When I first got into watches, it was the vintage world that really captured my attention. These were the days (not really too long ago) when you could still find genuinely great deals on eBay for vintage watches in remarkable condition. These days, not only have prices gotten more than a little insane for previously unwanted watches, but the market is littered with watches that have been polished, redialed, or otherwise messed with. It’s hard to tell if sellers (often well known dealers we’d all recognize) are intentionally withholding that information, obvious at a glance to anyone with more than a cursory knowledge of these things, or if they themselves are blissfully unaware that the suspiciously perfect looking mid-century dress watch they’re stocking has a dial that’s been fully refinished, repainted a little bit sloppily by hand, and relumed with a Colgate-like substance the watch clearly wasn’t born with. Yes, “all original,” sure.
I love these old watches, even if I’ve basically stopped trying to acquire them. I have some unusual vintage watches that I could never replace in my collection, as well as some actual time capsules that these days I like to quietly admire for their history and style more than I actually enjoy wearing them. I’ve learned to enjoy watches on these terms because for me, as I’ve noted in the past, they aren’t primarily tools, but beautiful objects. The pleasure is in simply enjoying their aesthetic. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and all that.