The Guide To Buying Your Man A Vintage Watch He’ll Love

Buying a present for a man is difficult enough. But add that to choosing a watch that will both fit him well and suit his style, and it makes the job pretty much impossible.

Men think women are hard to buy for. When the fact of the matter is, if they had a range of jewellery to choose from as vast as women do, men would take that crown without question.

Luckily, they don’t. The world of man jewellery does include a handful of accessories, but it’s dominated by one item and one item only: the wristwatch.

Some may think that having only one piece of jewellery through which you can express yourself makes it even harder to choose the right one. And in a way, they’re right. But providing you know your hubby, brother, dad, or whoever you’re buying for well, and you stick to the following vintage watch buying guide, then you’re sure to come out with a winner.

1. Brand

Is he one for quality or precision? Large, well-known Swiss manufacturers or small British war-time watchmakers? A brand may well just be a name, but behind every one is a unique philosophy and legacy that will all be displayed like an open book on your man’s wrist.

  • International Watch Co 18k Vintage Automatic

    From £138.38 Per Month* £1,845.00
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  • IWC Aquatimer Automatic IW356806 IWC Aquatimer Automatic IW356806

    IWC Aquatimer Automatic IW356806

    From £183.75 Per Month* £2,450.00
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  • IWC Ingenieur SL 18k Automatic 9230

    From £483.75 Per Month* £6,450.00
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  • IWC Ladies 18k White Gold Vintage Automatic IWC Ladies 18k White Gold Vintage Automatic

    IWC Ladies 18k White Gold Vintage Automatic 1969

    From £161.25 Per Month* £2,150.00
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Avoid watch-store salespeople and ask friends or family to get some insight into a manufacturers reputation. Online blogs and forums dedicated to watches can also provide unbiased information, providing you only listen to respected and reputable voices.

2. Style

Is he sporty, professional, playful, or a mixture of all three? Is he a banker, writer, doctor, plumber, or builder? You’ll find all styles of watches with all kinds of faces, cases, functions, straps, and movements, and so it’s important to know for what he’ll use it and precisely what impression he wants it to make.

  • Rolex Air-King Mid Size Steel & White Gold 114234 Rolex Air-King Mid Size Steel & White Gold 114234

    Rolex Air-King Mid Size Steel & White Gold 114234

    From £288.75 Per Month* £3,850.00
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  • Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 14000 Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 14000

    Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 14000

    From £198.75 Per Month* £2,650.00
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  • Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 5500 Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 5500

    Rolex Air-King Oyster Perpetual 5500 1979

    From £236.25 Per Month* £3,150.00
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  • Rolex Cellini 18k Mechanical 4109 Rolex Cellini 18k Mechanical 4109

    Rolex Cellini 18k Mechanical 4109

    From £131.25 Per Month* £1,750.00
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An engineer, for instance, a simple dive watch may be most appropriate. Whereas for a CEO, you can’t go wrong with a vintage chronograph.

3. Size

Not much needs to be said here, but if you’re buying for a man of large stature with wide wrists, you’ll want to look for a watch with a large face and bulky case. If you’re buying for a more petite man with a slimmer frame, opt for a model with a small dial and thin case. This way he won’t look like a little boy wearing his daddy’s watch.

4. Maintenance

It’s important to bear in mind that, depending on where you buy it from, some vintage watches can require much more maintenance and care than others.

  • Cartier Calibre De Cartier W7100016 Cartier Calibre De Cartier W7100016

    Cartier Calibre De Cartier W7100016

    From £273.75 Per Month* £3,650.00
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  • Cartier Cle De Cartier Steel & Gold W2CL0002 Cartier Cle De Cartier Steel & Gold W2CL0002

    Cartier Cle De Cartier Steel & Gold W2CL0002

    From £333.75 Per Month* £4,450.00
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  • Cartier Cougar 18ct Gold Quartz 887906 Cartier Cougar 18ct Gold Quartz 887906

    Cartier Cougar 18ct Gold Quartz 887906

    From £281.25 Per Month* £3,750.00
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  • Cartier Lady Baignoire Mini 18k Gold Diamond Set WB5094D8 Cartier Lady Baignoire Mini 18k Gold Diamond Set WB5094D8
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For this reason, many people choose to buy from a reputable dealer that makes sure all their vintages watches are in full working order before sale. If you’re buying a mechanical watch, although their lifespan can be almost indefinite, they also need servicing every few years. An established dealer will provide guidelines of where and when you can do it so as to keep the watch in tip-top condition.

5. Price

As a general rule, the higher in price you go the greater the originality, significance, and provenance of a vintage watch.

You don’t, however, have to spend a pretty penny to pick up something of high quality and design. For instance, for less than a grand, you can get your hands on a vintage Omega 18k Gold watch in excellent condition that dates back to 1966. A timeless classic and a perfect accompaniment for any gentleman going to a wedding or other black tie event.

  • Omega 18k Gold Vintage Mechanical

    From £70.88 Per Month* £945.00
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  • Omega 18k Rose Gold Vintage Mechanical 12280 Omega 18k Rose Gold Vintage Mechanical 12280

    Omega 18k Rose Gold Vintage Mechanical 12280

    From £108.75 Per Month* £1,450.00
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  • Omega Chronostop Oversize Vintage Mechanical Omega Chronostop Oversize Vintage Mechanical

    Omega Chronostop Oversize Vintage Mechanical 1969

    From £86.25 Per Month* £1,150.00
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  • Omega Constellation 'My Choice' Mini 1561.61.00 Omega Constellation 'My Choice' Mini 1561.61.00
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For just over a grand and a half, you can own an Omega Speedmaster Date Automatic. With an instantly recognisable design, the Speedmaster is hugely popular for its versatility and history as a sports and racing chronograph.

Parker’s is a century-and-a-half old watch retailer built on loyalty, reliability, and value for money. Check out our reviews on TrustPilot or browse our catalogue to see the latest models we have in stock.

Follow this vintage watch buying guide and buy your piece of choice from a reputable dealer, and you really can’t go wrong!