Hunt Of The Scavenger

— Tue, 20th October 2009 —

We didn’t know they ever went out of style, but vintage watches are apparently back in a big way. That’s great news for any guy willing to poke around eBay, a local vintage shop, or, say, the Brooklyn Flea. It’s helpful to have a little direction, however, which watch blog Hodinkee so graciously provides. In this post, it spotlights the Longines Silver Arrow, which was only made for one year back in 1955. It typically retails for $1,500 but Hodinkee found one for just $325 online. [via Kempt]

Here are some tips to buying watches on eBay:

  • Guarantee a watch’s authenticity by checking it for correct signing on the dial, crown, movement, and both sides of the case back.
  • When in doubt, move on.
  • Don’t be afraid to consult members of a watch forum like Those guys love to show off their breadth of knowledge.
  • Invest in a reference book like Cooksey Shugart’s “Complete Price Guide to Watches.”
  • Check recent sale prices in the “Completed listings” of eBay — only paying attention to actual sales, not expired listings with no sale.
  • Never bid on an eBay vintage watch until the final ten seconds or less.
  • Always read the ad copy very closely.
  • Always be aware of the case diameter, as some vintage watches are quite small, but can look large in photos.
  • Don’t be afraid to post questions to the seller directly.
  • Obviously, always check a seller’s feedback score and percent positive.
  • If you buy vintage watches frequently, consider a bid sniping service like eSnipe.

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