While it can be exciting to purchase a one-of-a-kind watch, there are a lot of potential pitfalls to be aware of.

Knowing what questions to ask a watch dealer will ensure you’re buying a quality product and that you’re getting your money’s worth.

If you’re new to the world of vintage watches, it can be difficult to know what to look out for but the below guidelines will provide you with some essential insights.

Ask These Questions Before You Buy a Vintage Watch

  • Are there any scratches or rust present on the movement?

The movement ensures that a watch works correctly, so if it’s damaged, you won’t be getting much use out of your new timepiece. If there is any damage, you should be able to get a reduced price but the watch will need to be serviced if you want to restore it to its former glory.

  • Does the watch have a service history?

Reputable watch dealers will be able to show you a service history for the timepiece you’re interested in. Having access to a service history will give you added peace of mind that the watch is in good condition.

  • Does the watch have original parts?

If a watch still has all of its original parts, it’s far more valuable. Ask the reseller to go into detail about any parts that have been replaced as there are certain components that are more important and are better as originals.

  • Is there a record of ownership?

The more information you have about a vintage watch, the better, and asking about the history of ownership will provide you with additional information. Not necessarily information that will make a difference to the functionality of the watch but information that’s interesting. And who knows, the watch may even have belonged to someone famous.

  • Is the timepiece currently keeping good time?

Find out how well a watch is currently working before you purchase it. While some watches work perfectly if they’re cared for correctly, others can develop issues over time. Knowing whether the watch it currently keeping good time will tell you how much work will need to be carried out if you purchase it.

  • What is the cosmetic condition of the watch?

The cosmetic condition of the watch is another aspect to consider before you purchase a vintage timepiece. Look at the appearance of the dial, case, hands and glass because if there are any issues, these should be addressed first.

  • What information can you give me about the watch strap?

The mechanics of the watch are vitally important but it’s still worth asking about the watch strap too. The older a watch is, the less chance it still has its original strap. Finding out more about the strap will tell you how much work it might need.

These are just a few of the most important questions you should ask before you invest in a vintage watch. Taking the time to find a reputable dealer will also provide you with additional peace of mind.