Part of the luxury experience you get with modern watches is the boutique feel. When you enter and sit down, they bring out the sparkly watch of your dreams and offer you fine chocolates and champagne you know you feel a little bit special. Sure, you can probably buy that champagne from the local supermarket, and you certainly aren’t the only one getting that experience. A real cynic would see a big corporation wearing a fake smiley mask while laughing their arses off at the depreciation you’re probably about to get hit with. I don’t think that way, I don’t want to make myself miserable, but I understand that view.
One of the other things you’ll receive with a good watch is a form of authenticity guarantee. Mass market luxury watches like Rolex’ have a plastic warranty card which fulfils this purpose. High end watches like Patek Philippes, and Breguets will come with a hand-signed certificate from the factory themselves for that special touch.
The thing is, buying vintage watches means you don’t always get a guarantee. It may have gotten lost or thrown away by the previous owner who wasn’t so obsessed with resale values. But that leaves you susceptible to forgeries.
Luckily, Omega is working to put a stop to that. Omega’s “Heritage Team” has access to records of vintage watches and has been set up to authenticate Omega watches that are over 40 years old. The report will not only give the customer information about their watch such as its serial number and when it was produced, but it will also provide the customer with an evaluation of the watch’s current condition. This service isn’t cheap, it’ll cost you 800 CHF a go, and whether you need it at all is debatable. Most vintage dealers are already experts in their field, and as Omega is a trendy brand I’d expect there to be a whole vintage network for them, you might be better off going to a vintage dealer’s shop and sipping their fine wines.
Omega offers this service from its headquarters in Switzerland, but you can also take your vintage watch to one of their boutiques who can do the same thing for you. Here’s a list of the boutiques currently participating in this program:
Costa Mesa, South Coast Plaza Mall
New York, Fifth Avenue
Biel OMEGA HQ, Rue Jakob-Stämpfli 96
Geneva, Rue du Rhône 31
Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse 48
London, 12 Old Bond Street
Milan, Via Montenapoleone 9
Paris, 362-364 Rue Saint-Honoré
Munich, Maximilianstrasse 16
Hong Kong, Causeway Bay, 38 Russell Street
Singapore, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Shanghai, Bund 19, No.23, East Nanjing Road