OK, I’d like to see a particular watch before committing to purchase. How do we do this?
This is no problem. The simplest way, if you like the look of a watch and you would like to try it on and see how it feels on your wrist, we recommend you to order and pay for the watch online, or indeed by calling us. There is no obligation to keep the watch once it arrives because you have 14 days from the date of arrival to decide if you wish to keep the watch. If you decide against a watch, for any reason, simply return the watch safely to us, within 14 days, in the condition you receive it, and we will provide you with a full refund immediately after the watch has been checked back into stock. We call this “Our 14 day no quibble sale or return policy”.
If you are within the UK, we use Royal Mail Next Day Special Delivery Service for all our deliveries and if you decide to return a watch to us, we would ask you to use the same service which will cost you around £11 including insurance.
Please note – we fit high quality, mostly genuine Crocodile straps to all the watches we sell and if a watch has been worn and the strap shows signs of use, we reserve the right to charge for a replacement.
If you are overseas, we apologise, but this policy does not apply.
I would really prefer to visit you and view a watch before I pay for it. Can we arrange this?
Yes, you are very welcome to pay us a visit if you have a particular watch in mind and you would like to view it. However, as we are an internet only business, we do not have a showroom as this would significantly add to our overheads and therefore our prices.
If you would like to meet us and view a watch, we will be very pleased to arrange a rendezvous at one of the larger hotels close by where you can relax over a coffee or tea and biscuits on us and depending if you are using the Tube, Rail, or car, there are three Hilton Hotels within 2 miles radius of us to choose from! Please call us to discuss this with at least 24 hours notice because our stock is held securely at separate premises. We will, of course, do our best to fit in with your schedule.
Please also note, if we meet you to show you a watch, ‘distance selling’ regulations will not apply. This means if you buy a watch, the sale is complete and the 14 days sale or return policy does not apply. All other terms with regard to our 12-month warranty and Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee will remain the same.
Will you hold a watch for me while I get the money together to pay for it?
We will do our best to oblige. However, if you need more than 48 hours we would ask for a 20% deposit. You may then take some time to pay the balance and we will talk this through with you.
Which kind of payment methods do you accept?
We can accept cash on personal collection, however for your safety and ours, we prefer one of the following payment methods: PayPal, Bank Transfer, (otherwise known as Wire Transfer or Debit and Credit cards in person (Chip and Pin).
If you wish to pay by Debit or Credit card, but not in person, we will send you a PayPal Invoice by email which you can pay with any Credit or Debit card. PayPal will then clear your payment and pay us, usually immediately, and then we release your watch. This process is really simple and easy, it usually takes just a few minutes and you have proof of what you have paid for as well as ‘belt and braces’ Paypal and Credit Card Company Protection.
For reasons a little too complicated to go into here, our bank has advised not to accept Credit or Debit Card payments over the telephone and not to accept any form of paper cheques other than a ‘Banker’s Draft’. For Bank Transfers (Wire) and Bankers Drafts, Photographic ID may be requested. Please allow 2 days for funds to be cleared and for administration and security checks to be carried out.
If you have found the watch you like but don’t quite have the funds at this moment, we are open to a deposit of a minimum 20% and then payment over a few months (maximum of 8). We will not charge you any interest since the date of the sale is delayed to coincide with the date of your last payment. Please see the next FAQ.
Need a little extra time to pay for your watch?
If you see just the watch you have been looking for here today, but it’s just at the wrong time in terms of your cashflow and you prefer to avoid lots of interest on your credit card, then why not use our ‘Layaway’ facility? It is so simple – we take a 20% deposit and provide you with a sales invoice for the watch for the full price. The watch is then marked sold so it is yours, but we look after it for you in our safe while you settle the balance over up to eight months in equal 10% payments. No interest is paid because no ‘loan’ is made!
Why are the prices of your watches cheaper here, than on eBay?
We advertise nearly all of our watches on the eBay website, but we need to add a little extra to the price to cover the costs of selling on eBay. You will therefore save between £50 and £100 by purchasing directly through us. You may also save around 3% by paying us by bank transfer or cheque, instead of by PayPal, Visa, Mastercard or Amex etc. Please call or send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to pay by Bank Transfer, requesting this discount and we will be very pleased to oblige.
Which are your favourite watches?
It is difficult in a few short words to say why, but simply put, it is the elegance of the 1950s Rolex Precision and Rolex Oyster Perpetual dress watches which fascinate us the most. These are specifically dress watches, as opposed to the sports watches which Rolex are better known for. Almost the opposite in fact of a Rolex Submariner or a Daytona. We also appreciate the clear and clean design lines of Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches from the 1960s which have remained almost unchanged over the intervening four to five decades, proving to be one of the definitive premium design of our times!
Ok, my heart is set on one of your watches, but my mind is telling me to resist! I really would like to buy, but I'm having trouble taking the plunge.... Help! Please could you give me some good, sound reasons for spending such a large amount of money, on a Vintage Gold Watch?
It’s ok we know how you feel. We’ve been there, many times. OK here goes:-
- Because 1950s and 1960s vintage watches look so much nicer than modern watches!
- Because these are such great value compared with the new equivalent watch!
- Because it will not plunge in value as soon as I buy, like a new watch and then take decades to recover my investment.
- Because a vintage watch shows my sense of individuality and style!
- Because of the “the simplicity and truth of a well-made thing”.
- Something to: Own, wear, treasure and enjoy!
- Because this is the kind of watch I always promised myself.
- Because a vintage gold watch makes a solid investment, as long-lasting as the timepiece itself!
- Because a vintage gold watch makes the perfect heirloom piece.
- To buy a special anniversary or birthday present.
- Because no one else is going to buy one for me :- (
- There are many more good reasons besides! In fact, our customers give us great reasons all the time!
A Little Problem: - I've fallen for one of your watches, but I need to get this past my partner. Any ideas?
The reality is that watches are luxury goods, so the ‘need’ to buy them rarely occurs. That means for many, they naturally fall very low (some say too low) on life’s list of priorities, and most definitely do not out-rank things like kids, mortgages and school fees. Unless your partner shares your passion, I’d gamble and say they don’t think that your wrist darlings are as important as we otherwise might hope. So, the perennially thorny question is: “How do I buy this watch with my partner’s blessing?”
Having thoroughly researched this (see here), it seems there are probably are eight strategies which will get you closer to your dream watch. Word to the wise before reading on: you know your spouse better than we do, so pick the best method that works for you.
1. “It’s an investment, darling” – Telling your partner that a watch purchase will be an ‘investment’, is one of the more popular methods amongst collectors. After all, where better to park your money than a vintage Rolex? Sure, blue-chip stocks pay dividends, but they can’t tell the time! Success Rate – Moderate.
2. Passion over price – Our second method, ‘passion over price’, means knowing the watch inside and out. In fact, you’ve memorised reference numbers and movements, dials, hands, straps – everything. Basically, you know this watch better than the watchmakers who made it. The goal here is to blow your partner off their feet. Not only that, but you’ll also have a watertight case when quizzed on the price. You’ve really put the effort into researching this piece, so clearly you deserve it. Success Rate – Moderate.
3. Cost per wear – This one is simple and self-explanatory. The real beauty of this method is that you can fudge the numbers, as most high quality timepieces are made to last several lifetimes. Do I think it’s unreasonable to assume 50 years of wear? No, no I don’t. After all, who’s to say you won’t live to 125? Calculating your CPW also helps you justify the price you’re paying, in case you’re having second thoughts. Warning: Calculations may come into question if you own multiple watches. Success Rate – Moderate.
4. The Secret’ method (live and breathe the watch) – ‘The Secret’ method relies heavily on the power of positive thinking. Visualise the watch on your wrist, imagine the great wrist shots you will take. Picture the endless strap combinations you could play around with. Vocalise all of this. The strategy here is to talk about your grail non-stop, and we mean non-stop – eventually boring your partner to the point of submission (I can personally vouch for this method). Often it goes beyond mere talking — have pictures and reviews at the ready, and litter your phone and computer screen backgrounds. This method takes commitment and a lot of it. Success Rate – Moderate.
5. One in, one out – This is a very popular model among collectors, who, in order to fund their purchase, must sell a piece from their current collection. Naturally, there’s the potential for some overlap between purchasing and selling, but no one’s perfect. When executed properly, this is one of the best methods we can offer, and it is perfect for all you ‘flippers’ out there. Feel free to play around with different inventory methods, whichever you like. Success Rate – High (until they realise a Patek is more expensive than a Seiko).
6. Couples’ watches – Yes, the most successful (and safe) method we can offer also happens to be the most expensive. We’re not saying go out and buy matching Rolex Day-Dates (although that would be super cute) but it won’t hurt the cause by bringing your partner in on the hobby. In all seriousness, this is the most equitable way to make your purchase. Whether it be matching watches or something else, the only loser with this method is your bank balance. You’ll be happy, your partner will be happy. You’ll have great couples wrist shots for Instagram — and what serious watch collector wouldn’t want their spouse rocking something respectable on their wrist? The strategic play is to buy a unisex watch you like with an adjustable clasp, for example, the Rolex Submariner, or something that comes on a fabric, or leather strap. For obvious reasons, Success Rate – Very High.
7. Celebrate that moment – A celebratory piece is purchased to mark a very special occasion. This could be an engagement (preferably yours), an anniversary (any anniversary), a push present (totally a thing), a graduation, or even marking something as momentous as a five year no claims bonus with your insurance company (something that clearly calls for a well deserved Lange). This is a terrific way to attach some (priceless) sentimental value to your purchase, reinforcing just how special the piece is. After all, how could you sell that Tudor you bought and engraved with your baby’s birthday? Or the Patek you bought the day your son was born, (which you will never really own anyway)? Success Rate – High.
8. Go rogue – Big Ups to you if you have full discretion over your watch purchases, but for the majority who don’t, our final – and most risky – option is to simply go rogue. Yes, sometimes it’s better to beg for forgiveness (once non-refundable deposits have been paid) than to ask for permission. If you do go rogue, you’ll need to rustle the funds together. Whether it be making small ATM withdrawals to go unnoticed, syphoning off funds from a second account, or organising a payment plan with a dealer (for example). I’ve even heard *rumours* of photoshopping a zero or two off the purchase receipts.*This might work if you collect a relatively comparable watch (e.g. Speedmasters), but don’t be surprised if you get caught trying to pass that brand-new H. Moser piece off as “something you’ve had for years”. Success Rate – Very Low.*
* Vintage Gold Watches London Ltd does not endorse this method. Thank you, Time and Tide Watches, for their selfless dedication in researching this subject.
Ok, we need to talk, when may I call you?
Now! We will always be delighted to hear from you, 7 days a week, at any sociable hour (GMT). Indeed we will be very pleased to answer any questions you have about any particular watch and answer queries about our watches and service. If you are new to the wonderful world of vintage watches, we are very happy to provide you with as much help and advice as you need. Please call 0207 727 7095 or 07515 949 250 and speak with Alan, Brian, Louise or Martyn.
How much do you charge for delivery?
Delivery within mainland UK is free, as we count this part of our service. We use the Royal Mail Special Delivery, Next Day (signed for) Service including full insurance. For Overseas and International sales, delivery is also free of charge. We use FedEx for International deliveries as we find they offer the fastest and most reliable service.
When may I expect my delivery to arrive?
Orders are sent within one business day of receiving payment. UK orders are delivered next day before 1pm, or before 9am by special request. UK delivery will therefore be made within one to two business days.
For International delivery, we use FedEx or DHL and delivery to most destinations is normally within 3 business days. Certain parts of the world are subject to longer transit times. Please send us an email to request more advise on estimated delivery times.
Ok, I like the watch but I would prefer a black... brown...red... blue... larger... smaller... strap.
No problem at all, please let us know and give us a little extra time to prepare your order, and we will do our best to provide and fit exactly the strap you desire, usually free of any extra charge.
We are partnered with Watch Obsession who can be found at www.watchobsession.co.uk They carry the full range of Hirsch straps which are made in Austria and are of excellent quality and so you may choose any from their range free of charge. Just let us know which you would like and we will fit it either from our stock or we will order the strap for you which will usually be with us in less than 24 hours so the delay will be zero or one to two days max.
Do you buy watches or offer a part-exchange or a buyback service?
Yes, if you have a Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre or Omega to sell or any of the brands you see on this site, please let us know. We are happy to buy outright or offer a part-exchange service against a purchase. We will also buy back a watch we have previously sold and offer you a good price. We are also obviously very keen to hear from you if you would like to part exchange a watch we have previously sold.
Do you make proper checks regarding the provenance of the watches listed here?
Yes. Our reputation means everything to us and so we do our very best. Firstly, most of our watches are bought from trusted, reputable dealers. These are people we buy from on a regular basis who also have reputations they are very keen to protect. When we buy elsewhere, we make all the checks we can to ensure a watch has a proper history and if we have any reservations we simply don’t buy.
Do you offer a guarantee on all your watches?
Yes. All of our watches are offered with a full 12-month warranty and a 14 days ‘no quibble’ sale or return policy.
Are there any savings available if I go without the 12 months warranty and / or the presentation box etc?
Yes, there are price reductions available, according to the following options:-
If you choose to go without our 12 months’ warranty, there is a saving available of £100 for watches up to £3,500 and a saving of £150 for watches over £3,500.
If you choose to go without the presentation box, there is a saving available of between £10 and £200, depending on the box.
For specific details related to a particular watch, please enquire at info@vintage goldwatches.com
Are there any other savings available?
Yes, there is a saving of 3% in transaction charges available, should you choose to pay by bank transfer rather than by card or via PayPal.
Also, perhaps… a £50.00 price reduction for a quick sale and goodwill 🙂
For specific details related to a particular watch, please enquire via email@example.com
All of our watches are sent with full insurance cover. We strongly recommend you do the same if you are returning or sending a watch to us.
I'm overseas and outside the E.U., can you send my item as a ‘gift’ or ‘declare a lower value’ for customs purposes?
This is of importance to overseas buyers who are outside the European Union – Customs charges at the point of import are solely the buyer’s responsibility. Please check locally as we will not be able to provide any detailed advice on this. We always provide the correct order value on the customs declaration and insure the item for the full value.
How should I store my vintage watches?
Let us start by saying that a vintage watch is designed to be worn, used and enjoyed, so our best advice is to rotate and wear each of your vintage watches (with the care and respect they deserve) as much as possible. If you must store them for a prolonged period of time, find a safe, dark and dry location and wind them fully at regular intervals, at least once a month. This will help to keep the parts well lubricated and allow the watch to function reliably for years. If you do not have original boxes for your watches, we recommend you use some soft leather watch rolls with a velvet lining, such as those you will find in our Accessories section. We also suggest that you have your watch serviced by a quality watchmaker (not the jeweller in the High Street or shopping centre) every three to five years. Service should include cleaning, lubricating, regulating and gasket inspection.
Regarding dials, I've heard or read that vintage watch dials should remain untouched and left to age gracefully?
It is true, many ‘old school’ watch collectors express a strong preference for unrestored dials and often state that a good original unrestored dial forms a large part of the value of a vintage watch. They are also amazingly tolerant of staining, pitting, scratches and fading. This, however, applies to a diminishing fraction of the market and also to very high-end vintage watches costing say £50,000 and above and a small number of specialist markets such as the military watch market. However, most ‘main market’ vintage watch dealers will confirm that the majority of the market strongly prefers fully restored watches and this naturally includes the dial.
Tell me some more about watch dials
Watch dials age gradually due to exposure to light. This happens at a variable rate depending on the level of exposure, the humidity and temperature. While we would all prefer the look of a pristine watch which has been kept in its box and never seen the light of day, such watches are exceedingly rare and tend to remain off the market and in fact – hidden away. A little like vintage cars in museums, there is something a little sad and unfortunate about this. After all, both watches and cars were built to be used and enjoyed. In the case of watches, used with care of course, but definitely not hidden away in a drawer or safe. A 50 0r 60 years old vintage watch which has been carefully used will have a dial which shows some varying degree of deterioration. This may take the form of some gentle fading at one end of the scale, to being almost illegible at the other! This deterioration can take the form of crazing, pitting, fading, local staining and scratches. Now the point is, a typical collector’s tolerance for such deterioration of the dial will be much higher than that of the typical ‘main market’ buyer and so the market for such watches is smaller and here the laws of supply and demand come into play. This tends to even out the price and differences in value. In a nutshell, it is perhaps sufficient to say that a quick poll of today’s main market vintage watch dealers will tell you that around 90% of buyers prefer watches with restored dials rather than ones with degradation through ageing.
Note – Dials over a certain age, say approximately 1960 and before, in the hands of the best watch restorer, will be sympathetically restored so that in keeping with a good original dial, it will not look too bright or too new!
Also in passing, many watch manufacturer’s service centres, notably Rolex and Omega have, in the past, routinely refinished or replaced aged dials as part of a major service, so this also is part of the overall picture.
Should I restore the dial of my vintage watch?
Any answer we give is sure to create a lively debate. Certain purists want to see an original dial on a vintage watch, sometimes even though it looks really bad. As a result, original dials in mint condition can fetch substantially higher prices than similar watches with refinished dials. Our philosophy is more pragmatic. While we also love a nicely evenly toned patina on an original dial, when the dial finish is flaking or contains noticeable splotches and other blemishes, we would advocate refinishing the dial. Done with care, refinishing a dial brings new life, beauty and wearability to a classic vintage watch. Unfortunately not all dial refinishers are the same, and we’ve seen results that leave the watch sadly worse with a heavy, uneven or plastic look. Make sure you get a sample of their past results, ask for references, and begin with one of your less expensive watches, to make sure the results are what you expect.
Has this watch been checked over and properly serviced?
Yes indeed, all of our watches are fully inspected, cleaned, serviced and calibrated by a highly experienced professional watchmaker, before listing on our website. This is why we are happy to offer 12 months’ warranty as standard on all of the watches we sell. Most of our watches have also been fully restored, so in addition to a mechanical overhaul, the case and dial will also have been restored. This is highly specialised work which is carried out by expert craftsmen and we use the best we can find. The watch case is carefully cleaned in a special solution and inspected for any weakness around the lugs, seams and case-back. If necessary, these are strengthened, invisibly, by adding more gold to the inside of the case. The case is then very lightly and carefully polished to bring out the highlights and make it look (almost) new again. Where necessary, the dial will be expertly restored (or refinished) by one of the foremost expert dial restorers in the UK. This is incredibly specialist work which involves very carefully stripping the dial of any paint and lacquer. The dial is then repainted and refinished using the same processes, or better, than the original. In this way, the best-restored dials look as good as new and may well last longer than the original. Vintage watch case and dial restoration at this level is so good it often defies belief. For more information please see Servicing / Repairs / Restoration at the very bottom left of the home page.
So far all of my watches have been battery powered. Please could you explain 'Automatic' and 'Manual' or Hand Wound Watches to me?
Most high-end watches come equipped with an Automatic or Manual watch movement. These movements are not operated by a battery as they are in a Quartz watch. When you purchase an Automatic or Manual watch, it is highly likely that you will need to wind the watch once you receive it in order for it to build up a power reserve to keep time. The automatic watch will continue to keep time through the self-winding mechanism from the movement of your wrist over the course of the day. If the automatic watch has been sitting for a period of days and has not been stored on a watch winder, it may need to be wound to set the time and build up a power reserve. A manual watch will need to be wound by hand and set every morning to keep time throughout the day.
What may I reasonably expect, in terms of accuracy, from my vintage wrist watch?
Please see the table below:-
Type of watch and seconds gain/loss per day: Worst Typical Best
Vintage mechanical Swiss watch in good repair +/-60 +/-15 +/-5
Modern mechanical watch non-certified +/-10 +/-5 +/-2
Modern mechanical watch chronometer certified +6/-4 +/-3 +/-1
Modern quartz watch non-certified (normal) +/-2 +/-1 +/-0.1
Modern quartz watch chronometer certified (rare) +/-0.02 +/-0.02 +/-0.0
What is the difference between a chronograph and a chronometer?
The simple answer is that a chronometer is a certified accurate timepiece, a chronograph is a timepiece with stopwatch functions. So for any watch, one, both, or neither terms may apply. Most chronographs have two or three subdials, or mini dials, for measuring minutes and hours. When used in conjunction with specialized scales on the watch dial it can perform many different functions, such as determining speed or distance. Some can time more than one event at a time. As far as a chronometer, it is a timepiece that has met certain high standards of accuracy set by an official watch institute of Switzerland, called C.O.S.C. These watches are provided with a chronometer certificate detailing specific test results conducted by the C.O.S.C. Only a watch whose movement has been certified by C.O.S.C. can be called a chronometer. For a typical mens-sized mechanical watch movement, it must have stayed within -4 to +6 seconds of variation per day during the COSC measurement at various temperatures and positions.
What is a “bumper” automatic movement?
A bumper is a type of watch movement found only in vintage watches. It is similar to the rotor automatic which winds the watch based on the wearer’s movements. The difference with the bumper automatic is the weight may have only a 180 degree or less path of movement rather than a full 360 degree rotation. This results in the rotor hitting a small bumper at each end of its path of travel, providing a slight but distinct “bumping” feeling on the wrist when the wearer makes certain arm movements.
Please, can you explain to me all about Gold measurement and K, k, ct, karats and carats. And Yellow gold, White gold, Rose, Pink, Red and more?
A Carat (Ct or ct) is a weight measurement in reference to precious gemstones such as Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies.
Depending on where you are in the world a Carat may also be used in place of the term karat. However the term karat is never used in regards to gemstones
A karat (K or k) is the measurement of the purity of gold. Gold itself is very soft, and like silver, it needs to be alloyed with other metals to make it stronger and less expensive. 24 karat gold is considered pure gold, or 100% gold. While many people think 24 karat gold is the best quality you can buy, the soft metal is less durable and it can scratch or damage easily. To prevent this, gold is alloyed with metals such as silver, copper and zinc. When producing white gold alloys, nickel, copper and zinc are used. So, the karat is measured by the ratio of gold to the alloyed metal.
18 karat ( .750) contains 75% pure gold.
14 karat ( .585) contains 58.5% pure gold.
10 karat ( .417) contains 41.7% pure gold.
9 karat (.375) contains 37.5% pure gold.
10k, 14k and 18k are standards used in the U.S.
9k and 18k are standards used in the UK and Europe
1 karat of gold = 1000/24. So 9 karat is 37.5% gold. Divide the carat of gold you have by 24 and the result is the percentage.
9k 9/24 37.5%
10k 10/24 41.67%
14k 14/24 58.33%
18k 18/24 75.00%
The remaining percentage of the metals are based on the type of gold you have:
Yellow Gold – Copper, Silver
Rose, Red and Pink Gold – Copper, Silver
White Gold – Nickel, Zinc, Copper
Green Gold – Silver, Zinc, Copper