3 Inexpensive Vintage Watches for Beginners

Good advice is expensive. doesn’t have to.

In terms of watches, good advice is expensive. First of all, when you ask watch experts, what timepieces should be set. It doesn’t matter if you are inquiring about a new or a vintage watch.

As a rule, the recommendations of experts and passionate watch collectors are in price categories of several thousand euros. According to Vintagewill, the most common recommendations should be luxury watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe & Co–not least because of their high value stability and value enhancement. But not everyone can and will make watches for such a high price. Especially when he is just starting out as a collector.

While timepieces in clock circles around the 1,000 euro still apply as a favorable and supposedly lowest limit for a good wristwatch, I would like to use this article to lower the price limit for the starting collector to a much more pleasant measure. I would like to recommend some watch models with which I started my collection years ago. These wristwatches are all under a price of 500 euros. Yes, even under 300 euros. And one or the other is to have a little patience and happiness below 100 euros. One does not even have to forego a well-known brand name, reputation or a beautiful clockwork: I am talking here of vintage models with charm and genuine retro look of Omega, Tissot and which in my opinion strongly underestimate watch brand Seiko.

And one more argument for these cheap vintage models: You too have not lost in value in recent years. On the contrary, I was able to increase the value of all. In my estimation, vintage watches are anyway the better savings books and stocks.

Back to our beginner watches. As far as the works are concerned, everything is represented: from hand-lift, quartz to automatic. One of the wristwatches even has a complication: a mechanical alarm clock. And some works, or some parts, are rotvergoldet and particularly beautiful to look at–but more on that later. The watches and model tips in this article are primarily intended to be an inspiration and encouragement to start a collection–without spending the same amount of money and taking too great a risk of buying. Everybody starts small. and collecting old watches always goes along with collecting experiences. And among us: even they should not pay dearly.

So let’s start with the first recommendation:

Watches for Beginners tip #1: Omega Seamaster (Quartz)

This Omega watch is available in many variations. Nor does it necessarily have to be a Seamaster. The Model Series Geneve, Constellation and De Ville from Omega are also available. Depending on your taste and wallet. I personally like the Seamaster models best. So a few years ago I bought these two watches with leather bracelet and classic design by Omega from the 70s and 80s:

The two clocks I received at that time still under 100 euros. Today’s market is expected to be on average at around 200 to 300 euros. These are still reasonable prices for a vintage watch from Omega.

The mechanical models are usually more expensive–and not less recommended. On the contrary.

Tip To buy: Always take a look at the state of the work or have a photo sent when you want to buy the watch online. With a quartz, the battery may leak and in the worst case ruin the work. In the case of a mechanical wristwatch, it is also immediately recognized as a layman whether a work is dirty or has been set on the basis of a water rust.

Watches for Beginners tip #2: Tissot Seastar

This mens watch with leather strap and stainless steel casing is a nice and very affordable entry into the mechanical world of vintage watches. Under the search term “Tissot Seastar”, as with the Omega Seamaster, there are numerous variants of the wristwatch in the really beautiful and classic design of the 60s and 70s. Often they still carry the addition “seven”. Here is a Seastar with hand lift from my collection:

Seastar models can be easily obtained for less than 150 euros. Some even under 100 euros. My conclusion: ideal for entering the world of vintage watches.

Tip To buy: Be sure to refer to the size or diameter of this-and all other clocks recommended here. Because: In the 1960s, small men’s watches were very fashionable and chic. In such cases, “Klein” means significantly below 35 millimeters. The illustrated wristwatch, for example, is about 32 millimeters and, according to today’s understanding, fits more with a ladies wrist. For comparison: Men’s models start today at a diameter of 40 millimeters. Often they are also far above it. And a few millimeters can make a lot of difference on the wrist–so be sure to inquire or create the watch before.

Watches for Beginners tip #3: Seiko Bell-Matic

In my opinion, Seiko is one of the most underrated watch brands. The majority of Japanese watch manufacturers probably think of cheap quartz and digital watches. In fact, with the “Grand Seiko”, the Japanese produce one of the most accurate mechanical clocks of the world–and for decades. Only a wristwatch of this collection was not available for a long time in Europe and was accordingly unknown. And as far as prices are concerned, they are also based on luxury watch levels. But these expensive specimens should not go to the next tip. Rather, I would like to recommend a mechanical wristwatch with automatic movement and complication. More precisely: with integrated mechanical alarm clock. And so the bracelet alarm clock with a stainless steel case and striped bracelet from my collection looks like:

The best part: These men’s Watch is (still) at prices below 200 euros. With a little luck even under 100 euros. For a wristwatch with mechanical alarm clock and automatic movement, this is an unbeatable price-performance ratio.

Tip To buy: Even if a Seiko wristwatch is undoubtedly good, it should be borne in mind that such a model is often used as a Alltagsuhr and as a mere object of use for several decades on the wrist. Accordingly, your condition, the watch can be taken and claimed. Therefore, you should always look closely and pay attention to the condition of the dial, the work and the functions. As far as the beginner’s tips and the little look in my watch collection.

Copyright Photos: zeigr.com | Theodossios Theodoridis

Theodossios Theodoridis, born 1972, is the operator of the Watch blog zeigr.com. He has been a passionate watch collector for over 25 years. With fondness he collects vintage watches and chronographs. He is a freelance PR consultant in Hamburg. After completing his philosophy studies, he newspaper at the end of the 1990s with a well-known agency for product and brand PR. After that he was eight years PR manager at a leading company of the entertainment/Games-Branche. Since 2008 he has been freelancing.

Tags: bracelet alarm clock, Grand Seiko, Omega Seamaster, Omega watches, quartz, Retro Watch, Seiko, Tissot, Tissot Seastar, vintage Watches