© 2019 by The Young Horologist

Why you should not discount vintage... not even for a second

August 29, 2018

Usually, sitting down to write an article about something we have such a passion about is dead easy! I mean we talk non stop about watches EVERY DAY on not one but about four different watch chats. However, trying to think of an idea to follow my article last week (not meaning to blow my own trumpet in the slightest) has been quite hard. It was not so much trying to think of something of the same quality in terms of what the subject matter was, but writing something that offers the same level of value and interest for you, the faithful consumer of our sometimes in cohesive; but always passionate, watch ramblings. 

 

However, after a little bit of thinking, and some researching, I have decided to write about what I believe to be an important lesson for all watch geeks, from complete beginners to seasoned veterans. As you will be able to see from the title, I have decided to write about why you really shouldn't discount vintage watches.

 

I say this because although both modern and vintage are superb, I feel people are too cautious with vintage because of age. The fact is you can find vintage pieces from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, which still tick like they were made yesterday! But the fact that it might be nearly 60 years old in some cases puts people off because of fragility. 

 

Now I appreciate that when it comes to age it probably means that you will not go swimming in your 60’s Omega Seamaster, but when careful attention is given to when you wear vintage pieces, age should not mean that they cannot be worn as frequently as modern watches. For example, wearing it at the weekends or even everyday at school, university or the office would be absolutely fine, just take it off before you do the washing up! 

 

The biggest reason why I am such an advocate for the gold mine that is vintage, is character. All of us will understand that very few things give as much pleasure as looking down at at the watch on your wrist and thinking about all the memories had with that watch or what that watch represents if it was gifted you to you for a special occasion. That romance is heightened with a vintage watch. Think about looking down at the 60's omega on your wrist and seeing the patina’d dial and faded lume, and thinking about what that watch has seen over the 50 or so years it has been on someones wrist. Or even, in some instances, being able to flip the watch over and reading the inscription on the case back, and thinking about what R. Jefferies did to warrant a commemorative watch with an engraving on. You might think I am mad for putting such a fine point on this, but I can't help but think that the love we all have for watches is so increased with the romance we get from putting it on and feeling the connection with the story behind it. 

 

The other big benefit about vintage watches is size. In the modern age, the tendency from watch companies is to offer watches, even dress pieces, in massive sizes. 42mm plus; or maybe 40mm for a dress watch, which despite being a fairly normal size, for a dress watch seems ludicrous to me.. These also usually come at hefty depths of 13,14,15mm because of the massive movements they use. This is where vintage comes into its own… Because back in the 60’s and 70’s men had smaller wrists and fashions were different, watches were smaller. The biggest size of watch you could by was more like 36/37mm. I mean you just have to look at some of the celebrities below to see what I am talking about. The only real exception to this was the IWC Portugese, which was famous for its uniquely large case. 

 

Probably the best boxer to ever live, the legendary Muhammed Ali. Photographed here wearing a Cartier Tank Louise.  

 

 

 The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, who was a massive watch nut, pictured wearing a small watch. Possibly a Hamilton but not entirely sure... 

 

 007, Piers Brosnan, who should never, EVER, sing in a film ever again... Photographed heew sporting a gold Cartier Santos. 

 

In conclusion, if vintage pieces are respected accordingly, given their history and age, there is no reason why you cannot wear them as much as any modern piece. A prime example of this is our very own Calum Moore. He is the very lucky owner of a near as mint-as-is-possible Omega Chronostop from the 60’s. It is not only a phenomenally gorgeous piece, but one that is most definitely vintage. Now although Cal does not wear this day in day out, due to him wanting to preserve the condition as much as possible, he wears it as frequently as a lot of his other watches. The important message here is to not be hesitant to wear a vintage watch because it is vintage. These things we all love so much are not necessary at all! We wear them because we love them and they bring us value. This being said, wear your watch, don't worry about its age or condition (As long as you look after it!) and, more importantly than any of the other points that I had made, have fun with them!!! 

 

                                                  The wrist of our very own resident northerner... here sporting his stunning vintage Omega Chronostop

 

 

Felix Arnold

Editor & Co-Founder

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