The market for vintage watches, those that are about 25-30+ years old, has been growing in popularity in recent years.
Recently, Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona sold for a record $17.8 million (buyer’s premium included). However, if you’re considering collecting vintage watches you don’t have to break the bank—according to John Reardon, the international head of watches at Christie’s, the market for watches less than $10,000 is experiencing rapid growth.1
Until recent years, licensed dealers, watch shops, or auction houses would typically be your go-to for purchasing vintage or collectible watches. However, like with many other luxury goods, collectors are increasingly purchasing these online. Of course, when buying online, you do increase your risk of purchasing fakes or counterfeits.
In the market for a vintage watch and want to buy online? Here are a few reputable sites to try.
Ashton-Blakey Vintage Watches
With offices in Toronto and New York City, the business was one of the very first internet watch dealers, offering vintage wristwatches and pocket watches from brands such as Omega, Tudor and Rolex. Over the years, they have supplied the film and television community with watches with recent appearances in Netflix and Disney productions.
Bulang & Sons Fine Watches
Beautiful photography and compelling narratives accompany a well-edited selection of vintage Rolex, Tag Heuer and Omega watches on this site dedicated to pulling together modern design and men’s heritage pieces.
Analog/Shift Vintage Watch Dealer
For those looking for a wide variety of vintage pieces, this site contains treasures, such as a circa-1960s Heuer Autavia made for the Argentine Air Force and a mid-century Excelsior Park watch made for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces formed under a newly minted NATO.
HQ Milton Vintage Wristwatches
Third-generation San Francisco jeweller Scott Kaplan runs this resource for both new and pre-owned watches from brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and more.
This century-old, Philadelphia-based family business sells a wide variety of jewellery and new watches, but its pre-owned watch section is fascinating (and huge), including Rolex, Omega, F.P. Journe, Ulysse Nardin and many more. It’s an official Rolex jeweller and sells certified pre-owned watches along with its own 15-month warranty.