Tips on buying vintage watches?

Looking to buy a Rolex 16263 Thunderbird, which is a vintage (discontinued) model. I've been looking at Chrono24 and a few other places for models that aren't too scratched up/dented. Any tips on buying vintage watches? Anything I should beware of? 

Comments (7)

Jan 5, 2022 - 11:39pm

I got a 16233 with the Champagne Tapestry dial over the summer, and found a shop through Chrono24 that was a good dealer for vintage watches. Maybe try doing the same and asking the guys at the place if they know where to get/could get one in their shop for you. Also, if that's hard for that specific model, could always send it in to Rolex to get refurbished, and have it come back looking brand new, but I know that's not great because then you have to wait month-months even to get it back.

Most Helpful
Jan 6, 2022 - 12:26am

You need to go to a reputable co rage dealer like bobs. There's no way around it. And NEVER send a vintage Rolex to Rolex service center. They are famous for replacing things like original hands with new hands and not giving you your old ones back. Complete clowns and the enemy of vintage collectors everywhere. 

  • Analyst 1 in RE - Comm
Jan 7, 2022 - 10:15am

As someone has already mentioned, NEVER service your watch through Rolex. Also, examine carefully the watch to see if it's been overpolished; since it's a "relatively" cheap and common reference (at least in the world of vintage watches), a light polish won't be that big of an issue as it's very common. But make sure that the case and lugs are still well defined and not overpolished.

Jan 8, 2022 - 1:27am

#1, no #2, no, #3, no.   Now if you must, you have to know the providence back to manufacture.  I have never purchased a vintage watch but I do own a early 60s seamaster and a 6105. they're fun but never get them wet. presume water resistance is shot.

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