Watchonista Staff Picks: The eBay Watches We'd Love to Receive for the Holidays
As the holidays approach, it’s visions of dream eBay watches to acquire that dance in the heads of Watchonista staff members. Right next to the sugar plums.
The initially fun assignment of selecting ANY watch offering available on eBay quickly became daunting for our staff once we realized the sheer volume of “dream watches” for sale. But, everything turned out to be a happy story in the end, especially if some of us get our wishes granted come December.
Ranging from $3.295 million for a Patek Philippe Grand Complications in platinum (which I certainly wouldn’t mind finding under my Christmas tree) to a variety of watches in the two-digit range, you can spend days oohing and aahing on eBay and playing “what if?” But I landed on something right in the middle.
Crown-less, hand-less, and the opposite of deep, the Ressence design DNA of pushing its unique time-telling wheel mechanisms right up to the top of the crystal in an oil-filled chamber made my heart go pitter-patter. Aptly, those same out-of-the-box elements mean that I’d attach even more value to eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee service, as this 40mm Type 1 square case example in titanium isn’t your average crown and hands affair. So, if you want to be a really, really good friend of mine, it’ll only run you $17,450 (or maybe less if you opt for eBay's “Make an Offer” option).
The watch I would love to receive for the holidays is this Rolex Oyster Perpetual ref. 1005 that has a Coca-Cola logo stamped dial. A vintage piece that is hard to come across, I used eBay's "Save this Search" option, so when Coca-Cola editions or any other rare stamped Rolex pieces come up, I am alerted so I never miss it.
From the 1970s and stamped, it fits perfectly into my collection as I tend to gravitate toward pieces from the 60s and early 70s. My favorite drink and my favorite brand; this might as well have “JJ” stamped on it as well.
One of the tricks to eBay is knowing how to search. For example, I recently went down a rabbit hole looking for a vintage Vulcain Cricket alarm watch. Specifically, this blue-dialed beauty.
The obvious search terms, “Vulcain Cricket,” yielded about five pages of results. To narrow it down a little, you can set search filters. My favorite setting is to sort by is “Distance: Nearest First.” If I can find my dream watch closer to home, I’m happy.
In addition, a search of “Vintage Vulcan Watch” may deliver a winner that’s been overlooked. The “Newly Listed” filter is also a favorite and can result in fantastic deals. But you have to be quick because other eagle-eyed buyers are also out there.
The best filter of all is your gut. The best advice I ever read about selling watches online was “write the listing like there’s no images and take pictures like there’s no words.” This listing has plenty of photos plus information about the watch’s history and provenance.
eBay is like a time machine for second chances – or in this case third chances! This is a limited-edition Omega Speedmaster released back in 2017 for the 60th Anniversary of the watch. Omega made about 3,000 of these watches new and the watch itself is a 1:1 reissue of the first Speedmaster from 1957. I wasn’t around in 1957, but I was around in 2017. Still, I didn’t get an opportunity to snag the watch. Thanks to eBay, here is that second chance!
Plus, in addition to being part of the eBay Authenticity Guarantee service, this particular watch is also being sold by a known jeweler and reseller of watches, which makes buying this rare limited-edition piece an even more reassuring prospect.
More and more I find myself drawn to the watch aesthetics of the 1970s. That is why I’m grateful that eBay allows me to refine my initial “vintage” search by isolating listings by their decade of manufacture. Once I clicked on the “1970-1979” range, I found so many gems.
This 36mm Bulova Royal Oak from 1979 caught my eye. I was baffled by this listing because, despite my years at Watchonista, I had no idea this timepiece existed. After some research, I learned three important things.
First, there is a lot of controversy about the origins of this watch. Second, despite its controversial status, the truth is that Bulova made this watch as a tribute to Gérald Genta, who had worked for the brand in the 1960s. And third, despite its rather mundane (but true) origin story, the controversy surrounding the Bulova Royal Oak means that it is often counterfeited. Thank goodness for eBay’s Authenticity Guarantee service!
I’ve always loved the idea of regulators and I don’t own a Patek Philippe yet, so that’s why I chose to stop my research on eBay once I stumbled upon this beautiful Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5235G Regulator in an 18K white gold case.
This timepiece has, at least since I discovered it, become a watch I really like and wouldn’t mind adding to my collection. The color scheme, finishing of the movement, equilibrated display of information, and white gold case all appealed to me right away. Having had the chance to play with it on multiple occasions, I am 100% sure wearing and owning this rather uncommon Patek Philippe would give me great joy.
As someone born and raised in the UK, I started looking around for affordable British-made watches on my eBay assignment and focused on the little-known brand, Smiths.
Founded in 1851, Smiths started as a pocket watch and precision instrument brand. But by the end of WWII it was making mechanical wristwatches at its factory in Cheltenham. Smiths timepieces even went on to be worn by members of the 1953 Mount Everest expedition, which included the infamous Sir Edmund Hillary.
You can find the more collectible “Made in England” Smiths watches on many marketplace platforms, but in terms of sheer volume, eBay tends to blow away the competition.
I get alerts from eBay when a new Smiths watch appears for sale, while its multi-photo gallery with auto-hover zoom lets me accurately assess the condition of the watch, usually both inside and out. I do have my preferred sellers saved, but for any new ones I encounter, the seller feedback rating gives me peace of mind if I decide to place a bid, make an offer, or simply buy it now.
There are a few Smiths W10s on eBay right now, but condition is key, so this 1969 edition would do me very nicely. It’s probably wishful thinking, but I am hoping my better half reads this in time for the holiday season. After all, I have enough lovely jumpers from her by now!