Top Timeless Vintage Watches You Need To Add To Your Collection

Owning a vintage watch is an experience like no other. Aside from obtaining a hard-to-find item, vintage watches usually have unique designs. Moreover, you’ll be holding a piece of legacy etched in every component that makes up the watch. You’ll feel nothing but honor to get your hands on one.

However, with prices skyrocketing for these classic timepieces, there’s no telling when you’ll be able to buy one. Good thing there are pre-owned vintage watches for sale you can purchase from trustworthy online sellers.

Best Vintage Watches

Here’s a list of the best vintage watches for sale you can find online.

Seiko Lord Marvel 5740-8000 Hi-Beat

The 35mm Lord Marvel 5740-8000 was released around 1967 to 1975. It features a stainless steel case, a silver dial with a radial brushed finish, a domed acrylic crystal, a leather strap, and a 23-jewel calibre 5740C manual-wind movement with 36,000 bph. Hour markers are available in stick/baton and Arabic numerals.

Pros:

  • Classic look perfect for a dress watch
  • Accurate hand movements
  • Highly legible watch face
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Lugs are prone to scratches and tarnishing
  • Crown is oversized
  • No lume on hands

Price: $200 to $500

Seiko 6139-6022 “Pulsations” Chronograph

The 40mm Pulsations, or more commonly known as “Doc Chrono”, was released in 1972. It has a stainless steel case, a domed Plexiglass crystal, a bilingual day-date window, a 30-minute subdial, luminescent hands and markers, and a Seiko 6139 7080 chronograph movement. It has an inner bezel numbered for base 10 pulsations. This feature was very advanced for its time, making the Pulsations one of the best vintage watches you can find.

Pros:

  • Slim build of the case makes the watch easy to wear
  • Accurate hand movements
  • It’s easy reading both the time and the date
  • Water resistant up to 70m

Cons:

  • Lume is not that bright
  • Very hard to find a fully functional one nowadays
  • Pulling out the crown can be tricky

Price: $250

Seiko Sport Diver 1968 6106-8100

The 38mm Sport Diver 1968 has a C-shaped stainless steel case, a domed acrylic crystal, a bidirectional rotating bezel with Arabic numeral minute markers, a day-date window, luminescent hands and markers, and a 25-jewel 6106 automatic movement. The dial comes in three color variants: dark grey, dark green, silver, and dark blue with “Chevron” hour markers. This usually comes with a leather and a NATO strap.

Pros:

  • Minimalist look makes it easy to read the time
  • Looks both classy and sporty
  • Seconds hacking allowed
  • Water resistant up to 70m

Cons:

  • Little lume application on some variants
  • Crown can be hard to pull
  • Some user might find the crown positioning a bit awkward

Price: $275 to $750

Vulcain Cricket

The 34mm Cricket was first introduced in 1958. It features a gold-plated stainless steel case, a plastic crystal, a Plexiglass crystal, a leather strap, a date aperture, a seconds subdial, an alarm function, two crown pushers with gaskets, and a 17-jewel Vulcain calibre 402 manual-winding movement.

Vulcain has a long history of ties with US presidents which is why it’s dubbed as a “President Watch”. With its quality, design, functionality, and rarity, it’s one of the best vintage watches you can get your hands on.

Pros:

  • It has an alarm function that not many dress watches have
  • Very elegant look that you’ll mistake it for a much more expensive watch
  • Very legible watch face
  • Splash resistant

Cons:

  • No quickset for date
  • Very rare, which makes it hard to get
  • No lume on hands

Price: $330 to $460

Seiko Presage SARX049

The 40mm Presage SARX049 has a stainless steel case, a curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, an exhibition case back, a crocodile leather strap, an enameled white dial with Roman numeral hour markers, a date aperture, anti-magnetic properties, and a calibre 6R15 manual-winding movement. Its elegant look makes it one of the best vintage watches for formal occasions.

Pros:

  • It’s durable and shock-resistant
  • Seconds hacking allowed
  • Power reserve of up to 50 hours
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • No lume on hands
  • Crown is a bit large
  • Inconsistencies in watch accuracy

Price: $700 t0 $1,000

Ducado Super Squale Chronograph

The 35mm Super Squale Chronograph from Ducado was released around 1960 to 1969. It has a chrome-plated steel case, a leather strap, a rotating bezel with a luminous pip at the 12 o’clock position, a 30-minute and 60-second chronograph subdials, a ruled tachymeter outer dial, luminous hands, and a Landeron movement.

Pros:

  • Nice, sporty look with a vintage feel
  • Good lume brightness
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Crowns and pushers are protruding a bit more than other watches
  • Readings on the chronograph subdials can be hard to see
  • It’s a little heavy to wear

Price: $900

W.W.W. Cyma Dirty Dozen

The 38mm Cyma Dirty Dozen is a timepiece used by the British Army back in 1945. It features a stainless steel case, an acrylic crystal, a sub-seconds dial, Arabic numeral hour markers, luminescent hands and markers, and a 15-jewel calibre 234 manual-winding movement.

It’s part of a collection from 12 Swiss watchmakers who made timepieces for army use during the World Wars. This piece from Cyma is one of the most popular vintage watches for sale.

Pros:

  • It’s tough as nails
  • No-nonsense and legible watch face
  • Relatively affordable when compared to the other watches from the Dirty Dozen collection

Cons:

  • It’s not water resistant
  • Radium was used on the lume, which means it’s radioactive
  • Crown is a bit large

Price: $1,500

Breitling Superocean A17360

The 42mm Superocean A17360 has a stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal, a bezel with minute markers, Arabic numeral hour markers on the dial, markers for 24-hour readings, a date aperture, luminescent hands and markers, and a calibre 17 self-winding movement.

Pros:

  • Excellent lume brightness
  • Power reserve of up to 42 hours
  • Water resistant up to 1,500m

Cons:

  • Large crown size
  • A bit heavy to wear
  • Date aperture looks too small for the size of the watch

Price: $2,000

Certina DS-2 Chronolympic Valjoux 726

The 42mm Chronolympic was first introduced around the 1970s. It features a stainless steel case, a tachymeter outer dial, a Plexiglass crystal, a case back with the Certina turtle icon, three chronograph subdials with 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour measurements, crown pushers, luminescent hands and markers, and a calibre 29-062 manual-winding movement. If you’re looking for an old but highly functional watch, this is the vintage watch for sale you should look for.

Pros:

  • Sturdy build
  • Good lume brightness
  • Power reserve of up to 46 hours
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • No date aperture
  • It’s a bit thick and heavy
  • Time can be challenging to read at times because of the poor color contrast between the hands and  the subdials

Price: $2,000 to $4,500

Omega Speedmaster Date 3513.50.00

The 39mm Speedmaster Date 3513.50.00 has a stainless steel case, a tachymeter bezel, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, a date aperture, chronograph subdials with 12-hour, 30-minute, and 60-second measurements, luminescent hands and markers, and a calibre 1152 self-winding movement.

Pros:

  • Legible watch face despite the presence of chronograph subdials
  • One of the best vintage watches with a modern, sporty look
  • Solid, durable build
  • Power reserve of up to 44 hours
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Model is a bit hard to find now
  • It’s quite large and heavy
  • Large crown and pushers

Price: $2,000

Universal Geneve Polerouters

The 35.5mm Polerouters first appeared in 1964. It has a stainless steel case, a Plexiglass crystal, dagger-shaped hands, index hour markers, luminescent hands and markers, a leather strap, and a calibre 218-2 automatic micro-rotor movement.

Pros:

  • Minimalist and classy design makes it suitable as a dress watch
  • Slim and lightweight which makes it comfortable to wear
  • Accurate hand movements
  • Splash resistant

Cons:

  • Little lume applied on hands
  • Lume doesn’t last long
  • Bezel is prone to scratches

Price: $2,500 to $5,000

Wittnauer 7004A Professional Chronograph

The 40mm 7004A Professional Chronograph from Wittnauer was released in 1965. It features a stainless steel case, a Plexiglass crystal, a rotating bezel with a luminous pip at the 12 o’clock position, a tachymeter outer dial, a 60-second subdial, a 30-minute subdial, luminescent hands and markers, and a Valjoux 7733 manual-winding chronograph movement.

Pros:

  • Sporty look with a unique color combination
  • It’s easy to read the time, thanks to its large hands
  • Generous lume application

Cons:

  • Subdial hands are too small to read
  • Bezel can be scratched easily
  • Crown and crown pushers are a bit large

Price: $2,800 to $6,500

Tudor Black Bay GMT M79830RB

The 41mm Black Bay GMT has a stainless steel case, a stainless steel bracelet, a two-colored “Pepsi” bezel that rotates in either direction, a domed sapphire crystal, a GMT hand, a date aperture, luminescent hands and hour markers, and a calibre MT5652 self-winding movement.

Pros:

  • Large hands and clean watch face make it easy to read the time
  • Excellent lume brightness
  • Power reserve of up to 70 hours
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Oversized crown
  • It’s thick and a bit heavy
  • Hands are a bit rough on the edges

Price: $3,500 to $4,500

Rolex Oyster Perpetual “Shark Tooth”

The 34mm Oyster Perpetual Shark Tooth was released around the 1960s and is notable for its “shark tooth” hour markers on the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Aside from that, it features a stainless steel case, an acrylic crystal, and an automatic movement. Some variants have luminescent hand and markers, while some don’t. It’s available in different dial and bezel color variants.

Pros:

  • Elegant look with a legible watch face
  • Precise and reliable hand movements
  • Power reserve of up to 38 hours

Cons:

  • A very rare timepiece that’s really hard to find
  • Not water resistant
  • No date aperture

Price: $4,000

IWC Pilot Chronograph IW371704

The 43mm Pilot Chronograph IW371704 has a stainless steel case and band, a convex sapphire crystal, a black dial with Arabic numeral hour markers, three chronograph subdials with 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour measurements, a day-date aperture, luminescent hands and markers, and a calibre 79320 automatic movement. For its quality and functionality, this is one of the best vintage watches for sale in the market.

Pros:

  • Excellent lume brightness
  • Solid, durable build
  • Highly functional vintage watch with a military-like vibe
  • Power reserve of up to 44 hours
  • Water resistant up to 60m

Cons:

  • Large and heavy to wear
  • Background of the day-date aperture is the same as the dial
  • Bulky bracelet design

Price: $5,700 to $6,500

Where to Buy the Best Vintage Watches

Finding vintage watches for sale is not that easy if you don’t know where to look for. With that, we evaluated the best online shops where you can get that rare timepiece you’ve been wanting to have.

Chrono24

Chrono24 is one of the most famous online shops of vintage watches for sale. They make it easier for their global audience of watch enthusiasts to connect with each other and trade their collections with peers. Vintage watches, chronographs, diamond watches, and limited edition timepieces – you name it and they have it.

1stdibs

1stdibs is an online marketplace which offers a variety of products, including furniture, art pieces, fashion wear, jewelry, and watches, all aimed at collectors, curators, and designers. They also offer services for interior designing.

Their watch collection is vast and includes timepieces from brands like Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, Breitling, and Cartier to name a few. They might not offer the cheapest prices but they house some rare items you won’t easily find anywhere.

Bulang and Sons

You can consider Bulang and Sons as some sort of watch collector more than just a simple merchant. The company is comprised of watch enthusiasts who handpick the items they sell on their website. They value style and fashion which is why they only buy quality items that they will want to wear themselves.

They have hundreds of watches from the most popular brands like Omega, Rolex, Heuer, and Tudor. They also offer items from NOS, The Gallet, Record, and other names unknown to many people.

Man of the World

Man of the World is a magazine for men that tackles topics like style, adventure, art, travel, and culture. As a men’s magazine, one cannot simply forget the essential role of wristwatches. This is why Man of the World offers extensive write-ups and crisp images of the best vintage watches for the modern man. What makes them different from other men’s magazine is that they have their own shop where you can find a curated selection of vintage watches from brands like Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Universal Geneve.

Analog Shift

The company was founded by James Landin in 2012 with the purpose of offering authentic vintage watch collections to enthusiasts. He got his passion for collecting classic timepieces from his grandfather who passed down a portion of his collection to his grandson.

The site contains gorgeous photographs of curated vintage watches along with descriptive write-ups that will tell you they know what they’re talking about. They offer the most popular luxury brands and also hard-to-find vintage watches for sale from names like Autodromo, Girard-Perregaux, Berthoud, and Wittnauer.

Bob’s Watches

Bob’s Watches specialize in trading pre-owned Rolex watches, regardless whether they’re vintage models or recent ones. They’re popular for having a marketplace built on trust and integrity, so you can rest assured you’re dealing with genuine sellers of luxury Rolex timepieces. In addition to that, all watches sold on the site go through a certification process to ensure the items are made with authentic Rolex parts.

If you’re interested in pre-owned vintage Rolex models, you won’t find a better online website selling them the way Bob’s Watches does.

Hodinkee

Among online watch sellers, Hodinkee is one of the most reputable and respected authority. They have a clean and easy to navigate website, excellent photographs of watches, helpful product write-ups, and accurate descriptions of timepieces. You can even say that it’s addicting to browse their collections because of all the information you can get from their site.

They sell all styles of watches from sport and aviation to dress and chronograph timepieces. They also have a special section for limited edition items and rare finds that collectors will surely love. It was only last 2016 when they started including the best vintage watches in their collection.

Matthew Bain Inc.

The company’s founder, Matthew Bain, has been in the watch industry since 1989 and owns one of the biggest collection of watches in the United States. He’s known for his vast knowledge and expertise in curating wristwatches, so you can rest assured that the items found on the website are authentic and fairly priced. From vintage watches to modern timepieces, you’ll surely be astounded with his offers online.

Ebay

If you want to get the cheapest prices and browse through the widest collection of new and vintage watches for sale, there’s no other place to go to than Ebay. Everything you’re looking for will be there 99% of the time. The downside is that there’s a chance you’ll be looking at incomplete or inaccurate descriptions of the watch you’re looking for which can affect your expectations once you buy the item. There are also fake sellers to be wary of who offer vintage watches with price tags too good to be true.

Watch Recon

Although Watch Recon is not an online shop, you can use it to find any watch for sale in the cyberspace. It’s basically a search engine built to scour forums and online shops to make it easier for you to choose where to get the product you’re looking for. If you’re an expert in discerning watch authenticity, this is the tool to use for bargain hunting.

Conclusion

A vintage watch carries a heritage that not many modern timepieces hold. These classics are the progenitors of the wristwatches you see today which is why they’re very valuable and irreplaceable. Owning one will make you feel like you’re safeguarding a part of history that not many have the privilege to do.

Vintage watches for sale can be hard to find in retail shops. You’ll have higher chances of stumbling into one on any of the online shops we’ve listed above. Happy treasure hunting!

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