Vintage Vacheron Dealers

I'm getting discouraged over the lack of service and trustworthiness from many of the big name internet dealers in vintage watches!  Repeatedly I have contacted dealers to request additional pictures, descriptions, even movement calibres...only to be told they don't know or can't be bothered to check. Vintage Vacheron Dealers

And these aren't for small purchases.  They expect a buyer to hand over thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars on the scantiest information.  I really don't understand how they stay in business?  There must be people out there that are willing to buy vintage watches on these terms.  Who are they?  I want to slap them for ruining the quality buyer-seller relationship that should exist!  These dealers really should be out of business.

As much as I criticize fleabay for the frauds and fakes appearing regularly, their system of feedback and buyer protection provides probably the best experience on the WWW.  Nevertheless, even there, too many legit vintage pieces are being presented poorly by garage-sale retailers that just don't care.

Now that my rant is finished, I'd like to get to the true purpose of this post.  Can we create a good-guys list of internet vintage dealers that are knowlegable about V&C and provide quality customer service, both before AND after the purchase?

Sad fact is, I don't have a single dealer to begin the list with.  I wouldn't put my name behind any that I've dealt with so far.Vintage Vacheron Dealers

On the positive side, many private purchases have turned out great.  One enthusiast dealing with another...the way it should really be. Vintage Vacheron Dealers

buying vintage watches off the net is risky because
05/15/2008 - 19:42

vintage watches are really the ones that need to be seen in the flesh to be sure the condition is as described (on a photo you may not see the overpolishing of a case or the fact that the dial has been redone)

Considering that even the auction houses can't be trusted 100% one should find a dealer that he strusts and stick with him, the problem is I don't have a single name

Maybe buying from VC's boutique in Geneva could be the solution?

I've never bought a
05/15/2008 - 19:57

vintage watch on the net!

As Tourbillon says I don't even fully trust all brick and mortar vintage stores. A few years back I see this gorgeous VC in the window of a well know vintage dealer, I walk in ask to see the watch and ask to have the back opened. The guy more or less tells me that there's nothing to see and thet he dosn't want to damage the case by opening and closing the back.

I told him there was no way I would buy the watch without seeing the movement. Very reluctantly he opened the back and way and behold the case was not signed and the swan neck was missing on the movement!

Out I went never to return again

All this to say that I agree with your rant but can not be of much help as I haven't bought any vintage watch off the net!

Dear Alex, you avoid the question : should we (or not) try to make a
05/15/2008 - 20:40


Mr L could be the first of the list? What to you think Mr L? (nt)
05/15/2008 - 20:41


Awkward, I wear 2 hats one as a collector and the other as a dealer
05/16/2008 - 00:41

I retired approx 6 years ago (I was a partner in a high tech firm) and after 1 1/2 years of doing nothing (did buy a lot of watches) I decided to get into trading high end vintage pateks while keeping my own watches for myself and have had met many very interesting people and have had fun literally traveling around the world looking for some of these watches.

Back to your question about being first on your list. I must humbly pass on this one I try not to mix business with pleasure.  I prefer to keep myself as a collector on this forum, as I have for years on the TZ patek forum. I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment from our discussions and learn much from the members. I feel all that would be compromised if I was looked upon as just a dealer and not someone who tries to be a contributor.

Mr L


hats off, Mr. L! nt
05/16/2008 - 12:05

I second that. A true gentleman :-)
05/16/2008 - 12:22

"Chapeau bas" (nt)
05/16/2008 - 13:35


Thank to all of you, I cannot tell you
05/16/2008 - 18:54

how good your replies make me feel.

Mr L

A list is fine with me BUT
05/15/2008 - 20:54

it should only include dealers who deal only in vintage.

Some grey marketers also have vintage watches for sale and can be good guys but as VC's official forum you can understand that this would not be the right place to publicize such or such grey marketer.

I was not avoiding the question but could not be of any help as I have never bought a vintage watch off the net.

Good comment!
05/15/2008 - 23:32

Like Alex, I never really bought on the net, except if I could have checked at the dealer's before, that means this dealer was not so far from home! So, not very convenient generally speaking!

I think Tourbillon's idea of going to VC Geneva boutique could be a first approach.

But as you mentioned, the best in my opinion would be to deal between enthusiasts, but also to be sure of reliability.

Not so easy, especially when high amounts of money are concerned.

While I generally agree...
05/16/2008 - 00:14

that caution is advisable, I have found that some dealers are completely trustworthy. In fact, I have bought quite a few vintage watches from dealers on-line, including a superb vintage Audemars Piguet recently, and have had very few bad experiences. The key, of course, is the return policy. If the dealer agrees that the watch may be returned for a full refund (excluding shipping) if the customer is unsatisfied, then the risks are obviously rather minimal.

However, any dealer who refuses to supply clear images of the watch, including the movement, simply cannot be trusted. And it is a good rule of thumb to assume that the stated condition is at least slightly better than the actual condition. In other words, if the dealer states "mint", I assume "excellent". If he states "very good", I assume "good", and so on.


Tony C.

Those of us not living near major centers...
05/16/2008 - 19:10

depend on the internet to access things we couldn't otherwise obtain.  Just this week I've purchased an Antiquorum catalog from Scotland and car tires from Nevada.  Also this week, I received wheel lug nuts from California and a rain jacket from Oregon.  Oh yes, I sold a watch to a very nice fellow in Shanghai! 

I live at 53°N 113°W and the nearest authorized retailer for Vacheron is over a thousand miles away.  I don't know of any brick-and-mortar vintage dealers at all, discounting the trade-in counter at the local Rolex shop.  So, for this post, let's assume that using an internet dealer is a given.

Eschewing grey market dealers that also sell new Vacheron watches will eliminate most of the internet dealers that I know.  This list of vintage-only dealers may be very very small, but of high quality I hope! 

Re: Those of us not living near major centers...
05/16/2008 - 19:25

Just as I finished this post, the UPS truck arrived with new brake pads for my vintage motorcycle.  They arrived from Australia via Montreal.  The dealer and manufacturer no longer support this motorcycle so the internet saves my bike from the junk heap.

I'm all for buying on the net and I've even bought "gasp" from
05/16/2008 - 19:40

grey marketers   but never vintage but if any one has internet vintage dealers to suggest (who do not deal also in grey market modern watches) just put in this thread

Bittern Lake
05/17/2008 - 01:16

You live near Bittern Lake?