birthyearwatches.com was founded in order to help people who want to buy a watch that marks a special event. Normally it is to mark someones birthday with a watch from the year they were born, but it also can be to celebrate an anniversary or a child being born.
With over twenty years experience in buying and selling quality watches, and a guarantee with every watch sold, you have total peace of mind that you are getting a genuine quality watch that will last for many years. And hopefully further appreciate in value!
How do we date watches?
It isn’t often easy! The best way to date a watch is by the serial number, but records are not always available. We also take account of inscriptions, original paperwork, model and movement dates and many, many reference books to give you the closest date we can. If a watch is dated with a ‘c’, it is circa the date shown.
birthyearwatches.com is an independent company, and not associated not affiliated with any brand. All photos used are the copyright of birthyearwatches.com and may not be copied without written permission.
Date your watch service
If you can send us good photos of your watch, we can try and find out when it was made for a £20 fee. We will look at the photos for free and only if we are confident we can help will we charge.
All makes and models can be serviced – Contact us
Buy your watch.
We are always on the look out for watches of a similar nature to those seen on these pages – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Watches can be part exchanged too, even multiple watches.
Certification on replacement values also available.
Who Are We?
Founded in 2013 by a collector and enthusiast Scott Topliss, the website has grown far faster than expected. Here is a Q and A with Scott.
Why Birth Year Watches?
“I quit my day job and realised I would have to sell some of my then 60 strong watch collection to feed the children. Having had some bad experiences on eBay, and seen the fees of auction houses, I was searching for an original idea. I have always found the history side of vintage watches interesting, and had the lightbulb moment at 3am. Rather than waiting I came downstairs and registered the domain name immediately. I haven’t looked back since.”
Do you service all your watches?
“No. Our average price is £200ish, so paying £100 or more for a service isn’t economical. Watches are tested before being listed, and then again before they are sent out. We can have them serviced for cost price before being sent if the customer requests this.”
Do you do any work of the watches before they are sent?
“Yes. The cases get cleaned by hand, whereas the bracelets get cleaned in our ultrasonic bath. I can currently do lots of small jobs, such as changing glasses, batteries and seals, but I am also booked on a BHI course to learn more. I used to be a mechanic for a race car team, so I am quite well equipped to be using tools.”
Where do you buy your watches?
“I am lucky to have built a network of dealers and friends across Europe who sometimes save watches for me, knowing they would be a perfect fit for my site. I also visit auctions and collectors fairs, as well as specialist watch fairs. And more customers are now part exchanging to be able to justify something more expensive – one customer swapped eight watches for one Breitling.”
Do you have a shop?
“Not currently, but this is a possible plan for the future. 60% of our customers are overseas, so a shop is no use to them. We do have watches on display in our local antiques centre and some mainly Omega’s are available from Timefix in Melton Mowbray. I have also been lucky enough to arrange to meet some customers in London, Milton Keynes, Den Haag and Amsterdam.”
Do you advertise anywhere else?
“I don’t use third party sites like Chrono24 at the moment. The only advertising as such we do is sponsoring the vintage watch section on The Watch Forum, where I am also a moderator. I joined The Watch Forum years before I started BYW’s, and have learnt lots on there. It’s a good crowd, interested in everything watch related and not just top end manufacturers.”
Who does your photography?
“I do. And it is not perfect by a long chalk admittedly. Watches are great at throwing reflections, as they have so many shiny surfaces. I always try and show faults in the photos, because no one wants people to be disappointed.”
And the videos?
“Me again, filmed on a smartphone affixed to a tripod. I don’t script the videos, but try and get across the main points and any possible damage from a collectors point of view, preferably in under 90 seconds. YouTube is a great tool, but I don’t believe people want to see super slick 10 minute adverts on there.”
“I just said that in the first video, and it stuck!”
What was your first watch?
“I can’t recall the digital watches I used to have as a kid, but I do remember a white dialed Rotary I bought when I was 16. Next was a Tag Heuer 4000, then an Omega Seamaster Bond, then an IWC 3706 Fliegerchronograph.”
What is your favourite watch?
“The next one!”
Okay, what would be your dream watch?
“I’m not sure there is one watch that does everything. But a Patek Philippe 2499 would be nice. But would I wear a £1/2m watch? Yes!!!”
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