Just like with any rare collectible or antique, the value of vintage watches is determined in part to how well the watch was taken care of. A horologist will examine the vintage watch very closely to determine whether the watch’s quality is exceptional, excellent, very good, good, or fair. Of course, the age of the watch will influence the grading as well. A watch that is several hundred years older cannot be judged by the same standards as one that is much newer. With that in mind, what can you do to maintain the quality of your watch?
- The first thing you should do when you purchase a vintage watch is take it to a watchmaker. The watchmaker will examine the watch closely and make any necessary repairs. He will also perform routine maintenance like cleaning and oiling the watch. He will also tell you what repairs or restorations should not be done because, many times, “modernizing” a watch with new parts or interface could diminish the value of the watch. You should have your vintage watch appraised and looked at every 5-7 years, depending on the model and age of the watch.
- Does your watch need to be wound? If so, wind it regularly to make sure that this mechanism does not fail.
- Storage is so important. Sunlight and humidity are a watch’s worst enemy. The important thing is to store your watch in an area that is cold and dry, so a basement is certainly out. Keep it in its original box or a case made specifically to store fine timepieces. Watch out for dust as well as this can affect the performance and upkeep of your watch.
If you do these things and are vigilant about maintaining your watch, it should retain its value come time you ever want to sell it or give it to a loved one who admired it. The thing that often separates quality vintage watches for sale from less valuable pieces is the condition of the watch. It is important to note that if you ever do decide to sell your watch, you choose an auction house with expert horologists who will correctly appraise your watch and a reputation that will attract other collectors to find your watch. Your hard work should not be in vain. The right auction house will ensure that you get the most money possible for your vintage watch.