There are many makers of military watches and we buy all military watches . The best known brands are Omega , Longines , Jaeger LeCoultre , International Watch Company and Panerai.
Rolex made many models for various military services but are are not famed for their WW2 models in terms of the official army broad arrow used on all watches issued by the British Military.
Hans Wilsdorf however was a full supporter of the Allies during WW2 and often sent watches to POW’s with clear instructions for them not to pay until their eventual return to freedom. Rolex did however make watches for the special services and here is a link to a very interesting article on the subject.
My main interest is however the watches worn by the general military and most of us have heard of what is now known as the “Dirty Dozen “
The watches ( Buren , Cyma , Eterna , Grana , IWC , JLC ,Lemania , Longines , Omega , Record , Timor and Vertex ) were designed and delivered in 1944 and 1945. The Dirty Dozen watches were created in extremely limited supply to a specific design requirement of the MoD . It is also alleged that there are only around 20 full sets of the Dirty Dozen watches in existence however I suspect there are many more hidden away.
Somewhat less well known but equally important are the ATP issue watches . ATP simply stands for Army Trade Pattern which again was a specification issued by the British army for a standard watch to be issued to all soldiers.
The case sizes were between 30 and 34 mm with a white or silver dial with black numbers as a clear contrast especially in low light conditions. The dial also featured a sub seconds dial reminiscent of early wrist watch design and a hangover from pocket watches.
A feature of all of these watches is the fixed lug or bars holding the straps. Military watches need to stay on the wrist in severe conditions and the spring bars on any watch are often the weakest point.
Watches Of Westminster will buy any military watch in any condition. If you want to sell your military watch simply fill out our watch selling page or simply WhatsApp us some pictures to 07768316371 and we can give you an immediate valuation.
We specialise in making the whole process of selling your military watch simple fast and easy. We will often be able to travel to you and can pay by bank transfer cash or even part Exchange for one of our stock watches.
WoWadmin October 2nd, 2021
Posted In: Sell My Watch
WHY SHOULD YOU COLLECT VINTAGE WATCHES
Vintage watch collection offers us contact with and unique watches that are frequently very different from modern looks. We find distinct designs, technology, and histories in old timepieces that new eyes cannot match. There are several reasons to purchase a vintage watch rather than a new one; Aestheticism, sustainability, and the history of each timepiece are just a few factors to consider.
There are specific criteria for judging whether or not a watch is considered vintage. Collectors have their standards for what constitutes an antique watch. Indeed, they frequently differ on what defines “vintage.” Some collectors claim that a watch must be at minimum 25 to 30 years old to be considered a vintage watch, while some contend that anything produced after the 1960s does not count as vintage. Let’s suppose the cut-off point is the end of the 1970s, a very significant period for mechanical watchmaking. Vintage watches never get out of fashion because of their durability and sustainability. You can style them with other accessories to make them look more elegant and classy. There are many options by which you can style a vintage watch. Vintage watches add a district style to an overlook, yet you can style them with white gold bracelets to make a statement.
The fact that vintage timepieces dating tens of years ago may still be discovered functioning, with genuine parts documentation and packaging, as well as a distinct character, is something remarkable. When we acquire a vintage watch, these details might make us think about the person or persons who had it before us and what events it must have witnessed. It is common for objects with a history and a narrative to tell to be far more precious and attractive than those that do not. It’s an opportunity to wear a piece of history around your wrists. It’s been said that unique design is everlasting, and it’s difficult to disagree with the exceptional antique timepieces available on the market. The state of an antique watch may have a significant impact on its worth. Similarly, any repair work that has been done might be perplexing. The condition of a vintage watch is, for the most part, a matter of choice.
When you purchase an authentic vintage timepiece, you can almost ensure that you will be the only person wearing it. Suppose you notice another person wearing a similar model and design as you. In that case, possibilities aren’t the same as your various models; the number of complications and normal wear and tear will almost certainly assure this. Vintage timepieces have a lengthy history. They all have a tale to tell, as seen by their dials and current appearance. The discoloration and aging of vintage watches can add value to them even more considerably than the timepieces themselves. It’s not just the exceptional style of the eye. It is the age that makes them vintage and unique. It’s also the fact that there’s a good possibility you won’t see another one like it if you don’t buy it.
In some instances, the value for money that vintage timepieces may provide is tough to comprehend. In the vintage watch market, there are some incredible deals to be grabbed. A vintage watch is exceptional due to its durability and quality and in part to the fact that everyone appears to have an old timepiece acquired from a grandpa. In any case, that means that you may get a high-quality watch for a lower price than you might expect. If your freshly bought vintage watch is in good working order and does not have any significant damage, you may sell it for a profit if times are tough. Owning a vintage watch gives you the chance to own a premium label watch for the exact cost of the Seiko diver on your wrist.
One of the main reasons for collecting vintage watches is that they were formerly manufactured using high-quality materials and handcrafted processes. Many old timepieces are discovered to feature mechanical and extremely accurate mechanisms in addition to being entirely handmade. In comparison to their modern, machine-built clocks, this makes vintage watches considerably more likely to make a lasting impression.
The most important reason to choose a vintage watch is the sheer satisfaction and pleasure you would derive from having and owning one. Every antique timepiece on the market has its personality, history, and tale to tell. Vintage antiques come with a lot of history and character, so when you glance down at your wrist and see a vintage watch, you start to wonder what kind of life this freshly purchased watch has lived. Watches are meant to be worn and utilized. Therefore those that aren’t doing so should be given away to someone who would enjoy them.
WoWadmin August 3rd, 2021
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
The vintage watch market is a fairly specialist retail sector and your choices are few and far between. The famous Austin Kaye closed down last year which I am afraid is probably more to do with the rents/rates in central London rather than the interest in vintage watches.
There are of course a number of vintage watch shops left in London but as ever the price of any watch has to take into account the overheads incurred in order to present those watches to the buying public and very reasonably so. I had premises for a while until it became pretty clear to me that the watch business works very well on the internet and the need for customers to actually see your watches can be easily catered for by meeting in a mutually convenient place.
Everyone has heard of Hatton Garden and whilst it used to be primarily jewellery and workshops there have been more watch shops opening up but again given the rents and other costs bargains will never be available and dont expect a great price for your Rolex ( although the margins are lower on this and a few other brands ).
ARE VINTAGE WATCHES CHEAP ?
Everyone wants a bargain but as with most things in life you have to pay top money or take a risk when buying vintage watches whether thats in London or anywhere else. Unless your buying something fairly cheap ie £200 you really need to buy from a retailer offering a full invoice , a warranty and certification. If you are buying a vintage watch these documents will almost certainly allow you to sell the watch for more than you bought it for in say 5 years time although watch out retail and trade are not the same thing !
DO YOU WANT TO INVEST IN VINTAGE WATCHES ?
A good plan but as ever you need to know what you are doing my best tips are
SO WHERE CAN YOU BUY VINTAGE WATCHES IN LONDON ?
Simple just do a Google search but if you are looking for investment watches , learn the market , investigate what you are interested in and keep a long good eye on the internet. There are bargains to be had but not in the High St retail shops !
WoWadmin July 3rd, 2021
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
Whether you have found an old watch in the attic or just want to move on a watch you have have been wearing for years you can get a free valuation on your vintage watch today.
Is your watch not running ?? No problem , we can give you a free valuation on your vintage watch whether it is running or not ( do please tell us however ! )
Most people think broken watches are not worth repairing and whilst this may be true for many cheaper brands , there are numerous makes and models where economic repairs can be made if you employ a professional watchmaker as we do.
We really enjoy reaching broken old watches and giving them a new lease of life and owner .
Walking into a High St watch dealership and handing over your vintage watch may well leave you out of pocket and with a vintage watch ruined by new parts ( never replace hands , dials , crowns , cases etc , keep the watch original and only replace missing or unrepairable parts ) you may well be wishing you had not bothered.
Selling vintage watches is quite a specialist activity these days and you really need to know your market. Of course who does other than vintage watch specialists !
The best thing to do is ask Watches Of Westminster for a free watch valuation anytime any day , we can give you a free watch valuation based on just a few decent pictures ( one of the face and one of the back plus one of the winder ).
You don’t even have to use the valuation page on the website , just Whattsapp us some pictures direct from your smart phone ( 07768316371 )
The price we give you is subject to a brief final inspection which we do in front of you and the price rarely changes but we have to ensure we are valuing the same watch and we do sometimes find a issue with the watch that was not evident in the photos although it can work the other way round and we end up paying a bit more !.
Logistics is often a issue with most watch buying firms asking you to visit them. We offer a “to your door” service and are happy to meet you at a neutral location to suit you. The distance we can travel will depend on the quality of the watch but we will even fly to a destination for the right watch and at a time to suit you ( weekends included ).
WoWadmin June 20th, 2021
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
A free watch evaluation is something you may just need !
Everybody has or has had a watch and many get handed down over the years and often left in a drawer so get a free watch evaluation today !
Most watches are by sheer statistics vintage however the value of some vintage watches has gone up quite a bit lately but there are so many different brands and models its very difficult to assess the value of a watch unless you are in the business.
Simply finding a similar watch on the internet will not give you an accurate value. There are many factors that will affect the value of any watch such as
Watches Of Westminster offer a free watch evaluation and we will give you a cash offer for your watch.
Watches issued by the military will often have a significant value but this is a very specialist market needing even more specialist knowledge.
Unlike most other companies we don’t need to physically need to see your watch , you just need to send us some decent pictures via our watch valuation page ;
If you prefer you can also send us pictures via Whattsapp on 07768316371
Here are some typical examples of what to send.
The more information you can give us the better evaluation we can give you so also include pictures of any boxes and documents.
We have spent years in simplifying giving customers a free watch evaluation so please get in contact and let us know what you have .
WoWadmin May 24th, 2021
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
At some time in most people lives the question ” Where can I sell my old Watch Today ” comes to mind. I have bought the best part of a thousand watches in the last 5 years most of them old/vintage .
I like buying old watches but what is the difference between an old and a vintage watch ?
Well its pretty much a question of definition. Vintage watches are generally considered to be so once the are over 40 years old so pre 1980’s. Thats not say a more recent watch is not collectable.
Even a new watch is collectable if the supply is limited such as a limited issue Rolex Submariner or even a Philippe Patek . Omega are well known for issuing limited number runs of watches especially the Omega Speedmaster.
So whilst you may want to sell your old watch , its going to have to be of some value to allow that to happen. Whilst most people have an idea that some old/vintage watches have some value figuring out how much is a much more complicated task especially if the watch is not working and even more so if it has some form of damage.
What is not normally known is that a significant part of the value of any vintage / collectable watch is in the dial.
Original dials in decent condition are a must and the absence of such will detract greatly from a watches value even more so if usable spares are not available. Repainted dials are a no no and many people have ruined the value of their vintage watch by sending it off the the manufacturers for a full refurbishment to get it back with new hands and a dial. Any vintage watch buyer will be looking for originality and as little polishing / refurbishment as possible.
If you ate thinking “Where can I sell my old watch today ” is running around your head then just click on the link below and get a fast and free watch valuation.
WE BUY VINTAGE WATCHES
Watches Of Westminster are vintage watch buyers and specialise in the fast and friendly purchase of vintage watches. When we say fast , we can send funds to you the same day via Paypal if the distance between us is too great ( although we do travel the country buying vintage watches but of course the value of the watch will determine how far we can travel without resorting to post ).
If you are within a days travel we will often drive to you , inspect the watch and pay you there and then with cash or via bank transfer.
HOW DO YOU SELL YOUR VINTAGE WATCH TODAY ?
Simple just send us a decent picture of the front and back of the watch and add a description such as ” running but a bit scratched / worn by my grandad at Dunkirk etc ” If you have boxes and paperwork for the watch then try and include them as they will add to the value of the watch. You may not think it but most watch buying companies make you jump through hoops to sell your watch. You have to fill out endless forms , wait ages for them to come back to you , arrange a visit to their in town shop ( if possible ) , leave the watch with them for 2 weeks and then once they have possession feel obliged to take their offer !!
SEND US A WHATTSAPP
If you don’t want to use the valuation page link above feel free to just send us a Whattsapp message with the pictures attached.
We are the UK’s premier vintage watch buyers and we understand the importance of customer satisfaction.
FANCY A CHANGE TO YOUR EXISTING WATCH ?
Many of our existing customers actually like a change and will come back to us asking to do a deal on another watch we have in stock. Thats fine we will happily take your watch in part payment for one of our stock watches whether you bought it from us in the first place or not.
WORRIED WE WILL TRY AND NEGOTIATE THE PRICE DOWN ?
We dont “kick tyres” as long as the watch is as described we will always pay the offered amount. Even if the watch has stopped since you sent us pictures as long as it is serviceable the price stays the same !
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT US
WoWadmin March 24th, 2021
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
As a avid scanner of anything Jaguar on eBay I was instantly captivated by the following advert appeared in the classic Jaguar section
The ad appeared just as I was setting off on a three week trip to Australia under the heading of Jaguar LeMans the car they never built !
I had been looking for an early XJ6 but the images of this car when finished convinced me this was a good long-term project.
I spoke to the previous owner number of times and he was clearly a genuine seller. The car was based in a Classic Car workshop in Poland with some work having been carried out but it was clear that this was a total rebuild project.
The cars history is quite interesting and I have managed to track down the guy who originally built the car. He went on to work on the XJ220 car and then many notable Lotus cars.
The car was originally built by a chap called Ken Heap during his student years in the late 1960s early 70s and the running gear was from a Jaguar Mark 10 the original engine fitted was a 3.2 L of racing heritage which sadly was stolen back in the 80’s when the car was in storage in Scotland.
Ken was building the car whilst attending university and unfortunately with his new work and family commitments the car was sold on unfinished ( no bodywork ) although its actual route to Poland is a bit sketchy suffice to say the car was not worked on much until it arrived in Poland.
The deal was done over the phone and I had my next project to work on !
The current designer had in the meantime left the classic car workshop where the car was and had set up another company so the first task was to get the car moved which happened but in the meantime the screen ( from a Lola ) was broken ! . The previous car workshop admitted fault and very generously purchased another one from the UK which was shipped to Poland.
I travelled out at the end of 2018 to look at the car and a program and price was agreed with staged payments and a agreed 18 month program.
The above image is the car as bought and the image below is a 3d computer image built up by taking about 20 pictures whilst walking around the car whilst I was sat in it.
Suffice to say I was a lot taller than Ken and didn’t really fit in the car !
A huge amount of design checks were carried out on the existing frame and restoration works started in 2020 and whilst the Covid pandemic put a dent in the program the new body is now being hand beaten and rolled into shape using a metal buck which in itself is a piece of art .
Upon completion of the car it will return to the UK with a view to making some more but that is another story altogether .
WoWadmin February 20th, 2021
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
We had a very rare find when we came across this stunning Vintage Rolex 4498 dating back to 1946. The same year that the 100th Grand National was run, Joe Louis KO’d Billy Conn in 8 to win the heavyweight boxing title and George Orwell publishes his book “Animal Farm” for the first time in the UK.
As you can see by the image above the watch has been well looked after over its 70 years and is in immaculate condition, and even still has the original dial.
It is a classical time piece in beautiful condition and would be a must have for any serious Rolex collector or a nice to have for any vintage or luxury watch collector.
At Watches of Wesminster our in house watchmaker has given the watch a full service and it is running as perfectly as if it was made yesterday.
If you would like to own this wonderful piece of Rolex history the you can contact us on 07768316371It will be supplied with a 12 months warranty, presentation box and a certificate of authenticity. For more details of the watch please visit our Vintage Rolex 4498 sales page.
A few more photographs of this stunning watch.
Keith Best February 20th, 2021
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
If you are looking for a specialist UK vintage watch buyer Watches Of Westminster are keen to hear from you.
SELL YOUR VINTAGE WATCH TODAY
We specialise in buying vintage watches in any condition , even non runners and will also be happy to buy a whole watch collection.
SELL YOUR VITAGE WATCH TODAY
Most people are deterred by the complexities of selling a vintage watch but we have spent years refining the process to make it as simple and easy as possible.
HOW DO I SELL MY VINTAGE WATCH FROM HOME ?
The process is simple . We just need need a couple of pictures , one of the face and one of the back.
Most vintage watches no longer have their original boxes or papers but if you do have them they will add to the value so a picture of those will greatly help our valuation.
You can send these pictures via the valuation page on the web site or whatsapp/text them to us on
So if you are looking for a UK Vintage watch buyer please visit our site.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT ?
We will get straight back to you with a written valuation that is only subject to final inspection. If the watch is as described then we do not quibble on the price and never have. If you are happy with our offer we simply need to agree payment and collection.
We can pay via
PART EXCHANGE ??
YES ! If you have a old watch you want to get rid of or just fancy a change , just take a look at our watches for sale page and see if there is something there you like. If there is we can work out a PX deal.
Here is the link to the sales page . There are circa 100 watches up for sale.
COLLECTION OR POSTAGE
Depending on where you are we can come and collect the watch and make payment there and then . If you prefer a bank transfer we will set you up on our mobile banking service and send you a pre payment of one pound to ensure the will be no snags once we get to you. We can also send you a pre paid postal pack and pay once the watch has arrived ( signed for ) or pre pay via Paypal ( not friends and family )
WHAT BRAND OF WATCHES ARE WE LOOKING FOR ??
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES
WHAT BRANDS HAVE WE BOUGHT ?
This is not an exhaustive list , I am always finding new /old brands of watches that are of interest.
A TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF HOW WE WORK
This fantastic Omega Constellation was offered to us last year by a lady in Oxford ( who searched for a UK Vintage watch buyer) no box or papers and the watch was running slowly.
We received 3 pictures and gave a quote within 12 hours. That quote was accepted so I drove up to Oxford and we met at their home ( outside in the garden in fact ), following a quick check of the watch I paid the agreed figure using the mobile banking app ( set up as described above ) which went straight through into her bank account. The whole process took 15 minutes !
So if you are looking for a UK vintage watch buyer and want the smoothest service available in the market simply get in touch and we can complete the sale without hassle and quickly.
WoWadmin February 20th, 2021
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
Im am not saying you can actually save time if you buy a watch but it will lead to you getting some Zen time in your life .
For the last couple of days I took a break from the watch business and went to help a very old friend (from the early 80’s ) who had a total boiler failure in his grade 2 house . In fact it was not a failure but just a cack handed non completed install but it ended up as a 2 day pipe alteration and radiator hanging exercise.
Fact is my friend is a life long Rolex fan / wearer and even when we were handling big rads he was still wearing his Submariner and I was wearing my Zodiac GMT quartz a watch I have really become attached to. He even gave his Daytona to his son !
Needless to say they were both taken off once the blow lamp came out.
Anyhow during the evening break and after a “few beers ” I just came up with the phrase “Save time , buy a watch ” when I was being asked about how and why I got into the watch business. The why was more about a Ducati dealership I started. The how is much easier to explain.
The first thing I did was a watchmakers course at the Epping Forest School of Horology.
What a great place that was , I loved it . Every Thursday from 6 till 9 and our tutor Richard was just a fascinating guy to listen to and very helpful and super patient.
I also have to say that the people I met on the course were just super nice and decent ie not salespeople ( as much as I know they have to exist ). About 2 thirds of the way through the course I was just getting out of my van to go in and my sister rang me to tell me my very ill father had just died. There’s no greater shock you can have in life but I went into the class and finished it the best I could it just seemed the right thing to do .
The big point is we are all time limited. We all like wearing something interesting ( who didn’t have the Brut bangle back in the 70’s ) ??
Our lady ( clever ) friends have always known the pleasure of wearing something metallic and shiny it goes back to the beginning of person kind .
I love wearing watches and owning them. Once you can understand how they work but more importantly the mind numbing precision that is needed to make them ( easy now in the CNC world of machining ) keep time to 10 seconds or less a day for a hand made ( by eye almost ) collection of cogs the process becomes more complex than the Apollo missions although they were over a shorter period ( dont mention the war ( yes an old joke but I know a vintage watch collector will understand some of the joke ))
So back to my point “Buy a watch save time ” – sounds like something Omegas marketing company would come up with but really / actually most people do or would like to wear a nice watch or just even a watch they were given by a friend or loved one. I was given a Breitling Bentley many years ago and to this day it means as much ( in fact even more ) now as it did then.
A good quality watch will last a lifetime and more. A really good quality watch will never lose its value and will be something you can pass down with history to your kids and whilst they may not understand it now they will later.
Check our watches for sale page
Or if you have a watch to sell simply visit our valuation page.
WoWadmin December 8th, 2020
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
It’s a good question and there are many answers depending on a number of factors. Most people have got an old watch lying around not always working and generally not of great value ( that quartz Boss watch a girlfriend gave you many years ago was probably a nice thought but just like the girlfriend , any value it had is long gone !
It’s true to say however that 99.9% of people know very little about vintage watches and why would they ? They are not a subject matter most of us need to know about on a day to day basis. until of course you ask yourself the question “how do I sell my vintage watch” or any other type of watch for that matter.
I buy a lot of vintage watches as I am a collector and a retailer and whilst many of you may think selling a vintage watch is difficult I can assure you buying one is even harder until you get the hang of it.
So here are the top 10 ways to sell your vintage watch
Once you have made contact and I have received some details ( a decent picture of the front and back would normally be enough but if you are not tech savvy I can initially work on a description and the name of the brand ie ” it has Longines written on the dial , it was given to me in the 1960s , its a mens watch , I know it is solid gold but when I wind it it does not run “
Watches Of Westminster specialise in making the sale of your watch simple and quick and we can often travel to you for the right watch , meet you in central London or send you a postal pack.
2.Contact one of the large High St watch buying firms such as Watchfinder
They operate a very slick set up but their overheads are high and the process takes a while ( I have tried it as part of my research for this article. You need to make initial contact , send in details of the watch then have a valuation booked , go to the shop with the watch and then leave the watch with them for a week or so whilst they work on a offer.
I quite often find that when buying watches customers have contacted the High St buyers but found the process too complicated and lengthy so when I offer to come and visit them either at their home or nearby they are very relieved.
In fact I am actually just about to drive 200 miles ( each way ) to collect a watchI have just bought as the buyer was not keen to post.
3. Send your watch to a auction house specialising in vintage watches.
Fellows are one of the well know watch auction houses and they offer a very professional service . I used to buy watches from them when I first started the business but whilst the hammer price seems reasonable you then have to add 24% commission on top which is not great for the buyer and of course depresses income for the seller. The other issue is that you have to again send the watch in and let them assess it. If they are happy with it it will go into the next auction which could be a month or 2 away!
4.Advertise the watch yourself on Chrono 24. This is a large watch selling site but the process can be complicated if you are not used to putting watches on the web and needs some decent photography.You will also need to be able to describe what your watch is and its condition. Its really a site for professionals and they are quite expensive.
A well known selling web site that sells almost everything and has a lot of vintage watches. You have a choice of putting the watch on as a auction or as fixed price with or without offers. You will need a Ebay account and there are fees to pay. Again you need to know how to present and describe the watch. As it is effectively a anonomous platform and whilst you have the protection of Paypal there are a lot of very clever scammers out there and you need to be very careful when selling high value items. You must follow the rules !
6. Watch fair
There are a number of these in the UK but they are not very frequent. There are a lot of dealers who attend ( Covid permitting ) and they would be happy to give you a valuation
There are number of shops in Hatton Garden ( central London ) where you can literally just walk in and show them your watch but any you have to leave the watch with them . Most of the shops only deal in high end makes like Patek Philippe so the chances are you will get a low offer if any at all.
The World Wide Web has literally thousands of specialist forums where you can get good advice on your watch .Generally speaking they are a great source of information but of course there is no guarantee that advice is correct !. They do have for sale pages but will will have to join up as a member and again be aware of the less than honest people finding behind that keyboard !
9.Sell to a friend
This may seem strange but most of us wear a watch and more people than you think may be interested in buying the watch. The problem here is that if the watch stops working you will feel obliged to take the watch back. You may also end up selling the watch at the wrong price which could be awkward
Another well known selling platform but its really best for low value household items. It does of course suffer from scammers but worse of all it seems to attract people who dont seem to have a grip of reality
WoWadmin December 4th, 2020
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
The History of the Grana watch and brand is as interesting as it gets ( in the world of watches ) and in many ways typifies the ups and downs of the watch manufacturing industry and why certain brands hold more Kudos than others.
Here at Watches Of Westminster we are passionate about vintage watches
Read about us here ;
H1 A Brief History Of Grana Watches
Above everything Grana watches were always produced with quality in mind and whilst you may not recognise the name now the name Certina may ring a bell as that is the name the Grana brand formed into !
The first inclings of the brand early life started in 1888 in a small town called Grenchen in Switzerland their first premises being a spare room in the family house ( the original working from home concept ! ). With only a few employees ( 3 ) the brothers Adolf and Alfred Fréres quest for originality and quality soon became evident.
The original output of the business was not completed watches , they made movements and various other parts for other manufacturers to add parts and assemble ( a bit like the modern car manufacturing business !
In 1906 the founding brothers manufactured and released their first in house watch and this was also the year the brand name Grana was conceived , the latin name for Gretchen ( being Granacus ) although some of the early watches did haveKurth Feres on the dial as it must have been so much of a temptation to see your name on a watch you have produced. Oddly enough as Hand Wilsdorf found , back in the day the retailers name would often be on the face of the watch rather than the actual maker.
Anyone finding a vintage watch with Kurth Fréres on the dial will have found a rare watch indeed !
H2 Military Watches
Military watches have a practical and interesting history and have always been about tactics and gaining an advantage.
Come the 1920s and after all of the tribulations of the first world war Alfreds sons Erwin and Hand came to work for the business and in 1924 ( Feb ) the new brand name of Certina was lodged as a trademark.
Its not quite sure exactly how and why the Grana name fully died out but the name Grana was still going strong in the early 1940’s and its a well known fact that the British army commissioned ( amongst many other manufacturers ) a standard WWW ( actually stands for Watch ,Wrist . Waterproof ) watch for the troops and they are now considered some of the finest mass produced watches made at the time . Rugged , accurate, easy to read whilst being shot at . What more could you want from a watch !
The Grana brand made a number of different types of wrist watch as well as pocket watches.
They were best known for rugged medium sized wrist watches which would literally last a lifetime
Along with their hard wearing well made models Grana also produced more complicated Watches also for the military in the form of black faced chronographs ( you may note that most military watches have black faces and for very practical reasons ie keeping hidden at night ! ).
If youre interested in Grana watches or have one to sell just contact us we love to talk about vintage watches especially Grana .
You may have noticed the Broad arrow on the back of the pocket watch and this denotes that the item is the property of the government ( actually it dates back to when it signified the monarchy and was taken from the arms of the Sydney family who were linked to the Board Of Ordinance or if you take another view the arrow originated from the navy where it denotes upside down anchor ).
Here is a much more interesting and in depth article on the whole subject.
WoWadmin December 4th, 2020
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
Military watches Grana , Buren , Cyma , Eterna ,JLC , Lemania , Longines , IWC , Omega , Record , Timor and Vertex to name but a few are a fascination for me.
The biggest driving force behind the development of the modern “chronometer” wrist watch as with many useful things we have in our complicated lives is of course money.
Back in the day those who ruled the waves pretty much ruled everything else and that’s why there are few forests left in the UK. They were all chopped down to make gun toting ships that allowed Great Britain to rule the waves. The biggest cost of all of this was the continual loss of ships which ran aground especially at night as they really did not know where they were !
This was solved with the introduction of super accurate clocks ( without pendulums ) created by no not the Swiss but by the British good old Mr Harrison. The father of the accurate timepiece . If you know the time you know where you are .
Oddly enough this is also the whole reason sat navs can work ie super accurate clocks.
Having sorted out their own sinking ships the military then realised that having everyone on your side knowing the same and accurate time was also pretty handy . If everybody attacks at the same time then you can be more effective. If your going to send a 1000 bombers over a target they will all need to have their watches set at the same time ( that’s where the hacking feature comes in ) so they can gather, travel and bomb at the same time.
The history of military watches is a s long and as fascinating as it gets but the most interesting bit is that whilst the watches had to be super accurate they needed to be rugged , long lasting and not too expensive.
It is that quality of military watches that makes then so interesting ie they are “pure “ and functional not too complicated and always carrying a bit of history. Some would say they are the best looking but give me a E type Jaguar over a Willy’s Jeep any day . Having said that I would prefer a XJ8 !
However getting back to the military watches , my favourite military watches stem from WW2 and shortly thereafter and one of the best exponents of these watches are the A-11 military spec watches issued by the Americans not only to their own forces but all of the Allied forces. For many in the ranks this would have been the first timepiece they had and it was a necessary tool in staying alive and in touch. If you don’t arrive at a point on a map by a certain time all sorts of bad things can happen especially if those thousand bombers were planning to bomb where you should not of been at a certain time !
As with the A-11 many military watches were not produced to a particular design but to a rigorous performance specification which had to cater for dust , heat/cold , water/humidity and shock whilst keeping time to plus or minus 30 seconds a day and a power reserve of of 30 to 56 hours between winding. Oh and don’t forget they had to be read in the dark !
The American A-11 is often called the “watch that won the war” and indeed it was the most produced watch of WW2 this fact being a testament to its popularity is however also the reason they are not so collectable .
The British army also had a similar process of issuing a specification to manufacturers and then buying in various quantities ( probably depending on price and availability ) and many of these watches were produced in Switzerland who remained neutral. Put this fact together with the decimation of the British watchmaking industry ( lack of materials , being put over to making timers for those bombs etc ) and you may figure out why the Swiss watchmaking sector eventually took over.
The Grana , Buren , Cyma , Eterna ,JLC , Lemania , Longines , IWC , Omega , Record , Timor and Vertex all had the same specifications but were not identical military watches there were minor variations in case sizes but the dials had to stick to a pretty rigid design.
Here is a favourite of mine the Buren military watch.
There’s no doubt this watch has seen many battles and had been worn on a daily basis until recently by the gentleman I bought it from. Unfortunately it was his fathers who I was told wore it on active service but alas was no longer with us.
In common with and long before the Omega Speedmaster all of these watches utilised a internal dust screen comprising of a thin metal plate ( in the middle of the picture ).
The case on this watch is plated brass ( cheaper ) but some utilised stainless steel.
All of the watches utilised a sub dial seconds hand ( a throwback from pocket watches ) as the seconds hands were less prone to getting knocked off as they were much smaller .
Unlike most of the pictures detailing these watches , they were not “shod” with NATO straps as they had not been invented then but by the long forgotten A.F.0210 spec strap which was the forerunner to the NATO nylon strap and these straps are now available as incredibly accurate copies from
If you have anything similar you would like appraised please feel free to contact me.
WoWadmin October 28th, 2020
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
H1 TUDOR ICONICS MODELS
VINTAGE TUDOR SUBMARINERS NOT JUST ANOTHER COLLECTABLE WATCH (H2)
I often find myself explaining to people ( when being asked if I know something specific about a watch or vintage watch ) that “ if you spent every day of your life studying watches by the time you retired you would not know half of it “ and I think I am about right. Vintage Tudor Submariners are however a interesting and manageable subject as is the general topic of vintage Tudor watches.
Having spent the last five years buying vintage watches and quite a few vintage Tudor Submariners , I have had to spend a lot of time researching all brands of watches and even today I am being sent details of watches of which I have never heard of and I have no doubt that this will carry on for the rest of my career.
Ask me about the Tudor brand and I would actually know a fair/little bit as it has a close association to Rolex and stands for the same qualities and indeed is just as collectable.
Tudor were just one of many brands that Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf came up with in the early 20th century whilst he was working up his great empire in London and was intended to be a less expensive version of his new Rolex brand which was the premium range.
His actual quote was
“For some years now, I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standard of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a separate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. It is called the TUDOR watch company.” – H. Wilsdorf
Now having spent his early career in sales Hans was good at marketing ( he was not a watchmaker ) and knew that high quality watches would always sell but that the majority of the watch buying public could not afford high end watches.
EXPERIMENTING WITH BRAND NAMES FROM ROLEX (H2) (links to one page from your website)
Hans experimented with many names including Omigra which was soon abandoned the penny having dropped in relation to Omega but I suspect he was trying to steal some of the kudos attached to the long established Omega brand.
The now world famous Rolex name was nearly “Rolexis” which may seem odd now but maybe not at the time and certainly not when you are experimenting with a brand new for a new watch brand.
It is true to say that the Swiss watchmaking industry is littered with once great brand that have died out ( many to be resurrected to have their names placed on watches of somewhat dubious origin ) and even more not so great brands that hopefully will never see the light of day or for that matter the shine of lume.
Of all the brands that did not quite make it Marconi is one of the more interesting as Hans used the name from the Nobel prize winning inventor/developer of wireless transmission. There was a lot going in the early 1900’s especially in terms of innovation and invention and plenty of the new techniques in manufacturing were being applied to watchmaking quickly bringing down the cost of good quality time pieces.
As mentioned earlier the key difference between the various and now abandoned brand names and the Tudor name was that Hans Wilsdorf kept a close association between the Tudor and Rolex brand. The Tudor Submariner proudly boasts on the case back “ORIGINAL OYSTER CASE BY ROLEX GENEVE “ whilst on the inside it clearly states it is a Tudor and of course the movement is in house.
Hans Wilsdorf was effectively trying to sell the Tudor as a lower cost option to the Rolex but retaining many of the more important qualities ie as long as the watch was as rugged as a Rolex and just as waterproof ( same Oyster case ) so what if it was a few seconds a day faster or slower !. The digital age would put pay to all of that argument.
The 7928 was not the first Tudor diving watch , this was the 7922 launched in 1954 and developed in association with the French Navy ( probably because their ships kept sinking ! ). It followed one year after the Rolex Submariner and was cheaper but I am sure you will agree it has all of the allure !
In 1958 the Tudor submariner 7924 was released affectionately nick named “big crown” this as you would guess refers to the larger than normal 8mm diameter winding crown ( not that you were expected to wind it under water !! ).
The Tudor 7922 and the model 7924 are distinctive in that they do not have the crown guards and as these watches were “tool” watches ie primarily designed to perform a function , catching the winding crown on something solid at 200m depth was somewhat inconvenient as that could mark the end of your possibly very expensive dive and your watch.
1964 saw the introduction of the Tudor Submariner 7928 and here are some pictures of my current daily wearer recently purchased from its last caring owner who had alas been persuaded by his kids to spend a small fortune on a puppy !
The first thing that strikes you with this vintage Tudor Submariners ( and this one is no different ) is the almost black lume which is normal . I was in fact offered another identical watch today with the same colour lume ! . I am just waiting for a phone call back to see if the offer is accepted or its down to the dogs home .
9315 bracelet with 380 end links + movement
Although the watch came with a “recent service” I have not done anything to the watch as yet and you will see it has had plenty of use. The strap however was something I had “in the collection” and from what I can read on the various expert web sites this is the correct model number (9315 with 380 end links ) if a bit grubby but then I do like vintage cars and houses as well .
I am always keen to buy vintage Tudor watches so please feel free to contact me via the Watches Of Westminster web site especially in regards to Vintage Tudor Submariners.
WoWadmin October 28th, 2020
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
Just above is a picture of 10 of my favourite watches which I wear on a regular basis . They are not all stock watches on the Watches Of Westminster site , they are my personal watches and I thought I would share them with visitors to the web site rather than leave them hidden away.
I’ll start at the top left with one of the most recognisable watches being the Omega Speedmaster Professional ref 145022 76 ST the serial dating it to 1975.
I actually bought this through a wanted ad in Gumtree and for a reasonable price.
It does however have a strange smear slightly fading the left hand side of the script “Omega Speedmaster Professional” and when it arrived one of the pushers was totally seized. Otherwise the Speedie just needed a good service.
The Type B2.861 movement is present and correct and running nicely after its service.
I’ve been wearing the Speedie most of the week and it does sit very well on the wrist as its not a big heavy watch . The Speedmaster is definitely a every fay watch with huge character. Add its history and you have one of the most collectable watches at a affordable price.
Next up is a Pulsar Quartz Chronometer which was a Nato issue watch I believe to the RAF and looking at the serial numbers it was issued in 2008.
As you would expect it keeps perfect time and with its 39mm case it is not too small and not too large.
It times to one tenth of a second but for some reason the minute counter does not reset to zero. Its not a expensive watch and I tend to wear it when Im out and about doing other things not related to watches and which might end up damaging the watch ( I have many other interests ! )
Heres an intersting web site with more information
It has a lot of useful information on British military watches and as we have a couple on the web site take a look at this rare Jaeger LeCoultre
Next up on my list of 10 favourite watches is a particular favourite of mine and whilst I don’t wear it too often ( for reasons that will be obvious ) when I do Its a real treat.
As you will see its a marriage watch that I put together about a year ago . After buying a Omega marriage watch a few years back I thought I would have a go at ” creation “. I had started to buy pocket watch movements on Ebay if I liked the dial.
This to my mind is a very nice silvered dial and with the case it weigss in at a very healthy 47.5mm diameter but you may have noticed by now that there is no crown . Well there is a way round that !
You just need to pop off the crystal back and wind it with a key just like in the old days !
Its not a high grade movement , its not a high grade anything but with the suede leather strap I really do enjoy wearing it and it makes a really pleasant ticking noise you can hear from across the room.
MY FOURTH FAVOURITE WATCH
I bought this from a dealer at a good price and I had never seen one before . I actually bought 2 from him and kept this for myself . The Lemania Elvestrom has a long and interesting history and Paul Elvestrom was a Danish yachtsman who won multiple Olympic gold medals and many world titles on top.
There were many different models of this watch including a titanium version and movement was used by Omega. The basis of the design is that on pushing the timer button the five discs turn blue and then every 2 minutes the discs turn red so you have a 10 minute timer.
This is pretty handy when you are bouncing around on the deck of a racing yacht and need a very quick visual reference as to when to tack.
If you want to know more on the timeline of this favourite watch take a look at this link.
My 5th Favourite watch
The good old “hummer” known as this because if you put the watch to your ear you can literally hear it humming and it is certainly close to the top of my 10 favourite watches
The watch contains a unique movement in many ways and its very accurate ( one minute a month i.e. 2 seconds a day ! )
The watch is effectively a electro mechanical device and was the worlds first fully electronic watch ( the mechanical bit being the drive to the hands.
A electronic oscillator turns power on and off to the 2 wound copper coils and these in turn drive the mechanical section of the watch at 360 times per second .
Being very accurate it even found its way to the moon as a cockpit instrument in the Apollo lunar missions ( you would be surprised how many watches actually went into space ! )
This is the space view model which was only actually produced to be displayed in dealers shop fronts but after a lot of customers asked to buy the demonstration watch Bulova then made many versions of the space view and have recently come out with a fascinating new model concept model which is run with a electrostatic motor the power being generated in a similar way to a automatic watch.
The Vintage space view watches can be picked up for between £400 and £1100 and its pretty much up to you which model you go for.
Ive put in the middle of my 10 favourite watches as I’ll wear it for a week and then put it away for about a month .
Im going to put the next five on the next blog !
WoWadmin May 6th, 2020
Watches Of Westminster have linked up with JTM watches in Japan to help our respective customers buy and sell directly between the 2 great watch loving countries so if you are in Japan and need some help and advice in the UK regarding modern or vintage watches or vice versa just get in touch.
There are some considerable differences in the 2 watch markets and there are may more models available in one country rather than another.
If you are after a rare watch in Europe it may well be readily available in Japan so its always worth a visit to JTM.
Steve is the founder and owner of JTM and has provided the following information about his business .
Tell us a little about your background?
I came to Japan back in 2002 to work as an English teacher. I got interested in watches around 10 years ago and started a collection based exclusively on Japanese domestic market watches. That includes mostly Seikos of course, but also watches from a wide range of brands who have released watches only for sale in Japan over the years.
Why did you start JTM watches?
Originally it started as a way of selling my own watches without listing them on Auction sites like Ebay and losing out to their high fees. As time passed, return customers started to ask me if I could get watches for them, and I have slowly built up a small, but loyal clientele. Building up a relationship of trust with customers, especially when dealing with used and vintage watches is key as you well know.
What differentiates JTM from the competition?
We specialize in exceptionally rare and limited Japanese domestic market watches aimed at serious collectors. Most of the watches we sell are simply not for sale anywhere else. Take the Hajime Asaoka “Kurono Tokyo” or the Grand Seiko AJHH limited edition snowflake for example that we currently have listed. It’s the niche watches like these that we are in the unique position to be able to source and provide at a competitive price.
What is the future of JTM?
Just to keep sourcing the hard-to-find JDM models and listing them on www.jtmwatches.com. I will also be adding new content to our Youtube channel when I get the free time. It’s a great way for me to showcase our inventory and share knowledge with the online watch community.
You can email Steve here: firstname.lastname@example.org
His Instagram handle is @Jtmwatches
WoWadmin April 29th, 2020
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
If you want to sell Your Vintage Watches Or Modern Watches during The Covid Lockdown then it could not be any simpler than contacting us.
At Watches Of Westminster we specialise in buying vintage and modern watches from around the world.
If you want to sell your modern or vintage watch simply contact us via the free valuation page or simply give us a call on 07768316371. You can even send us pictures of your watch via Whattsapp or text messaging.
We just need some decent pictures of the watch and any information you have in terms of boxes and papers . It really is that simple, we ensure it is !
Once the sale is agreed we can send you a free postal pack so all you need to do is post the watch to us.
We can pay you on receipt of the watch or via Paypal before you send it. Depending on where you are we can even pick the watch up whilst adhering to the social distancing rules ( permitted by government rules) and pay by any means you prefer.
If you are thinking of changing your modern or vintage watch we can also offer the same service for Part Exchange watches.
Take a look at our website we have over 100 vintage and modern watches for sale and feel free to call us at any time to discuss and modern or vintage watch you want to buy or sell.
WoWadmin April 24th, 2020
Tags: Second hand Rolex, second hand watches, see my watch, Sell my heuer, Sell my old watch, sell my rolex, sell my rolex hatton garden, sell my rolex today, Sell my vintage watch by post, sell my watch, sell my watch Devon, sell my watch during Covid, sell my watch during lockdown, Sell my watch from home, Sell my watch London, sell watch
We buy broken watches !
Most of us have a old broken watches sitting in the back of a drawer or that was left to us by a relative. Like most things mechanical however watches need to be serviced and repaired and unfortunately this is not a inexpensive process . For most cheap watches the cost of repair is simply more than the value of the watch ( unless it has sentimental value ) but there are plenty watches around that are worth repairing but quite often the cost of repair ( £600 for a decent service on a high end watch ) is not something a owner will want to fork out.
At Watches Of Westminster however we have a in house watchmaker who loves the challenge of getting a watch running properly so sell us your broken watch and we will give it a good home .
Having done the first year of a watchmakers course believe me mending watches is a very tricky job which does explain why its a rather expensive process. I went to the Epping Forest Horology centre and vey much enjoyed my course so if you fancy a go check this link out
If you want to move your watch on to a good home then contact us with a couple of decent pictures ( front or back ) and we can give you a fast valuation and either pick the watch up or arrange a free postal package so you can post the watch to us.
You can go to our valuation page or just send the pictures direct to me on 07768316371 via text or Whattsapp and you will get a fast response. No need for a visit and a wait, it can all be done remotely.
Even if your watch is missing parts such as the glass or winder it can be repaired and we are keen to repair it .
We have bought hundreds of watches this way and have proven track record in keeping customers happy.
Your broken watch could be worth more than you think so get in touch with us and we can complete the whole process quicker than you think.
We buy broken watches from around the world so don’t be put off if you are abroad.
Find out more about us here
WoWadmin April 23rd, 2020
Posted In: Second Hand Watches
Tags: broken watch, sell my broken Breitling, sell my broken omega, sell my broken watch, Sell my heuer, Sell my old watch, sell my rolex, sell my rolex hatton garden, Sell my vintage watch by post, sell my watch, Sell my watch London, sell watch, what is my broken watch worth
The Omega watch company have been in existence since 1848 and have built up a very fine reputation throughout the world for high quality watches.
Some of the history of the Omega watch includes:
Today watches are not only an item to be worn for the practical purpose of telling the time but they have become so much more than that. Quality watches are now a fashion accessory and are now regarded as a status symbol giving some perceived indication of the wearer’s style and wealth.
The watch brands, models, material used in the construction, exclusivity of the watch, reputation, age and the movement all contribute to establishing if a watch will appreciate in value in the coming years.
Throughout Omega’s watch making history, their main competitor has been Rolex and although Rolex watches are highly desirable and collectable, they generally have a different set of clients; maybe younger with a not so ostentatious look. Omega has in the last 50 years focused a huge amount of its attention on the branding and marketing of their watches using high profile celebrities to promote their watches worldwide.
Omega is, without a doubt, a very fine luxury watch brand that originated in Switzerland and is now owned by Swatch. Their watches are highly regarded in the watch and collectors market place and if you are sensible with your choice after doing some research, then you will have a purchased a luxury watch that will appreciate in value year on year.
Omega watches are a well-respected and high quality stylish timepiece brand that over the years has moved with the times developing its range but not compromising in anyway on its quality and desirability.
In order for the purchase of an Omega watch to be a sound investment, it is important to understand that if you are purchasing a new watch from a retail showroom, the value of the watch will disintegrate immediately. This is not a poor reflection on Omega watches but it is just the norm on generally all watch sales. Vintage watches are where you will earn your money. Firstly before you purchase a vintage Omega watch, do your research. An original vintage Omega watch is what all self-respecting watch collectors are looking for. Along with the watches original box and papers and the watch being in good condition. These are all the hallmarks of a solid investment.
Here at Watches of Westminster, we specialise in Vintage watches of all brands and have a number of vintage Omegas for sale. Feel free to browse our second hand and vintage watch sales page and if you have a watch to sell or Part Exchange just get in contact.
WoWadmin April 23rd, 2020
Posted In: Second Hand Omega
Tags: Buy my watch Dorset, Buy my watch fast, Buy my watch Hampshire, Buy my watch London, Buy my watch Muswell Hill, second hand watches, Sell my heuer, sell my rolex hatton garden, Sell my vintage watch by post, sell my watch, Sell my watch from home, Sell my watch London, Where can I sell my watch
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