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Not Just Watches: the Joys of Collecting Horological Ephemera

Not Just Watches: the Joys of Collecting Horological Ephemera

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Gathering vintage watches is fabulous all by itself, with all way of brands, models, times, and styles to browse and to zero in on. There is straightforwardly something for everybody. However, when you start down this hare opening, there will never be a way out. Really soon you’ll have a pleasant watch assortment, yet it won’t be sufficient. You’ll. Need. More! Thankfully, there is an entire opposite side to this horological franticness, and it’s gathering all the additional treats and ephemera related with watches. What kinds of treats, you may inquire? What about boxes, papers (manuals, receipts, hang labels, and so forth), arm bands, ties and clasps, ads, seller signs and show stands, apparatuses, and even extra parts. That should keep you occupied!

Collecting  vintage embellishments and ephemera can be loads of fun, and at times it can even build the estimation of your watches. Moreover, there aren’t almost as numerous entanglements here as there are with gathering vintage watches. With watches you need to pay special mind to cleaning, secondary selling parts, restored dials, and potential development issues. Except for maybe some uncommon very good quality collectibles (vintage Rolex promoting or something like that), it is profoundly far-fetched that you’ll discover an excess of phony ephemera out in the wild—it just wouldn’t merit the exertion for forgers. (All things considered, I do realize that there are some phony watch lashes, clasps, and even wristbands on eBay, however by and large most different things like boxes, stands, and signs are, in my experience, real.) What you would like to pay special mind to is the cost and condition, and normally you ought to hope to pay more for something in better shape.

Bracelets, Buckles, and Straps

Let’s start with arm bands. Adding a unique arm band to a watch not just adds to it stylishly, bit it will likewise add to its allure and normally increment its money related worth. In certain occurrences, vintage arm bands can meet or even surpass the estimation of their individual watches—vintage Universal Genève wristbands promptly come to mind!

Then there’s Seiko. Seiko sold large numbers of its past watches on wristbands, however numerous vintage Seiko watches today come on secondary selling groups, so finding an arm band, particularly one in great condition, is a major success. I’m generally on the chase for a complete arrangement of any Seiko watch that ends up getting my eye.

Bracelets can be difficult to source. End-joins are particularly uncommon. I can’t reveal to you how frequently I’ve found a wristband I’d been searching for just to discover that the end-joins were MIA. At times you can locate a conventional substitution (for instance, dots of-rice style end-joins aren’t uncommon), yet usually you truly need the right ones. It’s significant that wristbands don’t consistently come modest, so be set up to dish out the money if you’re in the wake of something particularly rare.

I’ve likewise found that vintage clasps can some of the time be an extraordinariness. I guess this is because of unique proprietors essentially throwing out old, destroyed lash with the clasp actually connected, which is disgrace, however that simply makes it all the seriously fulfilling when the right clasp presents itself.

In contrast, vintage ties are out there in tremendous numbers. Brands like Gay Frères, JB Champion, and Spiedel made multitudinous “generic” substitution ties (and wristbands), just as marked models, as well. I have two or three 1930 – 40s Art Deco watches matched with some period-right new-old-stock (NOS) pigskin ties, and together they look great. Of course, there are likewise (profoundly attractive) vintage elastic lashes, similar to Tropics, Isofranes, and OEM Seiko. You do need to be cautious here—old elastic can get fragile, and you don’t wan’t to stall out with a dry, breaking strap.

Box and Papers

Papers that have the watch’s chronic number or even only the model number on them are profoundly wanted by gatherers. A watch with a “full kit” of boxes, papers, labels, receipts, and so forth can some of the time twofold the estimation of a watch, as very few vintage watches come with their unique box and papers. A Google search and some burrowing can help you figure what style of box accompanied your vintage watch, so in the event that you don’t have the specific box your watch came in, you can in any case source one independently that ought to at any rate coordinate the era.

Boxes regularly came two by two, with a cardboard external box and a plastic (or another material) internal box. Usually, the external box will either be very much worn or a distant memory, so discovering one in great condition is uncommon, yet in addition positively worth the exertion if you’re a completist at heart.

Let It Show

I truly love gathering vintage watch stands, and sourcing cool ones is consistently a treat. In the event that you’re anything like me and you like to show your vintage pieces, at that point a vintage watch stand is entirely helpful, as well. Add a vintage watchmaker’s blade and vendor sign in with the general mish-mash, and now you have something truly flawless to look at.

Signs can go from little to very enormous (some are even divider mounted), and they’re produced using a wide cluster of materials. I for one like the more modest signs that would’ve gone inside a showcase case close to the watches, yet these can be hard to discover so you must be careful. The bigger counter or divider mounted pieces are extraordinary too, yet can be restricting a result of they space they take up.

Framed magazine advertisements are another incredible presentation thing. You can even luck out and discover a promotion precisely coordinating a model in your assortment. Yet, past magazine promotions, there are all way of other publicizing things to be found, and sourcing the crackpot collectible—matchbooks, patches, garments, pens, clocks, and ashtrays, just to name some—can be a great deal of fun.

Just in Case

Spare parts are an unmistakable must-have if you’re going to gather vintage watches long haul. Ultimately you’ll need something supplanted (like a precious stone), and on the off chance that you as of now have the part close by, it’s that much easier.

Vintage watch parts are copious, yet with all the interest vintage watches have gotten nowadays, it’s getting more diligently (and at times it’s even difficult) to source a few sections. You shouldn’t fundamentally depend on your watchmaker to have something promptly accessible, either, so when an extra part for a watch/development that I own appears at a decent cost, I’ll catch it.

Some OEM parts come in appealing marked bundling, and are very pleasant in their own right. I as of late got a vintage Universal Genève balance wheel since it arrived in a fiendish metal box with the brand’s “U” logo on the top. Will I need that part eventually? Perhaps. Yet, do I need that executioner little box at the present time? Totally!

Building Out the Toolkit

Some watches—like vintage Universal Genève Polerouters, the Longines Conquest, and most Super Compressors—have case backs intended to fit explicit case back wrenches. These can be a task to find, however when you do, it’s brilliant to have a device that suits perfectly to eliminate that back! (Obviously, for most positions a nonexclusive apparatus ought to get the job done, however it’s only not as fulfilling as utilizing the legitimate marked instrument.) also the way that numerous advanced devices basically are not made just as the more established ones sre. I presently have a developing grouping of vintage Seiko instruments, and I find that I truly use them at whatever point I’m chipping away at my Seiko collection.


Vintage watches are enjoyable to gather, and the magnificence of this side interest is that there is quite a lot more to watches than simply the actual watches. Gathering all the fringe additional items and ephemera can be comparably energizing and fulfilling. You can add things to your assortment that upgrade usefulness, style, or worth, or you can just get them since you think they’re perfect. What’s more, with a particularly wide scope of things to look over, the value range is normally comparably changed, from only a couple dollars on the low end up to thousands on the high. So begin looking and see what you can find!