Antique vs. Vintage Watches: What’s The Difference?

Watches have been around for centuries, with each era bringing its own unique style and design. Whether you’re looking for a timeless classic or something more modern, there are plenty of options out there to choose from. But when it comes to antique and vintage watches, what exactly is the difference?


This article will explore the differences between these two types of timepieces, so that you can make an informed decision when shopping for one. We’ll look at how they were made, their value in today’s market, and which type might be best suited to your needs. By the end of this article, you should know all you need to know about antique vs vintage watches!

What Are Antique Watches?

An antique watch is one that was made before the 1920s. These watches were mostly produced by hand and used a variety of materials, including brass, gold, and silver. Due to their age, they’re usually quite rare and sought after by collectors. An authentic antique watch will likely appreciate in value over time because of its rarity. However, it’s important to note that many modern reproductions of these pieces exist – so if you’re looking for an investment piece make sure to do your research before buying!

What Are Vintage Watches?

Vintage watches are those produced during the mid-1900s to late-1980s. Most vintage watches were mass-produced using cheaper materials like stainless steel and plastic, which makes them much less valuable than antique watches. However, depending on the brand and model, some vintage watches can still be quite desirable. As with antiques, it’s important to do your research before purchasing a vintage watch as there are many modern reproductions of these timepieces in circulation.

Are There Any Advantages of Wearing an Antique Versus a Vintage Watch?

Historical Value: The main advantage of wearing an antique watch over a vintage one is that the antique model usually carries more historical value. Antique watches often contain intricate movements or designs that can’t be found in modern models, making it unique and sought after by collectors. Watches from this era are also likely to be made with higher-quality materials than those found in most modern watches, giving them better durability and longevity. 

Desirability: Additionally, many antique watches have a certain aura associated with them due to their long history, making them particularly desirable for some people who appreciate antiques and the stories they tell. 

Investment Value: Another benefit of owning an antique watch is its potential investment value. While vintage pieces may retain value over time, antique watches are often considered collector’s items, which can increase in value over time. This makes antique watches an attractive option as a long-term investment, since they are likely to significantly appreciate if properly maintained and stored. Furthermore, antique watches are becoming increasingly popular among collectors and investors, making them a great way to diversify one’s portfolio or even start their own collection.

Wearing an antique watch can be a meaningful way for some people to honour the history associated with it and pay tribute to previous generations that used it before them. It is also a great conversation starter for those who appreciate its beauty and craftsmanship. For these reasons alone, many people prefer wearing an antique watch rather than vintage models when possible.

Is It Possible To Restore A Worn Out Vintage Watch to its Original Condition?

The answer is yes – with the right skills, parts and patience, you can bring your vintage watch back to life. However, the process isn’t always straightforward. Depending on the age and condition of your watch, restoring it can take some time and effort.

Before attempting any repairs, you should take a look at what type of movement is inside the watch. There are two types: mechanical movements (which use gears) and quartz movements (which use battery power). Depending on what type of movement your watch has, it will require different tools and techniques for repair.

If your watch has a mechanical or quartz movement, you’ll need to start by disassembling it fully so that you can check all the components for any damage or wear and tear. It’s important to use the correct tools for this job and that you take your time to ensure nothing is broken or missing.

Once everything is taken apart, it’s time to start cleaning and polishing all of the individual parts. This will help restore them back to their original condition and can bring a vintage watch back to life. You should also lubricate any moving parts so they move smoothly without sticking or grinding.

Finally, you need to reassemble your watch and check that everything works as it should. Depending on the age of the watch, some parts may need replacing – if this is the case, then it’s important to make sure you find genuine replacement parts that are the same as the original.

In Summary

Ultimately, the choice between an antique and a vintage watch comes down to personal preference and budget. If you’re looking for something unique that has potential to appreciate in value over time, then going with an antique is probably the best option. On the other hand, if you want something more affordable that can still look great but doesn’t hold much value beyond its aesthetic appeal, then a vintage watch might be right for you. No matter which type of watch you choose, make sure to do your research and be aware of the differences between them so that you can find a timepiece that suits your needs!