Buying one of the best watches and wearing it on the daily is a standout way to add character and style to your ensembles, and the best vintage watches only amplify those qualities even further. How does it all work out? Well, if you consider yourself a watch enthusiast and are keeping a close eye on both the best men’s watches of the moment and the best watch trends for men, then you know that there’s a growing fervor around all things vintage when it comes to the watch category.
There’s just something about the storied history of a beloved watch, one that’s been worn through the years and is (hopefully, ideally) still in good enough shape to add some flash and flair to your wrist game. As fun as it can be to rock a brand-new watch, the hunt for a covetable vintage timepiece is an adventure in its own right, and it’s all the more worthwhile when you find the much-hyped timepiece that you’ve been searching for over the years.
Better still, plenty of companies are doing the hard work for you, certifying and carefully inspecting these watches, along with providing proper paperwork and specifications along the way. All you need to do is shop accordingly.
It’s gotten easier to find a vintage watch online, as opposed to poring over paraphernalia in an antique store or at a vintage jewelry or watch dealer. In fact, it’s gotten so easy to find a vintage watch that we’ve developed quite the collection of favorites. Here are the best places to buy a vintage watch online this year (and the next, and the next).
J.Crew, purveyor of all sorts of modern menswear staples — from chambray shirts to chinos and expertly faded blue jeans — might at first seem like an unlikely resource for finding one of the best vintage watches. But surprisingly, they’ve stepped into the competitive world of throwback timepieces with the perfect partnership to make it all the easier to snag a quality pre-owned watch. They’ve teamed with Analog: Shift to offer up a carefully curated assortment of elegant, handsome and rugged watches, each with its own stories to tell. Some hover around the $1K mark, others climb well above that, and quantities are truly “one of one.” Get yourself a 1980s Hamilton or an elegant Breitling watch, then wear it with your J.Crew Ludlow Suit, for starters.
2. 1st Dibs
If you can never pass up the chance to check out an estate sale or a jam-packed antique shop, 1st Dibs is the place to go if you want to bring that same approach with you as you scour the universe for your next trusted vintage timepiece. The site itself is like the virtual equivalent of a jaw-dropping estate sale, and the company’s assortment of vintage watches is simply staggering and groundbreaking. After all, there aren’t too many places where you’ll find everything from a hard-working vintage Timex to a travel-ready Montblanc timepiece to an iconic Cartier watch with just a few clicks. Yes, these watches are quite pricey, to say the least, but you’re getting tons of heritage, history and style with any timepiece you select. The hardest part now is narrowing down your list of options from the company’s well-stocked digital shelves.
3. Rowing Blazers
Sure, Rowing Blazers is a truly groundbreaking company as far as 21st-century fashion is concerned, blending irreverence with of-the-moment designs to bring back unexpected icons (like the rugby shirt). It follows that if you’re into what Rowing Blazers does in the menswear world, you also likely enjoy the care and attention to detail that goes into an iconic watch. All that being said, it makes perfect sense that Rowing Blazers has carefully curated an astoundingly cool collection of vintage watches any aficionado will enjoy, and they’ve done so by working with Foundwell Vintage and Wind Vintage. From OMEGA to Movado and Seiko, a wide array of classic and fresh brands are covered here, with a ton of different styles and designs to shop for. Make it a point to check out Rowing Blazers the next time you feel like scoring a vintage watch.
4. The RealReal
The RealReal is a place that nearly can’t be beaten in terms of shopping online for the best vintage watches. They’re experts at what they do, working hard to authenticate and sell an enviable range of luxury designer goods, from handbags to apparel and of course, timepieces. That makes them a great resource if you’re interested in becoming a seller, sure, but it’s even better news if you’re an avid online watch shopper. You’ll find watches available from heritage brands like TUDOR and Grand Seiko, plus modern classics from companies like Shinola. Whatever you’re in the market for, be it a durable dive watch or a handsome dress watch, The RealReal has it, and they’ll also give you plenty of confidence throughout the entire buying process.
5. Crown and Caliber
Crown and Caliber bills itself as the “smarter way to buy and sell a watch,” and we couldn’t agree more. They’re meticulous when it comes to inspecting and certifying each watch they sell, often undertaking any necessary repairs so you don’t have to pony up a pretty penny — just leave it to the experts at Crown & Caliber. In return, you’re getting access to some of the finest luxury watches in the world, from Breitling to Rolex and TAG Heuer. Each timepiece is a thing of beauty, certified for authenticity and delivered with a full set of watch specs rendered in exhaustive detail. It’s one of the best places to buy a vintage watch online for good reason, and we’re certain you’ll get quite the ROI when you shop Crown and Caliber. Go ahead, add a timepiece to your wish list (or your shopping cart) right now. It’ll be more than worth it when you visit one of the best places to buy a vintage watch online.