Monday, 16 August 2010

Considered buying vintage watches from

three weeks ago i featured 3 vintage rolex oyster datejust watches (which is all sold out now). i bought one of them, and am so so happy with it. buying a vintage watch can be a very daunting experience, especially online. i thought it would be beneficial for me to share my thoughts:

- i bought the watch from, a very reputable online shopping site, listed in the uk stock exchange, famous for £6 bracelets and initially started as a company specialising on clothing "As Seen On Screen". perhaps not a site one would associate with vintage watches.

- the very brief description and minimal pictures doesn't quite help to sell a watch that retailed well into the 4 figures. the 3 month warranty and 28days free return does provide a peace of mind.

- the bracelet was obviously shortened, but it wasn't mentioned on the description. but luckily, it fitted me alright. quite possibly the problem with online shopping: the generic approach to product listing doesn't work. i think the higher the price of an item, the more description it should get.

- however, delivery was exceptional. i've shopped at numerous times, but this time i was provided with a text message to my phone, specifying the exact hour my parcel would be delivered. right on time they were, i was very impressed. i wonder if this is a new service for all items, or just a selection.

- the watch doesn't come in it's original box, but in a terrible leatherette box.

- nonetheless, the watch box contained very important clues to the origin of the watch: DM London. again, nothing was mentioned in the product listing for the watch.

- researched around, DM London grew out of renowned bond street jeweller david morris. the company also took up a third of the space at selfridges' "wonder room", including the rolex and chopard's shop-in-shop. since 2008, DM London took over as watch buyers for the information would have provided so much faith to the customer, but nothing was mentioned.

- the watch came with a certificate of authenticity from DM London, a licensed reseller of rolex watches, although the purchase was via my friend who is a watch enthusiast dropped by my house last week, he gave it his two thumbs up. (his missus came with her new hermes shoulder kelly, which i also gave two thumbs up, but that's another story...)

- 3 weeks on, the watch is ticking fine. because the trio of watches, all from the same era (70s) and price range came on site at the same time, i suspect it was from a collector who let go of his collection. perhaps the reason why my watch was in a very good condition. whoever you are, thank you for taking good care of the watch.

my point is, i am very happy with my purchase. it's been the big ticket item i've been saving for, and i'm glad i made the first foray into vintage watches. (fine line between pre-owned and vintage, but since the watch is more than 30years of age, let's call it vintage). i'm happy, and have no qualms about buying vintage watches from again. hope the above points do help you to decide.

click here for the small selection of vintage watches available on

an early birthday present for myself (mid september if you're asking and planning to send money and/or gifts!)



  1. You're a virgo, like me! Shoulda known. So, what made you buy from Asos as opposed to a luxe (but possibly intimidating) experience in a store?

  2. ohh I'm just dreaming to get a rolex watch. i'm going to check out asos !! Thanks !!

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  4. DRG: Ooooh we both virgos? when when? my bday's on a tuesday heh! i admit getting from a store can be very intimidating, especially since i'm such an amateur in the vintage watches field, they'll probably laugh their way to the bank. the thing about vintage pieces is, that you don't know when they will turn up and where. the pieces on asos came on at the right time, the year of manufacture was what i wanted, and i've always wanted a vintage rolex as my dad's first watch is a rolex (an oyster datejust as well). so everything seems to fit in nicely together. if i let that go, i don't know when i will find another similar watch which ticks all the boxes.

    the 28days free return sealed the deal. i could, if i wanted to, get it appraised by the rolex shop during this time.

    and i only found out a lot of the above info after i got the watch. if i had knew earlier, i wouldn't have worried and deliberated as much, hence i thought i'll share the experiences.

    thanks for your tweet too :)

  5. Congrats, Joe. The Rolex fits 'oh-so-dandy-snug' on you.

  6. I like your watch and I like your blog:)! btw Where do you come from originally if I may ask? (just out of curiosity though)


  7. wao hairless hands

  8. Fascinating: had no idea you cld buy vintage on ASOS. Thanks, LLGxx

  9. Hi!

    I just wanted to say, that I'm not very sure that buying a vintage watch on asos is a good idea.

    For example, I have just buyed speedmaster (a new one, not a vintage) by omega.
    I payed it only 3'150 CHF (= about 1937 GBP), I have a 21% discount because I negotiated with the jewellery (it's pretty usual to have about 20% discount but not for rolex (discount around 10%)).

    So on Asos, the speedmaster cost £1,795.00...only 142 GBP less than in a jewellery. But when you buy it in a jewellery you have a 3 years warranty (not 3 months), you have every piece of the watch, the original box (which may be useful if you want to sold you watch later)...and of course, the watch is new!
    So I think, you better buy watches in a shop.

    But if you want to buy a secondhand should try ebay (but no garantee) or public auctions. It's gonna be cheaper.

    Ps : sorry for my english, I have probably made many mistakes. : )

  10. You are so smooth! :P

  11. The watch looked exceptional on your wrist! Good buy. Agreed on the point about the higher the price for the item, the more description and info it should have on its online retail site. That will help customers understand what they are getting better.

    Congrats on vintage Rolex! Love.

  12. Interesting comments overall. Also, I guess my argument ('why buy expensive things online and miss out on the luxe instore experience') is totally what Natalie Massenet has proved wrong!

  13. other than the review it was a really nice read and really informative so it should put people in confidence more so than ASOS's write up. not sure why the would leave such important information out like where it was from ect


what's he wearing?