Vintage watches are becoming more popular every day. It´s great to see vintage watches garner the attention they deserve, however there is sadly a great downside to the newfound popularity of old timepieces. Their surge in popularity has been closely followed by a surge in price, causing some vintage watches to be firmly out of a lot of people´s reach. Nevertheless there are still great vintage watches to find under a 1000$, and some even under 500$. In this list I will give you some great budget options to add to your collection!
1. Longines Flagship
Longines have recently chosen to release a revamped Longines flagship watch, paying hommage to the vintage timepieces. It´s no wonder that they chose to release this watch, as vintage Longines Flagship watches are some great classic watches from a reputable Swiss watch house at a affordable price. While some references sell for well over a 1000$, there are still enough available at a decent price point.
2. Seiko 5 (Sportsmatic Deluxe for example)
When it comes to Seiko I might be a bit biased. Ever since my interest in vintage watches started I have had an eye for Seiko. I believe their combination of design and quality for an affordable price to be unmatched in the world of vintage watches. As such, more than half of the vintage watches I have owned have been Seiko´s. I´m no great photographer, but in the picture below you can see my own 1966 Seiko which I recently acquired for under 200$. Read more about vintage Seiko 5 watches in our blog here.
3. Omega Seamaster
The Omega Seamaster has been a iconic omega model for over half a century. The modern seamaster watches are considered to be sports watches, but vintage models can either be quite sporty or very classic, both for a very soft price considering it’s produced by one of the best watchmakers in the world. The watch below is being offered for well under 1000$.
4. 50’s chronographs
The fourth entry on this list can be considered quite an odd one, as it isn’t actually a model or brand but rather a collection of very similair watches. In the 50’s and 60’s a lot of chronographs were produced by different brands closely resembling the watch below. Chronograph Suisse is one of the more well known producers of such watches, but they have been made by a lot of brands, making it difficult to pick a brand or model name. Most of these chronographs are priced well below 1000$, the watch below is even being offered for around 500$. These watches are typically fairly large considering that they are vintage (38 millimeters is quite common) making them great all-round vintage watches for a good price.
5. King Seiko/Grand Seiko
The cool thing about vintage King Seiko and Grand Seiko watches (which look very similair) is their modern appeal. These watches have very distinct case designs with very sharp lines and edges. King Seiko’s can often be found well below the 1000$ mark, the watch below was sold for about 500$. Vintage Grand Seiko watches can be hard to find below 1000$, luckily sometimes a cheap piece pops up on the market. These two watch houses have a long and interesting history, they were founded primarily to compete with eachother in order to produce the best match. Read more about these brands in our blog here.
6. Bulova Accutron Spaceview
This Bulova could be considered the odd one out in this list. Typically when we think of vintage watches we think of automatic or handwinding watches, we shouldn’t forget however that electronic watches date from the 70’s. This accutron is such a watch, dating from just before the quartz revolution. It is similair to a quartz watch due to it’s electronic movement, but differs in the technology behind it meaning the batterylife is a lot shorter. An advantage of this technology compared to quartz is that the seconds hand has the so-called Smooth seconds often desired by collectors. These watches can often be found around the 500-600$ mark, examples in pristine condition can somtimes fetch up to 1000$.
7. Tag Heuer 1000 (or similar)
This Tag Heuer is one of the few more robust and modern watches that can be purchased for less than 1000$. Tag Heuer is a well-known watchmaker, and this design is incredibly well-rounded combining vintage class with a more modern, robust look. The Tag Heuer 1000 is also famous because of the movie Wolf of Wallstreet, Leonardo Di Caprio wore the Tag Heuer 1000 series in his depiction of Jordan Belfort in the infamous Wolf of Wallstreet movie. Read more about Tag Heuer here.