Watches are so varied today - anything from cheap quartz watches to smart watches. But it's hard to beat the beauty of the watches from decades ago.  

Take this gorgeous bejewelled art deco watch for example. It has certainly seen better days. Watch how Marshall of Wristwatch Revival carefully takes it apart, cleans and restores it to almost its former glory.

He said : 
I like to find broken or neglected vintage watches and bring them back to life, restoring history and letting someone enjoy them for years to come. I'm not a watchmaker by trade, but I do love the hobby and I hope you'll see why on this channel!
His knowledge, patience with handling incredibly small parts as well as his fine motor skills are impressive. Adding just the tiniest bit of glue the way he does is amazing. There was a moment when the watch still did not work but he was able to diagnose and fix the problem! 

The watch is lovely and could be worn as a piece of jewelry if he couldn't repair it. But as he did, it's even better now as a functioning timepiece too. 

Note that the "diamonds" on the watch face are actually foil backed crystals.

The Quartz Crisis and the Renaissance of Mechanical Watches

I remember doing a lot of begging for a watch when I was a child. I wasn't given one until I was 10 when I was old enough to be careful with it. Watches then were still mechanical watches and thus expensive. That all changed in the 1970's and 1980's when quartz watches become much more popular. They were a lot cheaper to manufacture as there were few moving parts and kept better time.

This ushered in the Quartz Crisis which threw the Swiss watchmaking industry into decline. Meanwhile, Japanese companies like Seiko,which introduced the first quartz watch in 1969 saw production of their new technology watches soar.  

The Swiss watchmakers eventually came up with their own quartz watch, called the Swatch, which became popular. They also saw a renaissance in mechanical watches for the luxury market where such pieces are appreciated for their craftsmanship, glamorous designs and as status symbols. Vintage mechanical watches are also collectible items today.

I wondered if one could get an Art Deco style watch these days and the answer is yes - people do find such watches in estate sales and so on. Quality, design and when they were actually made and thus price, varies greatly.  Old watches will have signs of wear.

Here are some of my favorite finds. 

This rare estate 1940's 14k Rose Gold Bulova Art Deco watch is adorned with nearly a full carat of bright white natural diamonds and superior grade natural rubies.  Available from AntiqueFinderService.

The Seiko watch below was made in the 1990s in the art deco style.  Available from Desquechamp

Hamilton watches have long been known for style and are collectible pieces. This diamond, platinum and white gold beauty is from the 1930's-40s. Available from Salisbury Antiques.

This diamond encrusted yellow gold ball watch pendant with charm was made by Mido in the 1930's - another long established Swiss watch company like Hamilton. Available from Jewelmanity

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM