders alike.