In 1904 Cartier created the first men's wristwatch for pilot Albert Santos-Dumont, who wanted a timepiece he could read without taking his hands off the yoke. A century later, men lust after vintage watches not as objects of practicality (we have cell phones for that), but as wearable history. Going vintage can seem daunting at first – all the jargon and the ever-present worry of being ripped off – but if you go in knowing just what to expect, you'll come out with the watch you've always wanted.
Protect your investment.
Here's how to keep your watch in perfect condition.
Clean it: A tune-up from a trusted company like Central Watch every three years preserves precision. Keep the service papers in case you sell the watch.
Store it: When not wearing an automatic watch, put it on a watch winder so the movement stays alive. Try a model from SwissKubik.
Hide it away: Store your watch in a dark drawer or closet to protect the dial, hands, and markers from fading caused by sunlight.
Credit: Gianluca Colla / Bloomberg / Getty Images