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Article: Are vintage watches old-fashioned? We explain their appeal.

Are vintage watches old-fashioned? We explain their appeal.

Click here to watch a video about the appeal of vintage watches.

The Appeal of Vintage Watches

I think that most people who have opened this video are fans of vintage watches, but I think the appeal of vintage watches is their "solidity" and "calmness."

Brand new watches are shiny and beautiful in their own way, but the greatest charm of vintage watches lies in the small scratches and aging of the dial that occurs over the course of their use up to the present day.

It is said that wine and other drinks that have been fermented have a better aroma and taste, and I think it's the same thing.

Also, the base size of watches up until the 1970s was not large, being around 36mm, so I like that they fit comfortably on my wrist.

When I was in my 20s, I thought vintage watches were old-fashioned...

That's how I felt, but after I turned 30, vintage watches started to look more and more attractive to me, and although I used to think that yellow gold looked like something nouveau riche would wear, I started to think that yellow gold was cool.

I'm sure there are some people watching this video who are thinking, "What, a gold watch...?"

I'm sure there are people who think this way.

In my case, I started with vintage gold rather than new yellow gold, so I was able to accept that.

This is because vintage gold is not very flashy and has a more subdued look.

This is where the "calmness" comes in, but because so much time has passed since vintage watches were manufactured to the present day, they are characterized by a matte feel even though they are 18K.

It's a little difficult to say whether "matte" is the correct word, but strictly speaking when it comes to the watch, it would be more accurate to say that due to scratches and other factors, the light is not reflected as much, and the glare has been reduced.

Additionally, vintage watches are available in 9K, 10K, 14K, etc., and some models that are not 18K contain less gold.

I think the way gold is perceived varies from person to person, but if you approach it in this way, I think you will be able to accept gold naturally and without it feeling strange.

I also think that this is probably because, by reaching that age, I have developed the maturity to be able to adapt to such things.

I think it's wonderful that as we get older we can discover different charms and adopt new styles.

Now let's talk about maintenance.

About maintenance

That said, vintage watches are fragile, aren't they?

I think this is the bottleneck for many people.

In fact, compared to watches from 2024, it goes without saying that their performance will be inferior.

However, this is just my personal feeling, but until the 1940s, it was inevitable for watches to be out of sync or to break down.

That's because from around the 1950s they became much more solidly constructed, and from the end of the 1960s onwards they got even better, so I think they have reached a level where they are perfectly fine for us to use today in normal use.

Of course, you can't expect a watch made in the 1970s to be waterproof, so this is purely a matter of its function as a watch.

If you think about it that way, watches from the 1970s to 1990s generally get 92 points.

Watches from the 1990s to 2010s would get a score of 93, which I believe is an acceptable score in terms of performance.

First of all, even though they are called vintage watches, the watches themselves are robust and have good performance, which is where the topic of maintenance and overhauls comes in. If the watch itself is good, it can be overhauled and used for a long time.

So when purchasing a vintage watch, the thing you should pay attention to is whether the store you purchase it from provides proper after-sales service.

It comes down to this.

If you know a regular watchmaker, that's not a problem, but unless you live in an urban area, it's unlikely that you'll find one.

So, when buying a vintage watch,

Has the watch been maintained?

- Will the shop overhaul the item if it breaks?

I think just knowing this in advance will significantly lower the hurdle to purchasing a vintage watch.

Although we are not yet able to perform overhauls in-house, we do have affiliated workshops that we request to provide after-sales support.

Recommended Vintage Watches

So, from here on, I'd like to introduce some vintage watches that will make you think, "It would be so cool if I wore something like this."

Santos Galve Combination Model

1980s Santos Galbe LM size Ref.2961

In the 1970s, luxury sports watches were born, known as ragspo watches.

At that time, watches such as the Royal Oak were born, but because the Royal Oak was huge when it was first released, I think Cartier's Santos was actually the first model to become a hit during the luxury sports boom.

The case diameter is 29mm and is slim, giving it a sophisticated look.

The automatic model is a little thick because it is equipped with an automatic movement, but if it were a quartz model, it would be even thinner, so I think it could be classified as an ultra-thin watch.

The reason I chose this combination model this time is that the gold inclusion allows it to function as an accessory when worn casually on the wrist.

Also, unlike Rolex or Omega, it is not a watch that is fundamentally a watch brand, but rather has its origins as a jewelry brand, so even though it is a quartz watch, one of its charms is that it can be worn like an accessory.

An all-stainless steel design would be fine, but adding a little gold makes it look more like an accessory.

By the way, Cartier was the first to introduce the combination of stainless steel and gold to the wristwatch market with the Santos Galbee.

For more information on the history of Santos, please watch this video:

IWC 18K Round Watch

IWC Vintage Round Model

When people think of IWC, they think of something that is sturdy and reliable, and has features such as "shock resistance" and "high magnetic resistance."

In fact, among vintage IWC watches, stainless steel models are popular because the hardness of stainless steel goes well with the image of simplicity and robustness.

On the other hand, IWC's 18K models are not that popular, perhaps because they contradict the brand's image.

However, because that image remains the same and not many people are interested in it, its appeal is that it is extremely well made yet can be purchased at a low price.

As of March 2024, it can be purchased for around 300,000 yen.

The design of IWC vintage watches features simple bar indexes and no unnecessary decoration.

This is similar to the position of Jaeger-LeCoultre that I talked about in the previous video, but it seems that the appeal of the movement is not well known.

There was a time when they were making wonderful movements in-house, so it seems like only people who knew about that era are interested in them.

IWC movements are also extremely well made, so be sure to take this opportunity to take a closer look at them.

If you are interested in the appeal of IWC movements, please check out this video:

Cartier Santur

1970s Cartier Santur

The Santur watch was born in the 1970s as part of a project called the Louis Cartier Collection, which was a revival of old Cartier designs.

Santur's men's LM size model is available in three patterns: quartz, hand-wound, and automatic.

It is common for ladies' SM watches to be quartz and men's LM watches to be hand-wound or automatic, but it is rare for all movements to be used exclusively for men.

The cases come in two types: 18K and pure silver '925/1000' plated with 18K plating, so there are many variations.

Rather than a square case, the case is octagonal with cut edges, and the shape of this case really appeals to men like us.

The case diameter is 26mm, which may seem small by modern standards, but it is elegant and stylish on the wrist.

For more information about Santur, please watch this video:

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Ref.1052

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Ref.1052

Of the models we are introducing this time, this is the watch with the highest proportion of gold.

Whenever I purchase goods, I always look at Rolex watches, but this Rolex had a different kind of shine to it.

It's gold, but it has a subdued look and the dial is also gold, but it's not gaudy at all.

The reason for this is that the case is made of 14K and the case diameter is 34mm.

A difference of just 1mm in case diameter can greatly change the impression of a watch, but I think it was the perfect size of 34mm that captured my heart.

If you look at the dial, you'll see that it has a radiating champagne sunburst finish with cross lines running vertically and horizontally.

These cross lines are called the Zephyr dial, and they give the entire watch a neat and tidy impression.

It also goes extremely well with leather straps, proving that vintage Rolexes still have a lot to offer.

Cartier Tank American 18K Yellow Gold MM Size

Cartier Tank-American MM vs LM comparison

The Tank American is still on sale, so many people may already know about it.

The reason I chose the MM size this time is because it's the perfect size for my wrist.

The vintage American LM size is made to be about the same size as current models compared to other models.

Surprisingly, its creation was relatively recent, in 1989, at a time when larger sizes were already becoming popular.

For that reason, LM sizes have basically been made large from the beginning, and this tradition continues to this day.

When I tried on the LM and MM sizes, I noticed that the LM felt quite large.

I thought it might fit nicely on a wrist with a circumference of 18cm, but since my wrist is about 16cm, the MM size felt best to me.

You can choose the size that you like, but if you choose the right size and wear it on your wrist, I think it's a great piece that will flatter both men and women, as it has a length that Tank watches don't have.

For more information about Tank American, please watch this video ↓

Omega's first Constellation

Omega's first Constellation

The birth of Omega's Constellation dates back to 1952.

I think many of you already know this, so I don't think I need to go into detail here, but the mark on the back of the watch depicts an observatory and eight stars, which was used for precision testing at the observatory competition at the time. It represents the two chronometer records and six first prizes won by OMEGA between 1933 and 1952.

The first-generation Constellation also had a distinctive dial, which was classified into 12 sides and had a design in which the outer index was lowered by one step.

There are a variety of dial and lug patterns, and while stainless steel models are the most commonly available, combination models were also produced in a variety of variations, including 18K gold.

What's great about this first-generation Constellation is that, even though it's such a beautifully made watch and it's a vintage watch, the stainless steel model can be purchased for around 200,000 yen.

Watches with rare lugs or wedge indexes will cost more than 200,000 yen, but the most common models with dog-leg lugs and bar indexes can be purchased at a low price.

The case diameter is 34mm, just the right size for a vintage watch, and the fact that it doesn't feel old and still works with high precision is a testament to Omega's technological capabilities.


Even if you've been feeling a little hesitant about owning a vintage watch, I hope this video has lowered the hurdle quite a bit.

The image that vintage means something old is not incorrect, but when it comes to watches, if you maintain them properly and use them appropriately, you can enjoy them for a long time.

The sense of solidity that emanates from these watches cannot be replicated in new watches, and I believe that is the greatest appeal of vintage watches.

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