Buying a brand new watch is intimidating. The most worthwhile ones can cost well over $10,000 – and they immediately lose value once you buy them. If you're just starting a watch collection, or are looking for a little less risk, consider going vintage. The advantages are many: They're more affordable, already have depreciated in value, and may have a look that is no longer available.
"I'm a sucker for vintage watches," says Hamilton Powell, who founded Crown & Caliber, an online luxury watch consignor based in Atlanta. "They're gorgeous, rare, and they feel like lucky finds."
New watch collectors shouldn't feel pressured to spend a fortune on their first timepiece. In fact, Powell says it's smart to keep a lower budget in case you decide the watch isn't for you. For those who are just getting started, here are six kinds of vintage watches to look for, all priced under $5,000.
Buy a Rare Watch: Omega Constellation 187.005
Though not as durable as new timepieces, vintage watches have a higher collectors' appeal because of their rarity. Powell says watches like this vintage Omega Constellation 187.005 with a Pie Pan dial have risen in popularity over the years and are tricky to find in good condition.
[From $1,000, crownandcaliber.com]