Why Wear a Vintage Watch?

Last updated on: March 28, 2019

If you tend to notice watches, you likely have spotted more than a few vintage pieces over recent years, especially worn by Millennials.

What is the appeal of these retro timepieces? Why have they become so popular? Why should you consider wearing a vintage watch? Below are a few reasons why people love vintage watches—and why you might too.

1. Learn more about history

One of the reasons why vintage watches are so fascinating is because many of them have stories to tell about the past. In particular, military vintage watches were often issued to soldiers involved with military actions that have significantly impacted history.

Vostok Komandirskie
Vostok Komandirskie: a Soviet military watch supercharged with history

Oftentimes, such watches were unavailable to civilians when they were first issued, so owning one is pretty cool.

2. Wonder who used your watch before you

When you learn about the history of a particular vintage watch model, that can sometimes provide you with insights into the life of the watch’s original owner.

As you check the time on your vintage watch, you might imagine that original owner had done the same thing countless times, just as you have. Even though your life is far removed from theirs, that one act gives you a link across the decades. It is a reminder of what we all have in common, no matter where or when we live.

3. Save money on a beautiful timepiece

Many vintage watches seem to be almost ludicrously under-priced for their value. A modern watch from the same brand (e.g. Omega) might cost you an arm and a leg, but a vintage watch from the same brand may be well within your price range.

Vintage Omega Seamaster
Vintage Omega Seamaster / Source: vintage-portfolio.com

This is not to say that prices on vintage watches are dropping. On the contrary, they seem to be fairly stable. So if you do eventually decide to sell a piece in your vintage collection, there’s a good chance that you will be able to fetch a good price for it. Who knows? You might even be able to sell it at a profit.

4. You know your watch can stand the test of time

We live in an era of planned obsolescence. In the past, manufacturers did not build products deliberately to fail. They made them to last as long as possible and continue to perform at their best.

You can take advantage of that different mindset when you purchase a vintage watch. Indeed, many of these old timepieces are designed to be extra-rugged, especially those which were manufactured for soldiers deployed during wartime.

If you are wearing a working watch which was made in the 70s, the 60s, or even more than half a century ago, the quality of the manufacturing is self evident. It has been proven over long decades of use.

If you take good care of it, you can feel confident that it will continue to accurately tell the time over the years ahead.

5. Enjoy vintage aesthetics

Another reason to think about getting a vintage watch is to enjoy the differences in aesthetic design.

Grand Seiko 6145-8000
Gorgeous vintage Grand Seiko 6145-8000 / Source: vintageseiko.nl

Watches today often have a bulky build to them, whereas watches in the past had a sleeker profile. You also will spot differences in materials, typography, and other design elements. If you like things with a retro look, you will love being able to wear an authentic piece of the past.

6. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia of simpler times

One of the reasons why vintage watches are taking off right now is because they fit well into a broader cultural trend among Millennials.

The trend is nostalgia, and there are many manifestations of it. Millennials have returned to wearing beards, they drink out of Mason jars, and they shop for rustic furniture for their homes. They watch films and TV shows which hearken back to the 80s, and still wear fashions they loved in the 90s and Aughts.

You can see that it isn’t any one particular decade or era, but simply the connection between the past and the present which Millennials love.

Why is this trend so visible when past generations have been nostalgic as well? There are a lot of possible answers to this question. It could be the world is changing rapidly, and the younger generations miss the sense of security that they associate with past epochs. It could also simply be that the internet has just made us more aware of how much we love things from the past.

Seiko 6138 UFO
Seiko 6138 “UFO” with a perfect retro look

Regardless, a vintage watch can fit well into a wardrobe which features other retro styles, or it can add a touch of nostalgia to a more modern outfit. No matter what you wear, it can help you to recapture the sense of a bygone age, and carry it with you wherever you go.

Conclusion: A Vintage Watch Is an Affordable Way to Connect With the Past and Bring Timeless Appeal Into Your Daily Life

When we put on a watch or check the time, we often reflect on the nature of time. If we are late to work, we think about how fleeting it is. If we are waiting for an appointment, it can seem interminable.

Whatever the case may be, time is a marker of the events of our lives, and a watch seems to hold our reminiscences and our hopes in the movements of its hands. A vintage watch unites affordability with style, and connects you to not just your own past and future, but to the broader river of time as well.

When you glance at the time, you may wonder about the life of the watch’s previous wearer. Someday in a distant future, your watch’s next owner may wonder about you as well. By wearing your vintage watch today, you become a part of its history forever.

Why Wear a Vintage Watch? 1
Vintage Watch Inc

Dennis is the founder and editor of Vintage Watch Inc. Passionate about Soviet and Japanese vintage timepieces and a finance professional by day, he proudly wears a Seiko Pogue with his suit.

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