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.
Look for an Iconic Watch: TAG Heuer Monaco WAW1310
The TAG Heuer Monaco watch is an iconic addition to any watch collection. It was introduced in 1969 as the first water-resistant watch with a square case and was made even more famous when actor Steve McQueen wore it while filming the movie, Le Mans. [From $1,000, crownandcaliber.com]