This page is currently under construction and is being updated frequently.
We plan to say something about the gentle art of collecting vintage watches
ABOUT 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.
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.