I have always enjoyed wearing watches. These universal items of adornment are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Buying watches can be a big investment so people do tend to keep them a long time. The good thing is that you can get replacement watch straps to keep your timepiece looking in tip top condition.
Investing in Watches
I love collecting watches and some of the classic and vintage styles are my favourites. However collecting watches can be an expensive hobby and I don’t have a very large budget. What I try to do is look around the market for some bargains. One of my favourite ways to buy classic or vintage designer watches is through auctions. I look both online and in traditional auction houses for those second hand watches that are looking a bit worse for wear. These are often available at quite reasonable prices. Once I have snapped up a bargain I then tidy up the worn timepieces with a quick clean and brand new watch straps. In many cases just changing the straps alone can make a big difference and this can be an affordable way to collect designer watches. Here are a few tips if you are thinking about buying from the second hand market:
1. Clock Mechanism
One of the most important tips when buying second hand watches is to check that they actually work. Some watches will just need a new battery but others may need some serious repair work. Parts for the big name designer watches can be expensive and repair bills can be quite steep. Unless you can repair watches yourself you may actually end up out of pocket if you buy a watch that is broken.
2. Reputable Suppliers
I do use online auction sites for watches and this can be a great place to find a bargain. However you do need to be very careful. Private listings cannot offer you any real guarantees if the designer watch turns out to be broken or fake. By using reputable online sellers you can be more certain that the watch you are buying is as advertised and that your consumer rights are protected.
Changing a Watch Band
Once I have bought second hand designer watches I carefully give them a clean. I have some basic watch repair tools which I can use to dismantle the watch so that I can clean the glass and internal surfaces. It is amazing how much dirt can accumulate in these small spaces over the years. I don’t try to carry out any complex repairs myself though as I have learnt from experience that without the right skills you can do more harm than good.
The next step is to change watch straps. The strap of the watch can wear a lot over time particularly if it is made from leather or fabric. Metal bracelet straps can also wear and this can make the watch look tired and out-dated. Fortunately there are a wide range of replacement straps available online. You could opt for a similar strap to that one already with the watch or you could buy something completely different to upgrade the whole look.
Find the Strap for You
When choosing a new strap I look at the style of the watch and also consider how I am going to wear it. For watches that I wear every day I prefer a leather strap. I find these more comfortable to wear for long periods that metal bracelet straps. There are some really lovely leather watch straps for sale online. These range from classic tan, black and brown right through to some eye-catching colours including neon blue, bright green and purple. This gives you plenty of choice and makes it easy to find the perfect watch strap for your wardrobe and tastes.
Before you buy new a watch strap you need to carefully check how the old strap fits to the watch. This could be via small pins or through a snap-style connection. You need to know this so you can pick a new watch strap with a similar fit. Also look at the way in which the new watch strap clasps together. I prefer buckle straps for leather straps as this offers a classic and secure look. I am not so keen on butterfly clasps for leather and fabric straps as these can come unclipped sometimes without you realising and the watch could slip off your wrist and get lost.
When you are replacing your watch strap be methodical and take your time. I normally place the watch on a soft plain towel whilst I am working so that I can see all the pieces I have taken off clearly. This will also help to protect delicate parts such as the glass face from getting scratched. If the watch strap has pins or screws make sure you set these aside in a small dish whilst you are working. If you lose these small fixing pins or screws you may find it very difficult to get replacements.
Changing watch straps can be a wonderful way to update your timepiece. You can transform the worn looks of classic and vintage designs or add a whole new style to your favourite watch.