If you are interested in watches and are thinking about getting started in the collection of antique watches , the first thing you need to know is the difference between vintage watches and antique watches. When we are laymen in the matter, for us any clock that has a few years is already an old clock. But the truth is that there are sensitive differences between them. To know more about this topic we have consulted our friends of Antiques San Francisco , experts in the sale of antique watches and who have given us a few very useful guidelines

What is an antique watch and what is a vintage watch

As with any other antique piece, the difference between old and vintage watches is simply determined by time. In general, an old watch is considered to be one that is over 100 years old. Thus, it is usually considered a vintage watch that, at least, is 20 years old. And any other watch less than 20 years old is simply considered “old.” It is no longer a modern clock, but it does not become a vintage clock.

Having this data in stories, it would seem logical to assume that old watches tend to be more valuable than vintage watches. And the truth is that it is a complicated issue. As the experts in Antiquities San Francisco explain to us , there is no simple rule in this regard. In antiques, in general, it is not all as simple as the older the more expensive.

Certainly, there are some antique watches that, because they are unique pieces, due to historical circumstances or their unique qualities, have reached astonishing sums in auction houses and are especially coveted by collectors. An example of this is the famous old pocket watch Supercomplication Patek Philippe Henry Graves of 1925 that at a Sotheby’s auction in 2014 obtained a whopping $ 24 million.

But that does not mean, luckily for collectors that all old watches reach these prices, or that this does not happen with vintage watches. In fact, the Daytona watch that belonged to actor Paul Newmann, at an auction held in 2017 reached the negligible figure of $ 17.8 million.

How to assess the age of old watches

If we have an old watch and we want to determine its age, the San Francisco Antiques experts have given us some guidelines:

  • Depending on the brand of the watch, each piece has a serial number that we will find in the case or the lid of the watch. We can search that number in a database of the manufacturer to determine the year in which the watch was produced.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot rely on the number stamped on the watch case. It is a merely identifying fact.
  • If our watch lacks a serial number or we can’t find them, the only solution is to go to an expert. The trained eyes of antique watch experts can determine their age and authenticity.

In Antiquities San Francisco not only sells antique clocks (antique cuckoo clocks, antique desktop clocks, the most sober antique pocket watch or the most classic antique wall clock). They can also price and value any piece without obligation.


by Abdullah Sam
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