I noticed on Polo’s Rugby blog that there was a post about the vintage watches being offered at the company’s East Hampton store. Though not the focus of the original post – a shot of some vintage sunglasses in a display case – questions rolled in about the great watches displayed on ribbon bands alongside the sunglasses.
That’s a great example of the emotional power of watches, vintage mechanical ones in particular. I have a few vintage watches, some are family heirlooms and some were purchased. Each one is special and satisfies a particular aspect of my personality. Even the modern watches that I own are almost all mechanical – manual wind or automatic – and tend to be unique rather than flashy.
While traditional leather straps ans steel bracelets are just fine, certainly when they are original to the timepiece, a classic preppy ribbon strap can add flair and Ivy League panache to your wrist. British brand Smart Turnout makes a great version that’s based on the rugged NATO strap design. They come in a range of colors representing English military units and several American Ivy League colleges.
When it comes to vintage watches, you can head off to East Hampton, N.Y., and visit the Rugby store or you can track down dealers closer to home. Believe it or not, you can also hit the web in search of sites with good deals and equally important, a good inventory. The great thing about vintage watches is that when you finally find what you’re looking for it is a very personal score.
Here are several websites that I like keep an eye on to see whats coming onto the market. I cannot offer you any guarantees or standards, but the companies below already have excellent reputations.
If you want to see some exceptional early vintage watches, from say, around 1914, check out Old Wrist Watches.
So take a look around and give it a try; vintage mechanical watches and preppy ribbon straps are great ways to bring some stylish elan to your summer wardrobe.