Best Vintage Watches Under $1,000


Do you like to zig when others are zagging? Does thinking outside the box interest you from time-to-time? How about the madness of crowds – do you enjoy being in the middle of them? Would you consider yourself a certain type of contrarian when it comes to collecting and investing? If I still have your interest, here’s your next fresh idea – consider investing in some of the best vintage watches under $1000.

Luxury watchmakers are pulling out all the stops to attract customers and drive sales of their finest creations. Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron, Patek, FP Journe, these companies have intense pressure to up the ante and dazzle the most sophisticated and ultra-wealthy watch buyers. New watches by luxury brands sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and the vintage models are not getting any less expensive.

vintage watch prices
As you can see, top of the line vintage watches are getting more expensive every year, pricing many people out of the market for certain vintage watches.

If you love watches and enjoy searching for vintage timepieces, but don’t have insane piles of cash pouring out of your bank account, consider dialing back your budget and take a look at some of the best vintage watches under $1000.

There’s a gold mine of quality vintage watches out there, with amazing design and incredible quality. With the proper research and a little time invested in your search, the potential for price appreciation may be more than you would imagine. And you may find there’s a lot less competition competing for these watches and bidding up the prices.

Best Vintage Watches Under $1000

Swiss Military Incabloc Vintage Watch, $550

In the mid-1930s, new technology was developed and patented by Swiss engineers Georges Braunschweig and Fritz Marti. This was a “shock proof” spring-loaded mechanism to avoid damage to watches when dropped produced by the company Incabloc, S.A.

Many watch brands would simply print “Incabloc” on the face of their watches, designating the quality, excellence, and latest watchmaking technology encased in the watch.

This swiss made military-style vintage watch from the 1940s features a two-tone silver dial and a stainless steel screw-down case back. Selling for $550, this watch is a perfect example of 1940s vintage, with light wear and a NATO-style strap. The purchase price includes a 1-year warranty of accurate timekeeping and operation from Wannabuyawatch.com.

vintage watches under 1000
1940s Swiss military style “Incabloc” vintage watch. Selling for $550 at Wannabuyawatch.com

Eberhard & Co. Nickel Silver Vintage Pocket Watch, $1,050

Ok, so this is just a little bit more than $1,000, but I really love the 1930s pocket watches. Eberhard has produced watches in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, since 1887. The Swiss brand was founded by Georges Eberhard, the son of the very prominent Bernese family, tracing back to the 10th century.

When searching for the best watches under $1000, don’t forget about the 1930s pocket watches. They are certainly historical, and you can find great pocket watches from some of the most reputable brands in the world if you dig deep enough.

best vintage watches
The Swiss-made Eberhard open-faced manual pocket watch from the 1930s. Currently selling for $1,050.

Juvenia Stainless Steel Automatic Watch, $900

Juvenia is another luxury watchmaker located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1860 by Jacques Didisheim-Goldschmidt. One of its famous models is the “Sextant,” which first appeared in the 1940s, featuring a handless display. The company has just announced it’s third edition of the Sextant model.

The model selling below for $900 at 1st Dibs is from the 1930s. It’s a really cool design and a small price to pay for a nearly 90-year-old watch made by a historic watchmaking brand.

vintage watches under 1000
1930s Juvenia stainless steel automatic watch, currently selling for $900 at 1stdibs.com

Omega Mechanical Stainless Steel Vintage Watch, $1,000

Omega SA is a luxury watchmaker based in Bienne, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1848 by Louis Brandt as La Generale Watch Co. and changed its name to Louis Brandt et Frere – Omega Watch & Co. in 1903.

The prestigious watchmaker has a storied history. Britain’s Royal Flying Corps wore Omega wristwatches during World War I. NASA astronauts chose Omega as the first watch on the moon in 1969. And since 1932, Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games.

The 1950s vintage Omega watch below is listed for sale at 1stDibs.com for just over $1,000. The men’s watch features stainless steel, dauphine hands, Arabic quarter numerals, and signed silvered dial. Some staining is present around the dial’s rim, but the watch is in fine working condition and keeping time well.

vintage watches under 1000
The Vintage Omega 1950s stainless steel mechanical watch, selling at 1stDibs.com for $1,000.

Zodiac Olympos With Mystery Dial, $1,000

Ariste Calame founded a watchmaking workshop in 1882 in Le Locie, Switzerland, which would eventually become Zodiac in 1908. The company began manufacturing pocket watches and later developed the popular Zodiac Autographic self-winding and shock-resistant watch.

This vintage Zodiac Olympos stainless steel watch from the 1960s features a mystery dial and leather band. The watch appears to be in good condition and includes a black leather aftermarket band with a stainless steel clasp. This might be my personal favorite in the best watch under $1000 category.

best vintage watches under 1000
The 1960s Zodiac Stainless Steel Olympos automatic vintage watch. Currently selling for $1,000.

If you love vintage watches, there are endless possibilities in the re-sale market. A few keys to keep in mind are setting your budget and spending plenty of time researching your favorite brands. Once you identify a handful of brands to search, be patient; there are new listings every day in the vintage watch market.

There’s no need to rush into something feeling like you might miss your chance at a great vintage watch. There’s always another deal coming down the line. Focus on the best watches under $1000.


If you need more ideas for great vintage watches under $1,000, here’s a good video from Great Affordable Watches highlighting 5 more vintage watch ideas.