This page is currently under construction and is being  updated frequently.

We plan to say something   about the gentle art of collecting vintage watches


Essentially, it is all about what one likes and perhaps with an eye on acquiring value, too.

Many people prefer to focus on watch cases that are stainless steel or solid gold or perhaps silver. Silver cases were popular in watches in the early decades of the last century. Gold plating generally wears off.  Many great collectables were manufactured during and  just after the Second World  War,  and the cases were made of chromed brass because of restrictions and the  difficulty  in obtaining steel , post-war. These are great looking watches, if located in reasonable condition, have  an intriguing  history and are  frequently  well positioned items upon which to base a collection.  The ROLEX  TUDOR  that is touched on in our home page is a good example here.

ROLEX TUDOR (250) (circa 1947)

At the heart of the watch  is the movement,  that amazing complex arrangement of parts that makes it tick, keeps time and that  has controlled the worlds of commerce, exploration and marine and aeronautical navigation since mechanical watches were first invented many hundreds of   years ago.  Planetary mechanics aside, it could be argued that it is  our  human measurement, control and management of time that  keeps our respective worlds spinning.

What is a watch movement,  you may ask ?  Essentially, movements can be grouped onto quartz, and mechanical which  comprise manual and automatic movements. Manual movements need to be wound up regularly whereas automatic movements have a rotating finely-balance rotor  inside that winds the watch automatically depending on the movements of the wearer’s wrist.

There are currently many manufactures of mechanical ( including quartz) watch movements operational today.  Many manufacturers closed during  the  “quartz  crisis” of the seventies and eighties, when cheaper quartz movements flooded the market.   Many of the older watches were powered by Felsa,  Adolf Schild  and ETA ( still prominent  today)  movements, amongst many others and these movements can be found in a variety of, including some  high end vintage and contemporary  brands today.

There are essentially  4 “levels “of watch movement, with increasing levels of accuracy as one goes up the “scale”. These are namely  Standard , Elabore, Top and Chronometre which range in “accuracy” from perhaps 5 to 10 seconds per day to a couple of seconds per day. The word “accuracy” is in some respects  “what it is all about” with some watch geeks  believing this to be the “end all”  of everything. However, accuracy is often a function of  how a watch is worn,  positional variations and temperature being  but a few  of the factors that could  cause a watch to “drift” slightly and so  affect the accuracy of a  watch, from time to time during  their “daily wear”. This is conceptually  a little similar to maritime navigation, where a navigator has to make allowance for plotting  drift, tide wind and weather in order  to steer a “true” course.  Many manufactures quantify accuracy according to various certification processes, with the COSC certification process perhaps being the best known amongst about 8 other certification processes, all of which specify accuracy specs ranging from between about  -8secs o +8 secs up to -1s to +1s per day.