Mechanical clocks have been in existence since the era of the ancient Greeks. Now they have become a nostalgic luxury, but less than half a century ago, a ticking, beating timepiece was the only way to tell the time. The allure of a watch that was the height of technology - before the digital age swapped gears and springs for wires and batteries - is irresistible. Welcome to the world of vintage.

It's hard to imagine a time when electricity didn't rule, and that's part of the appeal that comes with a vintage watch. They were bought, owned and worn by people for whom a mechanical timepiece was an everyday norm, and that slice of history holds so much more to it than a newly made, modern piece ever could.

A common misunderstanding is that vintage watches are expensive, but the vast majority aren't. Extremely rare and collectible pieces have a marked premium for obvious reasons, an example of which being the exotic-dialled Rolex Cosmograph, an early version of the famous Daytona chronograph. Extremely limited numbers and impeccable heritage have ensured that its value has soared over time. But the abundance of vintage wristwatches (not forgetting that they were an everyday item) means that good examples can be had for the same outlay as a contemporary piece, and often for even less than that.

Rolex Cosmograph

The exotic-dialled Rolex Cosmograph was sold in such limited numbers that today it is a rare and valuable collectors' piece

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Showing Items 1 - 40 of 143

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