Vintage military watches: A piece of history around your wrist
Vintage military watches have a strong appeal as being the perfect gift for collectors or watch enthusiasts. Military watches were used by the armed forces as naval pieces and chronometers that were used in aviation, especially during the Second World War. Owning one of these unique timepieces would definitely be a great gift for any man; especially one who enjoys and cherishes the esteem and pride that goes along with these precision-centered military watches.
There are many historical watches that are categorized as a technological heritage and that have been conserved and restored. At the higher end of the vintage military watches you will find venues like Antiquorum, Christies and Sothebys. These elegant watches are often sold at very high prices, especially the ones which have been refurbished.
For someone who is just intrigued by military watches, or for a new collector, the new-but-old collectible military watches are a great first piece. Many of the well refurbished vintage military watches are purchased by sellers or resellers. Buyers of these elegant timepieces often purchase such watches for their good looks and their mythical appeal as an investment.
There are people who collect things for a hobby and collecting military watches is one of such hobbies. The conserved or refurbished timepieces can be very expensive, but a lot of hardcore collectors will purchase them regardless of the price. For some, collecting watches is a form of investment, like paintings or any other special relics of the past; the prices go up with their age.
Conserving the watches
Conservation of the military watch means preserving the original look and functions without vandalizing the watch in the process. For example, with conserving the dials, refinishing shouldn’t be part of the conservation process, only stabilizing them by adding a layer of lacquer to protect the dials. The lacquer can be removed later and that makes conservation a reversible process.
Restoring the watches
Restoration is not synonymous to conservation since this process attempts to bring the timepiece back to its original state. Original state here depends on the person doing the restoration. This is a more controversial process in treating vintage military watches since the changes to the watch are irreversible or can never be changed back.
Worn parts are removed, rust is addressed and treated accordingly, faded dials are replaced, crystals are replaced, as well as the seals and cases sometimes. Restoration often has a “new” watch appearance instead of the original; this makes conservation a process that is more acceptable to many people. The objective of restoration is to preserve the integrity of the watches so that they can still function as they were originally intended to.
Refurbishing the watches
This is another process in treating vintage military watches. The process involves a total change in the timepieces. The concept is to take off the past and make it a piece that will fit the modern times. Watches will be over polished or their dials totally refinished. The watches are completely redressed so that you might not recognize the old one from the new watch that comes out of the oven.
In buying vintage military watches, it can be important to consider the process in which the watch has been treated for it to still function. The form should be intact and it should be functional as well. After all, it would be a great feeling to wear a piece of history around your wrist that still looks good and still amazingly does its job.