Wristwatches are a global phenomenon: highly collectible, varied, and intricate. As the successor to the pocket watch, wristwatches dominated portable timekeeping in the 20th century and were often handed down through generations within a family. In addition to these antique and vintage watches, many newer limited editions have been produced by watch makers, and are sought by collectors.

Originally designed as decorative bracelets for women, wristwatches became popular among men during World War I (they were easier for the military to use than pocket watches). The first wristwatch for men was created by Cartier and called the Santos, after Alberto Santos-Dumont, a pilot who asked Cartier to create a watch he could use on his flights.

The first waterproof watch, called the Oyster, was created by Rolex in 1927. They also created the first automatic wristwatch for commercial use, known as the Bubbleback.

After World War II, men’s watches became more elaborate, offering new features such as calendars and built-in radios. In 1972, the first LED watch was created by the Hamilton Watch Company, apparently inspired by the digital clock in the 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

Wristwatch collectors tend to focus on specific manufacturers, in addition to design, ornamentation, and rarity. Key collectible brands include Omega, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Hamilton and Illinois, Wittnauer, Elgin, Bulova, and Gruen.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Omega Speedmaster Chronograph 321 Pre-moon Ref 145.012-67 No ReserveOmega Speedmaster Professional 1969 / Cal 861 / 145.022 With Bezel Turning Blue1968 Rolex Gmt Master Running Vintage Pepsi Bezel Date Mens WatchOriginal Glashutte Nomos Tangomat Gmt Stainless Steel Automatic Watch Ref.635Polaris Jaeger-lecoultre Automatic Date Alarm Rotation Bezel S/steel E-859 DiverRolex Gmt Master 16750 Vintage Pepsi RolexMassive Genuine A Lange Sohne Military 21482 German Mens Wrist WatchBreitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph Automatic 46mmRolex 6239 Cosmograph Daytona 722 Rare Tropical Chocolate - Papers Box ServiceVintage Omega Speedmaster 321 Ref 2998 6 Military Fap (peruvian Air Force) NVintage Heuer Carrera Chronograph Watch - Estate FreshOriginal Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea Dweller Deepsea Black Pvd Steel Ref. 116660 Rolex Datejust 69173 Ss/18k Gold High Fashion Ladies Watch W/ Corrugated BezelVintage Omega Gents Speedmaster Tropical Dial 105003 1965 Watch Vintage Rolex 1675 Gmt-master Stainless Steel With Original Box And PapersUlysse Nardin Maxi Marine Chronometer 263-51 Ss Men's Watch W/date/power ReserveVintage Rare Heuer Monaco 1533 Cal.15 Vintage Omega Gents Speedmaster 2998-3 Wristwatch Outstanding Vintage 1963 Aopa Breitling Transitional Military Navitimer 806Original Panerai Luminor Marina Stainless Steel 40mm Automatic Wristwatch Pam048Original Vacheron Constantin Grande Malte Classique 18k / 750 White Gold Manual Omega Flightmaster Second Gen 145.026 - Rare Chocolate Subdial - For AuctionNew Eberhard & Co. Chrono 4 Automatic Off White Dial Croco Strap Men's WatchRolex Gmt Master 1675 Wrist Watch For Men 11058Breitling Superocean Super Ocean Chronograph Ii A13341 $6250Gents Vintage 1968 18ct Gold & Steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Chronometer Original Patek Philippe Calatrava 18k White Gold Automatic Watch Ref. 399811968 Breitling Aopa 806 Navitimer Ss Chronograph Watch Rare Collectible +++shapeOriginal Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 18k Gold Chronograph Ref. 116518 Omega Heavy Vintage 18k 3.51ct Vs Diamond Sapphire Ribbon Flip Top Ladies WatchPerfect Patek Philippe & Co Geneva 21 Jewels Gold Chronometer - 1891Original Omega Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean Cal 8500 Automatic ChronoTudor Rolex Oysterdate Chronograph 94210 Vintage 7750 Mens Panda Dial N22Tag Heuer Monaco Cw2111-0 Ss Chronograph Square Dial Automatic Men's WatchPreowned Omega Seamaster Professional James Bond 300m Automatic (2531.80.00)Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/1 Diamond Bezel Stainless Automatic 37.5mm WatchVintage Heuer Autavia Watch 2446c Chronograph Tachy Compressor Case Valjoux 72Cartier Roadster 2618 Ss High Fashion Automatic Chronograph Men's WatchWw2 Original Hanhart Cal. 41 Vintage Flieger Flyback Chronograph Pilot Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-king Precision WatchUsed Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Titanium Marine 263-36le-3 263-36Iwc Novecento 18ct Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Watch In Excellent ConditionVintage 1943 Steel Breitling 769 Chronomat Chronograph Patent 217012 Original Omega Deville Chronoscope Gmt 44mm Co-axial Ref. 422. Omega Seamaster Chronometer Co Axial Planet Ocean Mens WatchPre-owned Tag Heuer Monaco Cw2111-0 Black Dial Steel Automatic ChronographVintage Omega Railmaster €Mens Rolex Stainless Steel Gmt-master Ii €Tag Heuer Calibre 16 Ewm8728 Cv2a10 Automatic Stainless Steel Men's Swiss WatchRolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Watch 18ct Gold & Stainless SteelBreitling Avenger Skyland A13380 Limited Nhlpa Automatic Chronograph Men's WatchGenuine Men's Rolex Day Date Watch 18k Gold 18238no Reserve Tudor Tiger 79280p Genuine Prince Date Gents Watch Automatic Chrono Rare ByrolexRolex Tudor Submariner Snowflake 9411/0Panerai Luminor 1950 Gmt Pam 317 "the Black Knight" Ceramic Men's Watch W/ B&pRolex Submariner Date 114060 Wrist Watch For MenTag Heuer Carrera Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Mens Automatic Chronometer Watch 2908.50.52Corum Bubble Lucifer 82.340.20 Ss Automatic Men's Watch Limited #516 Of 666Omega Mens Speedmaster Chrono Mechanical Stainless Steel Moonwatch Wristwatch