Two words. Eric Wind. You mightn’t have heard of the man but rest assured he knows more about vintage watches and buying them than your local watch retailer or triggered hardcore enthusiast.
Wind has done work for Hodinkee as well as being the Senior Specialist of Watches at auction house Christie’s. In this podcast episode of Blamo! Wind walks us through the intricacies of buying a vintage watch for those who have no idea about vintage watches.
You can listen to the highly informative podcast here (S05E06: Eric Wind ) which we stress is a must-listen for anyone even toying with the idea of buying an old watch. Essentially though the rundown of what Eric talks about are these points.
- Unbeknownst to the public, many of the vintage watches out there being sold aren’t in their original condition but are sold at exorbitant price tags which spruik this
- Even major auction houses like Christie’s (Wind’s former employer) have been known to re-touch photos so that watches appear more than what they are
- Do not trust photos – wind says you have to see and hold the watch
- There are lots of forensics involved in vintage watch buying
- These include using UV lights to test the glow of the lumes on the hands and indexes – glow too long and it’s a non-original watch that’s been re-conditioned
- Re-conditioned watches can lose around 75% of its original value ($350,000 vs. $50,000)
- These reconditioned watches extend across major brands like Rolex, Omega and more
- One way to test the authenticity of a vintage watch is to carry a giga counter – a device which detects radiation
- Old watches from the 1950s use Radium as their lume material and if it’s authentic it will give off a higher radiation reading
And the most important fact of all is that none of these buyer’s tips are written in a book. All of it is through Wind’s experience in the industry and it’s in this podcast that you can find out all the details.
Keen to buy a watch? Don’t do it until you’ve listened to this.