Searching for your first vintage watch is an adventure in itself. Finding exactly what you are looking for takes patience. If you don’t see the watch of your dreams right away, wait it out a bit and revisit the same stores when inventory changes, or find a dealer who can hunt for exactly what you are looking for. To help you begin your hunt and avoid scammers, we’ve compiled a list of ten trustworthy dealers around the world from Miami to London.
If you find yourself needing to expand your search or think you might enjoy the thrill of scoring a deal on a vintage watch, you might want to take the auction house route. Keep in mind Antiquorum Auctioneers, Patrizzi & Co. Geneva and Sotheby’s, which are known for their vintage watch auctions. Just be prepared to bid against obsessive collectors.
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We've assembled the best spots around the world to score vintage watches, from Paris to Miami. Whether you are looking for a prized Patek Philippe or something cool and under $1,000, these are the spots to look.
NEW YORK CITY: Aaron Faber Gallery has a reputation for having the best selection of unique vintage watches and is known for carrying the most prestigious brands, such as Patek Philippe. This isn't a spot to find a deal, but the offerings are superb. 666 Fifth Ave, New York City; aaronfaber.com.
NEW YORK CITY: Established in 1900, Tourneau is America's largest luxury watch retailer. Their wide selection which includes new watches and vintage pieces from the likes of Cartier and Tag Heuer makes this store a smart place to begin your search. 12 East 57th Street, New York City; tourneau.com.
MIAMI: Matthew Bain is said to be one of the most reputable vintage watch dealers out there. Like Aaron Faber, Bain's offerings aren't for bargain hunters. Omega and Patek Philippe are most commonly in stock. 1680 Michigan Ave, Miami; matthewbaininc.com.
NEW YORK CITY: Central Watch Band Stand isn't the easiest dealer to locate. It's tiny and hidden away in Grand Central Terminal. Once you find it you won't be disappointed by the selection of Rolex, Cartier and Gruen vintage watches. Roosevelt Passageway, near Track 38; centralwatch.com.
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LOS ANGELES: Robert Maron Inc. is the go-to dealer for celebrities such as Charlie Sheen and Orlando Bloom. If there is something specific you are searching for, owner Bob Maron will go out of his way to find it for you. He specializes in Patek Philippe and Rolex watches. 2060 East Avenida De Los Arboles, Thousand Oaks; robertmaron.com.
NEW YORK CITY: At Tempvs Fvgit the selection is small yet distinguised and the prices are reasonable. On the hunt for a great Rolex that is reasonable, this should be your first stop. 40 West 25th St, New York City; tempvsfvgit.com.
LOS ANGELES: Wanna Buy A Watch? is a popular West Coast destination for those looking to invest in a vintage watch. Due to the wealthy population of celebs in LA, prices tend to be a bit higher here. They sell Swiss brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe and Eterna, as well as American brands. 8465 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles; wannabuyawatch.com.
LONDON: Watch enthusiasts always leave Antique Watch Co. satisfied and even tourists are drawn in by the selection displayed in the windows. 19 Clerkenwell Road, Islington, London; antiquewatchcouk.com.
PARIS: Garde-Temps is located in the historic shopping center Galerie Vivienne. The French are known for their attention to detail so you can expect to find vintage Rolex, Omega, Tudor and Tag Heuer watches in impeccable condition that have received meticulous servicing in this jewel box like shop. 43 Galerie Vivienne, Paris; garde-temps-horlogerie.fr
SAN FRANCISCO: H.Q. Milton is a family owned business that has spanned three generations. This is the place to come to if you are looking for a dealer who cares about his customers as much as his watches. Brands carried include Rolex, Tudor, Panerai, and IWC. 2318 Mission Street, San Francisco; hqmilton.com.