Vintage watches have an appeal of their own: sometimes it is their rarity, sometimes their unique history, or mechanical complication, but it is always the fact that the watch has been made decades before now. While many of them have become investment pieces over the years, spending their years in safety deposit boxes and private vaults, maintenance is important, especially for those who want to give this vintage master pieces a more active life.
With maintenance of a vintage watch, it is very important to consider its current condition, and how you want your watch to look when you get it back. Nearly all brands can restore a vintage watch back to its original, factory new condition, but that is not always what you want. Over the years some watches can have developed a beautiful patina, that you want to maintain, as it gives it a unique charm. In some cases, it can also significantly enhance the value of a watch, as is the case of the tropical dials with many of Rolex sports models. When you turn in your watch for maintenance at a dealer or brand boutique, it is very important to discuss these things in detail.
Not all vintage watches are from brands that have survived the test of time themselves. Such watches need the service of an experienced watchmaker who can provide them with a new lease of life. While general maintenance is usually not such a problem with the uncomplicated models, replacing parts can be. Sometimes vintage parts need to be tracked down, or new ones need to be made from scratch by hand. In either case, as is often also when you send in your watch to the brand itself, patience is a virtue, but in return you are getting a ticking, fully functioning piece of watch making history around your wrist, an experience that can be priceless!