Classic & Collectible Timepieces


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A $10 gold coin is the face of this Corum watch, complete with 18K gold lugs and sides, a diamond set crown. It's valued at $1,900. Photo courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries

“Being a collector of many things, I have always found the wristwatch to be a fun “collectible,” writes author Reyne Haines, in the introduction of her book, Vintage Wristwatches. “Many people collect things because they find them aesthetically pleasing. Certainly, most watches could be perceived as tiny works of art.”

vintage wristwatchesEver since Patek Philippe created the first wristwatch, in 1868, time has done anything but stand still in the world of wristwatches. From the elaborate and ornate to the basic and beautiful, the watches featured in Vintage Wristwatches represent the variety and value of this classic category of collectibles. As Antique Trader Editor Eric Bradley notes in his review of this recently published reference, it makes a perfect reference as well as a special keepsake, but “a book like this, however, will be difficult to keep in mint condition.”

“Author Reyne Haines research spans more than 200 years, although most of the wristwatches she lays out for us focus on those produced in the last century. She neatly sums up the history of the wrist-worn watch and explains with an expert’s background and a layman’s approach why the market likes some watches and not others. I found her guide to buying expensive wristwatches online to be particularly helpful. It’s a checklist no one should skip if they are considering making a large purchase without seeing the item in person. “

One of the most beautiful aspects of this book is the balance it creates between the historical information, and the descriptions and photographs of watches.

“As her introductory material helps explain the hobby and how one can build a stellar collection, Haines passion for the wristwatch as an art form gleams on page after page of high-quality photographs of the greatest watches man has ever made,” Bradley said. “The book offers crisp examples of rare watches made by obscure makers. Gratefully, it also devotes additional space to those American firms we’ve all come to associate with the wristwatch: Elgin, Hamilton, Bulova. This is helpful since it is watches by these makers, most collectors will find in their search and most dealers will sell in higher quantity. Leading off each entry on the makers, Haines offers a brief summary of the company, perhaps a photo of the founder, and important dates that defined each firm’s approach to the wristwatch.”

Another striking feature of this book is the rich mixture of various styles of wristwatches, in a broad range of values.

“Haines deftly presents a $750 Omega stainless steel watch from the 1960s next to a $17,500 Patek Philippe & Cie heirloom watch. You can’t do that if you didn’t love the topic you are writing about,” said Bradley. “Haine’s passion for the art of the wristwatch is evident on every single page of Vintage Wristwatches. Once finished, you’ll catch yourself glancing at your wrist wondering when Vol. II will be published.”

Get your copy of this stunning hardcover book, with 1,200 auction-quality photographs at Shop.Collect.com Timepieces category, and Save 30% on the retail price.




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More Images:

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This lady's, gold and opal bracelet, circa 1975, is 14K yellow gold, with scalloped bezel, and a manual wind. Made by Omega, it's valued at $1,200. Photo courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries
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The "Hunter" by Gruen features a flip top cover, and a manual wind. It's valued at $800. Watch courtesy of Charlie Cleves - Cleves and Lonnemann Jewelers
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This vintage ad touts watchmaker Mido's many claims to fame - including the first self-winding watch and first water resistant watch.

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