Friday, May 11, 2012

Old Timey

For Xmas last year I got a beautiful vintage 50s watch as a gift. white gold with tiny diamonds and a super girly bow design it's the perfect watch for a girl like me! Still in the box with the manufacturers booklet and not a single scratch on it, looks like it had never been worn. From the engraving on the back it was given as a gift in 1952 to Hazel L Blow, before it was given again nearly 60 years later to me!

The delicate original workings lasted a short while, but then gave up as a 60 year old watch can often do. A little bit of TLC though and she's up and running once again! After resorting this watch and a few others I thought my little bit of experience might be helpful to other time travelers
 out there interested in adding an authentic vintage watch to their retro wardrobe...

 Vintage Watches
 Buying a vintage watch is kind of like buying a vintage car, once you find a model that's right, you may need to take some time and money to get the mechanics purring again. Here are a few things to consider when taking the plunge on a classic watch.
Replacing the Band
It seems ladies back then had tiny wrists, I have tiny wrists for a modern girl and still have trouble with the sizes of vintage watches. There are still vintage watch straps out there, and old designs made recently. Brands like Speidel and Hadley Roma do a wide range of vintage style watch bands and are fairly easy to find.

Things to look for on a watch band are the right type of connector for your watch, a good style to compliment the watch, and a good color match. Look for bands that are gold/white gold filled. These have a heavy plate on them, and will be a better match if you happen to have a gold/white gold watch.

Suitable replacement bands tend to run around $8-30 on average
Replacement Watchbands 1963
Getting It Ticking
Time can be cruel the the workings of a watch. More expensive watches will often have been checked over or serviced by a professional and be working in a manner you can trust (ask for a guarantee on the movement if you're spending a lot on a watch). Cheaper watches will usually be sold not working, or currently working with no service or guarantees (which means that they may be running right now despite age, but could stop at any moment or go on for a many more years to come, it can be a bit of a gamble)

It is of course possible to get a stopped watch to run again! Many good jewelry and watch repair shops can bring your old watch back to life. I've had a few vintage and antique watches fixed over the years the the rates seem to be around $80 (small repair) to $200 (complete new insides), so that is something to maybe think about when budgeting your purchase.

I always look for a nice clear crystal (glass on the watch face), it is possible to have them replaced, but obviously with older watches that can be a little tricky, there are services out there that specialize in vintage watch crystals, but at the moment I don't have any experience with the costs or difficulties of replacing an old style crystal.

I really love old watches, especially the tiny all metal bracelet ones, they are such a pretty feminine way to keep track of time!

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