Vintage Watch Reviews with Theo & Harris
I'm very happy to announce a collaboration between Theo & Harris, online watch sellers, and Timepiece Chronicle. T&H will send me vintage watches, some already on the site and some soon to be available, to review. A hands-on review of a vintage watch that is available to purchase is something rarely seen and I'm really happy to be the one bringing it to you.
Vintage watches are a product just like new watches, they just happen to have seen time on another's wrist and happen to have been made twenty, thirty, forty years ago. This doesn't mean they can be reviewed in the same way as a new watch. It's true that vintage watches have unique quirks and it's important I address how I'll approach these reviews compared to a modern watch.
These are not paid reviews
Theo & Harris are not sponsoring me to write reviews for their watches nor do I receive some percentage of the price when the watch is sold. Theo & Harris benefit by having an in-depth review of their watches and I benefit by getting to spend time with and learning more about vintage watches. That's all it is.
Price is a barrier to entry that differs in height depending on the customer. It doesn't matter whether you're spending $500 or $500 on a watch, you know how much you're willing to spend and what you consider a good deal. The vintage watch market differs greatly from new stock because what one dealer sets will be different to what another sets. I'm not ignorant of the market but I'm not a dealer and frankly I'm far more interested in the story and history behind a watch than it's price tag. The price of the watch I'm reviewing will be clear in any article but I'm not going to comment on whether I think it's a good price or not. You'll have to decide for yourself whether you think it's a price worth paying.
One man's patina is another's dial damage, one woman's pristine case is another's that is devoid of any experience or history. A condition of a vintage watch can vary wildly but past a certain point, it's all matter of preference. I'll you you if a watch I'm sent has scratches on the case or if the bracelet is loose, just as I'll tell you if the hands are perfect or the crystal is immaculate. What I can't tell you is what your ideal condition is, that's for you to decide.
As I was painstakingly told over 400 pages of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, quality is subjective. I firmly believe that a good review should create a clear distinction between their own personal subjective opinion on design and their personal objective opinion on quality. For example I've never liked the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M. The scalloped bezel has never been my thing and the bracelet design seems to have got stuck in the 1990s. However 'objectively' speaking it's a quality watch that is well made, has an amazing movement inside and I'd recommend it anyone looking at it. Everyone's tastes for design and style are their own but I will be honest in whether a particular watch has ' objective quality' or not. Christian knows this and we both agree that this type of honest critique of a watch is unfortunately a rarity within watch journalism.
Those who follow me on Instagram already know the first watch Theo & Harris have sent me but here is a sneak peek for what is hitting the site shortly.