Vintage Watch Shopping Is On The Rise — But It’s More Accessible Than You Might Think

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Watches are one of the few products that often get better with age. The best vintage watches deliver just as much, if not more style than their modern counterparts, and, in many cases, their value either holds steady or increases over the years. Because of this — as well as a pandemic-related shortage of new watches — many people have turned to the second-hand market (no pun intended) for their wrist candy.

Related: The Best Watches Under $1,000

But you probably already knew that this is the case with high-end watches. Vintage Rolexes, Patek Philippes, and other grail-worthy timepieces can fetch tens of thousands to millions on the resale market. However, you might not know that you can dip your toe in the vintage watch world without selling the house. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best vintage watches for men that can be had for well under $2,000, providing an accessible entry point into the wonderful (and addicting) world of vintage watches.

In This Article

The Best Vintage Watches for Men Under $2,000

Where to Buy Vintage Watches Online

Vintage Watch Buying Guide

The Best Vintage Watches For Men Under $2,000

1. Omega Seamaster

1stDibs

One of the most famous models from one of the world’s most esteemed brands, the Omega Seamaster should be welcomed in any watch collection. But some variants of the nautical-inspired watch (which served a stint as James Bond’s go-to) are surprisingly affordable, given its storied past. As of writing, you can find handsome Seamasters on eBay and 1stDibs starting well under two grand (some even less than $1,000), including stainless steel variants and dressier numbers.

Buy Omega Seamaster eBay

2. Omega Geneve

Another great vintage Omega for those on a budget is the Geneve, a wide-spanning model that can be had for as little as a few hundred dollars on eBay. The Geneve model is overshadowed by bigger Omega styles like the Speedmaster and Seamaster, but it has the same reliable movement and, after a few decades of aging, we think they look great too.

Buy Omega Geneve 1stDibs

3. Seiko World Time GMT

eBay

We love Seiko’s modern watches, but their vintage models might be even better (and they’re sometimes more expensive than the new ones). The brand’s World Time GMT is a great choice if you’re looking to spend a few hundred on a vintage timepiece, bringing Seventies style and classically reliable Japanese movement.

Buy Seiko World Time GMT eBay

4. Seiko Pogue

eBay

The Pogue is another great vintage Seiko to look for, especially if you want a more playful look. And it boasts some respectable history to boot: Colonel William R. Pogue (the watch’s namesake) wore it during a NASA Skylab mission in 1973, making the watch the first automatic chronograph worn in space. Good examples of the gold dial, Pepsi bezel watch are hovering around $300 to $800 on eBay.

Buy Seiko Pogue eBay

5. Tag Heuer

eBay

Tag Heuer and its predecessor, Heuer, are both excellent sources of affordable vintage timepieces. They can range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand, but almost all Tags deliver racing-inspired ruggedness for everyday wear. The Aquaracer and Carerra are two of their more popular models, but we’ve been into unique pieces like the S/el collection from the Nineties.

Buy Tag Heuer Watches eBay

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6. Sinn 104 St Sa

eBay

If you’re looking for a classic pilot’s watch that isn’t too loudly “vintage,” check out the Sinn 104 St Sa. Hailing from Germany, the watch is tough enough to be worn everywhere yet sharp enough to pair with a suit or other office attire. And they’re very well priced too at a little over $1,000 for a good one.

Buy Sinn 104 St Sa eBay

Where to Buy Vintage Watches Online

Online vintage watch shopping is not the gamble it used to be. Thanks to authenticity checks at major e-tailers, it’s fairly easy to avoid buying a fake.

Of course, there are still plenty of unreliable watch peddlers on the web. Our suggestion? Go with well-known second-hand sites like 1stDibs, eBay, or Jomashop. eBay is often where we’ve found the biggest selections with the most price options, and their “Authenticity Guarantee” actually has products checked by experts before their shipped to you — or your money back if the watch isn’t authentic.

Vintage Watch Buying Guide

Even if you’re shopping at the right place, buying a vintage watch requires a little bit of hunting (and that’s part of the fun). Here are a few things to consider while choosing a new (old) timepiece.

Authenticity: As mentioned, authenticity is key. Original parts, boxes, and papers are all ideal, though original papers and packaging can be tough to come by when you’re shopping for budget-friendly vintage pieces. Finding a watch with original parts is slightly easier thanks to the wealth of vintage watch forums and articles all over the web that can help make you an expert.

Seller Reputation: If you’re buying from a site like eBay, you’ll still be buying from an independent seller. You can check the seller’s reviews to see if they’ve been good to customers, and you can see what else they sell (if they don’t have any other watches listed on their store, maybe steer clear).

Condition: Unsurprisingly, sellers will make their vintage watches look better in pictures than they do in person. Always read a watch’s description, as anything less than “good” condition (i.e. “poor” or even “fair”) can mean the watch shows major scratches, significant parts have been replaced, or the movement is broken completely.

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