Vintage Watches, Keep Time in Style

Jan 21, 2010

Recently, I’ve been on a bit of a vintage kick.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ve become a woman obsessed.  So when I spotted a woman wearing a vintage watch with a lovely engraved design on the case and a pretty, delicate black cord serving as the watch band, I knew that I had to have one.  A quick search on eBay/Etsy and I came up with a few tantalizing choices in a number of different styles and price points.

First, a little watch education.  For those of you who regularly watch Antiques Roadshow (don’t you bitches pretend it’s just me), you know that a watch has three parts.  The movement is the actually working gears that move the hands and the face itself, though faces can be replaced.  The case is the decorative metal covering that holds the movement.  And last, the band which can be leather, metal link/chain, or my new favorite and silk cord with metal accents. Now on to the watches…

Art Deco with Diamonds

If I could have any vintage watch in the world, it would be this one: platinum case accented with diamonds, chic art-deco design, in good working order with a simple silk cord for a band.  Be still me beating heart.  This watch possesses a sophisticated air that will have you channeling Lana Turner whenever you check the time.  This watch can be found on eBay for the low, low price of $395.  If money is no object, I would suggest this amazing diamond and platinum watch, also art deco but with a bling you can’t deny, a steal on Etsy at $1,095.

Simple, Sophisticated Gold

For those of you with simpler tastes, a sophisticated yellow gold case is always on trend.  You’ll find that the majority of gold watches had a square or rectangular design like the one above (eBay, $285).  If you’d like to try out his charming piece in a lower price point, you can always opt for something in gold plate or gold tone.  This working Caravelle watch is currently selling for less than $20.

 If you can’t find a corded watch that suits your fancy, you can always remove the metal or leather band from a vintage watch and replace it with cording.  The white metal cord above is just $15, and a very unique gold plated cord will run you $50. If you can’t find a watch in Grandma’s jewelry box or at a local antique shop, there are plenty of options on Etsy and eBay.

Personally, I like the feminine touches on this watch.  I also like that it has numbers, for whatever reason, modern watchmakers always leave those off or replace them with dashes.  It is not in working condition, but at just $24, I can certainly take the time to have it serviced.  Want something a little simpler?  Try this Hamilton watch for $50.

If you are uncomfortable buying an unknown brand and want to find a watch that will last for awhile, look for the brands Lord Elgin/Elgin, Hamilton, Wittnauer and Jules Jurgensen.  Also be on the look out for modern brands like Tiffany, Cartier, Bulova, Movado, and Tissot.  These makers have been in business for a long time, and the quality of their models should be grade A. 

 

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