If you’re keen to start building a serious collection of timepieces this year but are yet to make your first acquisition, may I suggest kicking things off with a gold vintage dress watch. The dress watch should be the cornerstone of your collection, something that will never go out of fashion and something you would be proud to pass on to your son one day. Most importantly the dress watch should be humble, it should speak volumes, silently.
If you’re in the market for a quality dress watch it should possess the following characteristics:
– Simple and elegant: No date window and often no seconds hand, just a classic time telling device with elegant hands, markers and dial.
– Subtle and thin: Your dress watch should show you’re a man who appreciates the finer details, nothing more. In saying that it should be able to slip under your shirt and jacket sleeve with ease.
– Size: Dress watches are smaller by nature, if you’re looking at vintage examples it will be rare to come across anything larger than 38mm which is fine because anything larger is unnecessary.
– Mechanical: In my opinion a dress watch worn to accompany a man’s best suit or tuxedo deserves a fine mechanical movement. As you’re only going to wear your dress watch sporadically, a manual example can be wound as required and then popped away for safe keeping.
– Precious: If you’re going to leave your dress watch for special occasions go for gold, steel is less formal.
– Natural Strap: Always opt for leather that matches your shoe and belt colour.
Luckily for you gents all of the above characteristics exist in a quality vintage dress watch and honestly you’re not going to beat value for money in the vintage dress watch category. Depending on your budget you can pick up examples from some of the most famous manufacturers in the world including Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC in top condition, in solid gold. Here’s a bunch I’ve picked out below to suit a range of budgets. Happy hunting gents.
***Just a quick last note. Make sure you double-check the diameter of the watch before you dive into a purchase, the following examples range from 31mm up to 35mm. I wear a 42mm IWC pilot by day but will happily wear a 33-35mm dress watch, anything smaller looks dainty on my wrist. Keep that sort of consideration top of mind when looking at vintage watches!***
$1000-$3000: IWC Ultra Slim Unikat (~$2010 AUD)
$3000-$5000: Audemars Piguet Ultra Thin (~$4002 AUD)
$5000-$7500: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (~$5306 AUD)