How To Choose A Vintage Pocket Watch For Your Collection

A pocket watch is an iconic symbol of the past and one that continues to fascinate watch enthusiasts today. Whether you're a collector looking to add to your repertoire or a first-time buyer just getting into watches, you should know what to look for when purchasing a vintage pocket watch.  

Here are some tips on how to make sure you get the best watch possible.


Vintage watches are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts for their history, craftsmanship, and style. When purchasing a vintage watch, verify its authenticity to ensure that you're getting the best possible watch for your investment.

Look out for telltale signs of authenticity before you make your purchase. Examine the dial and the lume (the substance used to make the watch face glow in the dark). The dial should be consistent with the time period in which the watch was made, and the lume should also match the time period. Lume that is too bright or too dim may be a sign of a replica or a redial. 

Additionally, check the case and its markings. The case should have the appropriate markings and engravings, including the brand name and serial numbers. The case should also be consistent with the time period and material used. For example, a watch with a stainless-steel case made in the 1950s may have small scratches or dents, while a watch made in the 1970s may have a more polished finish.

Furthermore, you should examine the movement and other internal components. The movement should be consistent with the time period and maker. 


Aside from verifying the authenticity of a vintage watch, consider its condition. Vintage pocket watches may have a patina or wear that adds to their charm, but it should not affect the watch's performance. 

Pay attention to any movement issues or damage to the dial and case, as these can affect the watch's value and how it operates. If there are any apparent issues, then they should be taken into consideration before making a purchase decision. 

Additionally, be sure to ask questions about maintenance history. Has the watch been regularly serviced? If not, then this could be indicative of future problems.


The style of pocket watch you select should reflect your personal tastes and preferences.

Do you prefer traditional or contemporary designs? Are certain features more appealing than others, like the winding mechanism or case design? Take some time exploring different styles until you find one that resonates with you — after all, this will likely become a treasured piece in your collection.

You should also consider the size of the watch. Vintage pocket watches range from small to large, so find one that fits comfortably in your pocket and is not too cumbersome to carry.