Most vintage watches will need some sort of servicing or cleaning. However, it’s crucial that when working on these classic timepieces they’re serviced in such a way that it does not decrease the value of the watch.
If you’re a collector of vintage watches or you’ve recently invested in a pre-owned luxury watch, it’s important to take special care of these timeless treasures.
And treasures they are -- according to Knight Frank’s Annual Wealth Report, investment watches have proven to outperform other vintage collectibles like stamps, coins, cars and jewelry when it comes to value – which is why it’s crucial to keep as many of the original manufactured parts and designs when you service and clean these vintage timepieces.
Before you take your watch in to be cleaned, serviced, timed and calibrated, always make sure you’re working with a company or a master watch technician that’s experienced in repairing vintage watches. During the renewal process, it’s important that the technician preserves as much historical integrity as possible, thus maintaining its worth.
Vintage Watch Servicing Tips:
Repairing the crown: Oftentimes, you’ll see vintage watches where the crown is missing. If the crown is missing, you do not want to wear the watch until the matching part has been installed. Luckily, if you decide to install a temporary – non-original crown – this is an easy item to swap down the road once you have recovered the original piece.
Repairing the glass: Unless you’re dealing with an extremely rare or iconic watch, a heavily cracked or scratched glass should be replaced so the interior does not get damaged. Typically, replacing the glass will not have a negative effect on the price.
Repairing the movement: In order to ensure the watch is in working condition, each part of the movement should be cleaned, and any damaged parts replaced. Again, it will only hurt the value of the watch to replace a part of the movement if it’s an extremely rare timepiece.
Repairing the dial: It’s very important that the watch works to sustain its value. Most vintage watches hold their value in the way they look and operate. However, as a rule of thumb, a distressed dial should not be serviced since it’s such a fragile component, and rarely can be returned without painting the area.
Repairing the hands: Like the dial, this is another component of the watch you do not want to replace. A trained collector will know if it’s been tampered with, so if the hands are looking worse for wear, it’s best to go with an ultrasonic cleaning to get rid of dirt, and polish to remove any scratches. If you can, it’s best to leave the hands of a vintage timepiece alone.
Repairing the strap: Depending on the material of the strap, there are different servicing options. Metal straps can be cleaned ultrasonically, while leather straps may need replacement. Typically speaking, a leather strap only lasts about a year which means the leather strap on your vintage watch has probably already been replaced. But, if your strap looks especially vintage, ask to keep it even if you decide to swap it out for something that functions better.
Repairing the case: When it comes to a vintage timepiece, most collectors air on the side of caution. We suggest you don’t polish the case because this can devalue the watch. If a watch has been over polished, this can round off the edges and change the shape -- both are repairs that cannot be undone.
Anytime you bring your vintage watch in for service, always go over the process with the technician. Ask for specifics to be put in writing such as “the watch hands cannot be changed.” This is especially important because once a component of your watch has been replaced, there is a good chance you won’t get the old parts returned.
All of the vintage pre - owned timepieces we offer at Daddys Watch are authentic watches that have been restored, polished and serviced to perfection by our master watch technicians. Each of these items is a "One of A kind" product that has been verified to be an original vintage of its brand. All of our items are in immaculate condition, a classic watch to be loved and passed down. Our team has sold thousands of timepieces worldwide. Buy with confidence. If you have any questions about our collection or our restoration services give us a call at 310-922-2095 and we’d be happy to help.