One month ago I was on holiday in Prague. I am a big watch fan, so I was glad I discovered in Prague, there is a lot of possibilities where to buy a lot of antique timepieces. Many stores sell used and vintage watches.
Where to buy vintage watches in Prague?
Many shops at the Old Town, the New Town and the Lesser Town. Their selections are mostly small and sometimes there is no service behind them like cleaning, corection and setting, but every seller of course give you garantie, cause you are foreiner. So I decide to check Google reviews of local watchmakers. I’d love to recomend some places that specialises in vintage watches, but it depend on timepieces you are searching for. Few years I am in touch with lot of museums researchers and watchmakers, so I can give you some advice if you are interest. Firstly it is necessary to describe the meaning of „vintage“.
What is considered as a vintage watch?
The definition is quite wide, but after some researches everybody will understand. Mostly we are interested in watches which is 30 years old and more. This mechanical timepieces were mostly produced between 1920 and 1990.
How to date a watch?
Since the begining of its production it was very expensive pieces with just time indication. After 1950 it was widely manufactured calibers with date indication, calendar or alarm mechanism. Another change happened after 1960 with selfwinding (automatic) movements. For precise watch date it is necesary to find company catalogue, caliber number or case number. Some watch designs from 1960-1980 is also named as „retro“. With dating of Prim watch could help large book written by Libor Hovorka. You can find it at local booksellers or of course watchmakers.
Prague is a watch capital for me. Astronomical clock and Prim watches
I think Prague is the perfect place to shop for your future timepiece. It’s the atmosphere that makes Prague a good place to buy a watch. Just look around. In the future, each glance at your wrist can be a little reminder of the fabulous time had in the old town with its stunning astronomical clock.
Many people now look for classical czech Prim watches. First ideas about czech watch company are from year 1948. Two years later company was established in Nove Mesto nad Metuji. In 1957 they made firs example of watches under name Spartak. Since 1958 they become very popular items at watchmaker’s. They become wery popular since the company was opened again. Some of the famous pieces like Orlik, Sport, Diplomat, Pavouk or Supinac they produce again.
Are vintage watches valuable?
Of course they are. Depend on condition and brand name. But be carefull. Some companies as Ruhla used very simple and cheap movements. Watchmakers mostly do not repair them. I am ordinary student so I am not such fascinated in buying Rolex watches. By my opinion there is many vintage watch brands which is good working and they price will increase. For example Omega, Doxa Eterna, Tissot. In Czech Republic now increase the value of old czechoslovakia Prim watch from 1960-1980. There is one model Orlik, which was sold few months ago for 25 000 €. Ordinary price for other models is between 125 – 400 €. Of course you can find them cheaper, but in untrusted shops. Be carefull. Ask if the watch has been serviced or not. Some shops give ordinary guarantie in spite of it is antiques.
Can you wear vintage watches everyday?
If the watches has been serviced and was not so destroyed befor repair of course you can. I have 12 pieces in my collection and I am wearing them every day. It is swiss, german, czech and russian watch. I think you can use a vintage watch as your daily wearer. But remember to protect them from falling (put them on under the table), humidity (rain) or vibrations (ride on bike etc.).
Hot to wind and set up mechanical watches?
All types of mechanical watches is wound up by turning with crown in clockwise direction. If you will reach the resistance, watches are fully wound. If you catch he crown and carefully eject it into one position, you can set the time by both directions. After you just click the crown back. All of the mechanical watches should be wound regularly. The best is to do it on the morning, before using it.
Why do watches keep their value?
Yes, of course it not such simple. You have to take care about them. It is necessary sometimes to wind up watch also if you not wear them. Sometimes it need to be fixes as other items we use for living. Each year the number of vintage clock and watches in the best or nice condition on european markets decreasing.