Yes, Virginia, You Have to Wind (and Service) It…!

il_fullxfull.507607340_jabp[1]Some facts about Vintage watches…

– You have to wind them.

– You have to maintain them.

These facts are for all who are thinking they might want a vintage watch.

Why would I state “The Obvious”? Because there are those who simply do not understand “The Obvoius”. They have grown up in or have become accustomed to a world in which one has a watch that takes a battery. So one never need wind it. Wear it and then put it away for a few days and when you come back to it, there it will be doing what it is supposed to do–keeping time. Unless of course if the battery dies and then, you a) get a new battery or b) toss out the watch and get a new one.

(Yes, my watch collecting friends, we do live in a throw-away society and there are many people who would rather throw away a perfectly good watch than go out of their way to have a new battery installed. This is precisely why one finds newer battery powered watches in thrift stores).

Vintage watches need daily attention. Wind them, either every evening or every morning, and all is well. They will go on keeping time as they should with that slight assistance from you, for several years. And then, it is time for your friendly watchmaker to give them the watch’s version of a tune-up. Just like a fine auto, they will be the better for it. With such care and attention, a watch can last a century and more. Without it…well, you have seen what happens to a car that has been driven to death by those who don’t do regular oil changes…

How very sad.

Some people are okay with the wind-it-every-day idea, but they are not so happy with the reality that these watches need expert TLC every few years. The concept of going to a qualified watchmaker, and having that person clean and service one’s watch is beyond such folk’s frame of reference. For them, a happy solution would be to avoid buying a vintage watch, and to stick with an inexpensive but reliable battery run watch.

Before considering buying a vintage watch, remember…

– You have to wind them.

– You have to maintain them.

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