The Pre-Loved Condition of Our Vintage Timepieces
Our vintage offerings come in pre-loved condition, and we do our best to transparently describe any flaws in our descriptions of our timepieces. All of the pictures we post in our sales listings are of the actual item for sale and correctly reflect the condition of the vintage watch for sale – please inspect the pictures closely while disregarding the dust specks/prints on the watch. We also note that given the vintage nature of our offerings, DCVW cannot guarantee water resistance.
Please keep in mind that mechanical vintage watches – automatic and manually-wound – like the ones sold by DCVW do not keep time with the same accuracy as modern battery-powered quartz watches. That said, our vintage watches will keep time to within two minutes during a 24-hour period, which is par for the majority of vintage mechanical watches. After all, our reputation depends on this.
What Comes with My Purchase of A Vintage Watch from DCVW?
Each of our vintage watches comes with its original steel bracelet, or a leather, nylon NATO, or ZULU strap, as well as a separate nylon NATO or ZULU strap. We pick these straps to complement the nature of the watch on offer - we also can cater to your preference in strap. Further, we also include a spring bar tool with each order to facilitate transitioning between straps.
Each of our offerings also comes with a Pelican travel case, which can hold at least one watch. The case measures approximately 6 x 2 x 4 inches, and comes with foam insert to customize as the buyer sees fit. These cases come standard with an Automatic Pressure Equalization Valve which releases built up air pressure while keeping water out. Per Pelican’s website, for over 30 years Pelican has built a reputation for manufacturing the toughest cases in the world, and are designed and built to last a lifetime.
Can I examine DCVW's offerings at a brick and mortar location?
At this time, we do not have a show room nor a physical store, in an effort to keep prices down - Washington, DC and Los Angeles real estate is expensive! Regardless, we do participate in watch shows - vintage or otherwise - in DC and LA, so keep watch (corny pun, we know) on DCVW's social media for announcements for these! The added benefit of our presence on both the east (DC) and west (LA) coasts also allows us to immediately answer any questions about our watches for sale or your order - email us!
All of our vintage watches will arrive to you in full working order, and DCVW offers a 14-day limited warranty against mechanical defects, on the watch itself ONLY, for each of our hand-selected vintage watches. Our limited warranty does not include accessories - like straps, Pelican cases, springbar tools, etc - that come with our vintage watches. We will pay for return postage – not to exceed $10 for U.S.-based and $20 for international – via tracked and insured USPS Priority Mail. We will not accept returns of tampered/opened/altered watches, watches damaged by buyers during use, or watches in working order as advertised.
We will not pay for other watchmakers to perform work on our watches, and buyers that do this will void our limited warranty. Please note buyers must inform DCVW of any issues immediately - any issue the buyer waits until after the 14 day period to report, regardless of when the issue first occurred, will unfortunately not be covered by our limited warranty.
Please understand vintage watches are not new watches - and will not perform like new watches do. As such, small things may not be perfect, and the original performance of a vintage watch may not be identical to what it was when the watch was new five decades ago. Notably, this includes chronographs - many vintage chronographs were not designed to be run 24/7, and the watch may not run as well with the chronograph running continuously over a long time, as it does with the chronograph in the position it was designed to be in most of the time - ie: the resting position.
We know mistakes sometimes occur, so on a case by case basis, we may accept - with a 15% restocking fee (plus any applicable PayPal fees), with the remaining balance good as store credit - returns for issues otherwise described. Please note - for the duration of the COVID crisis - we are no longer accepting returns to better ensure the health and safety of our team; once the crisis has subsided, we will again accept returns.
Related, we do not offer returns on watches custom sourced for our customers, except on rare occasions.
Our pictures - taken from many angles - form part of the description; please examine these pictures and read the descriptions carefully - we try to be as transparent in our listings as possible.
Secure Ordering & Payment
We utilize PayPal for all of our sales, a known secure and efficient payment service. Of note, PayPal also allows payment through their system using Venmo - see instructions here:
Interested in reading some articles from reputable blogs on how to purchase vintage watches? Check these out:
GQ: Why You Should Hunt Down a 1970s Seiko ‘Pogue’ Chronograph
The New York Times: You Have (Watch) Questions? We Asked the Experts
Time+Tide: What You Need to Know Before Buying a Vintage Watch
Fratello: How to Buy Vintage Watches
HODINKEE: IN-DEPTH - Your Vintage Seiko Chronograph Buying Guide
WatchTime: How to Buy Pre-Owned Watches
Fratello: Buyer’s Guide – Beware of the Scammer
Quill&Pad: Six Ways To Spot A Fake Even When You Don’t Know How To Spot A Fake
TIME&TIDE: Regrets, I’ve Had a Few – How to Handle Buyer’s Remorse
Fratello: You Asked Us - Vintage Watch Maintenance
Fratello: Understanding The Mechanical Chronograph – A Watchmaker Explains
HODINKEE: In-Depth Twelve Mistakes New Watch Guys Make, And How To Avoid Them
DCVW Social Media: We regularly post our new auctions, and watch articles - vintage and otherwise sartorial - that catch our eye!
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All of our shipments are shipped within the United States, free of charge, via trackable United States Postal Service (USPS) Priority mail, included in the purchase price. We pack our watches carefully to ensure proper cushioning during shipment. International shipments cost a flat $24.99, and $15 extra for USPS registered/tracked; insurance costs extra (and is not included by default), it remains the customer's responsibility to inform us they wish this to be added.
USPS shipping takes approximately 2-4 business days to reach domestic continental U.S. addresses, and 14-21 business days for international orders. However, the latter can take longer depending on a country’s customs policies.
DCVW is amenable to insuring international orders and/or using other mail services - such as DHL, FedEx, or UPS - but these tend to be considerably more expensive and we like to keep shipping costs reasonable (but reliable!) for our international customers. Please note, you must inform us before shipping if you wish insurance - we do not normally insure our international packages.
Import duties, taxes and charges are not included in the item price or shipping charges - all of these are the buyer’s responsibility. Thus, please check with your country’s customs office to determine what these additional costs will be. Input and duty charges (if any) are normally collected by the delivering freight (shipping) company or when you pick the item up – do not confuse them for additional shipping charges. These are not additional shipping charges. These are customs/duties/tax charges that do not go to DC Vintage Watches.
DCVW does not ship to the following countries: Italy, Iraq, Yemen, Belarus, Burma, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe.
Please note that we will not falsify customs paperwork to avoid customs fees, and will not respond to requests for this.