You are currently viewing Buying, Selling, & Collecting: I Bought A Bag Of Watches For $50

Buying, Selling, & Collecting: I Bought A Bag Of Watches For $50

A bell dinged as I pushed open the door to a sprawling miasma of cupboards, tables, and show circumstances. Each stage floor was filled with collectibles, oddities, and forgotten trinkets. In case you’re imagining memento shot glasses, dusty LPs, individually bagged fishing lures, long-forgotten mannequin vehicles, vintage glass bottles, some beautiful classic furnishings, and a labyrinth of vintage spoons commemorating quite a lot of Canadian hockey groups – you are a lot of the manner there.

A look at the inside of the market. Shelves, goods, etc.

However you may preserve all of that. As I pulled into the gravel parking zone of a horseshoe-shaped single-story constructing not far exterior of Hamilton, Ontario, I had include a particular prize in thoughts. Surrounded by furnishings, garden decorations, and used bikes, the situation was bursting on the seams, the view by way of its home windows obscured by classic indicators and the backsides of overstuffed stuffed cupboards. Throughout the parking zone, a meals truck provided fries and sizzling canine. I made a psychological notice for lunch.

The place Watches Are Offered By The Bag

Weeks earlier than, I had obtained a textual content message from my inside man on the earth of Ontario’s second-hand retail (to guard his anonymity, let’s name him “my father”). The message was to let me know {that a} sure market – primarily a professional-grade storage sale – was promoting watches by the bag. By (clap) the (clap) bag (clap).

True to my bloodline, I really like locations like this. 

A cabinet with several vintage watches.

Decided to not miss my likelihood at a legendary discover, I scanned my environment with a tireless, hopeful ambition. I ignored the locked cupboards defending Pokemon playing cards and online game cartridges. I barely registered a stacked floor-to-ceiling assortment of bookshelf audio system and numerous stereo componentry. I noticed a espresso desk that I preferred, however at a value I didn’t.

A cabinet with several vintage watches, hockey cards, and currency.

Each few cupboards, I might uncover a small show of watches, often consisting of a mixture of the next – low cost replicas, respectable pocket watches, unusual commemorative fashions from no-name or white label manufacturers, the occasional Seiko, Casio, or classic Gruen, and dangerous fakes. All instructed, not broadly collectible however nonetheless, it was an entire lot of enjoyable to quietly stroll across the multi-room house and attempt to spot the particular stuff amongst ever extra hockey-themed detritus.

After which, there it was. Resting, alone, on a plate that appeared to have been made to commemorate some form of vintage farming competitors, my bag of watches. Whereas not precisely prominently displayed inside this particular sales space’s assortment, the hand-written label was crystal clear: “$50 Bag of Watches.”

A cabinet with several hockey and disney themed watches.

Snug in my feeling that I had given almost each case and cupboard a glance, I hauled the bag to the checkout. I thought-about haggling however determined that I would not push my luck with the few workers members maintaining this place open on a Sunday afternoon. And hey, $50 has a pleasant ring to it, no?

It is What’s Inside That Counts

As soon as house, and with nice anticipation, I separated the seal on the bag. Reaching into its doubtful payload, I grabbed a free handful of watch. The feel was that of the change that lives within the backside of your automotive’s cup holder. Tinny, forgotten, and perhaps just a bit bit furry.

The contents of the bag, some 24 watches, laid out on a table.

~$50 CAD of watches 

I unfold my bounty out on the desk and rapidly realized what all of you’ve got probably been assuming because you began this story. Although some deeply naive a part of me believed I may need struck gold, the truth of this deal was probably price significantly lower than my funding of fifty wonderful Canadian {dollars}.

I can not precisely be mad. If I purchased a rubbish bag filled with denims, I would not be stunned if I ended up with some JNCOs and Bugle Boys.

Within the bag, I discovered some 24 watches and one deeply triggering appeal bracelet (keep tuned for that). All 24 have been quartz, none have been operating, the bulk have been probably supposed as women’ fashions, and several other have been from a model that is still a thriller to each my colleagues and me. So let’s break them into the next – the nice, the dangerous, and the unknown.

The Good

To be clear, I delineated between these teams primarily based on my curiosity within the watch and whether or not or not the model was proven on the dial and/or may very well be decided.

An image of four inexpensive watches.

For “The Good,” I discovered 4 watches that felt by some means extra particular than the remaining. This quartet of low cost thrills features a relatively good-looking 33mm translucent greenish-brown Swatch that claims “Swatch AG 1996” on the dial. Its strap is unbroken however the buckle (which is perhaps non-original, because it’s blue) has cracked clear by way of the plastic.

A Swatch on the author's wrist.

Subsequent up, we’ve got a women’ bracelet watch from a model known as Jupiter that has a superbly baroque case and bracelet wrapped round a dial that’s barely greater than 11mm vast and a case that measures simply 18.5 x 27mm. It is so mild that I doubt it is manufactured from metal, although the hollowed “hyperlinks” could instantly account for the lightness. Regardless of its tiny dial, legibility is fairly good and I might completely see somebody carrying and having fun with this watch. Not me, as evidenced under, however somebody.

The Jupiter watch on the author's wrist.

In stark distinction to the dainty and fanciful Jupiter, we discover the worn black-plated case of an “Military” model discipline watch that’s hanging on to its strap with a single long-suffering spring bar. The velcro strap proudly reads “Sport Watch” in a fashion much like how that one uncle likes to let you know about how good he was at soccer. You realize, earlier than “the knee.”

As I stay a hopeless romantic in relation to lume dials, the Military makes the lower and will nicely get a brand new spring bar and a contemporary battery.

The Papal Chicago watch on a table.

Lastly, an enthralling religious-themed oddball from the early 2000s. Fitted to a easy fantastic mesh bracelet and missing each a model or any caseback markings, this watch seems to be a commemorative creation. Encircling the dial is a hoop of textual content that reads “The Apostolic Papal Go to of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III and Consecration of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, Chicago, April twenty seventh – Might 2nd, 2001.” And also you thought Pelagos had a variety of dial textual content! This factor measures 33mm vast and is in good situation with the caseback nonetheless lined by a protecting sticker. In case you occur to be a member of this Chicago-based congregation, let me know, I might be completely satisfied to ship you the watch.

The Dangerous

This motley crew is generally categorized by aged styling and normal blandness, however I can not precisely be mad. If I purchased a rubbish bag filled with denims, I would not be stunned if I ended up with some JNCOs and Bugle Boys.

Several more inexpensive watches on a table.

This group features a 33mm Air Transat 15 12 months Anniversary watch, and a few males’s drug-store-style watches with built-in lugs and increasing bracelets (considered one of which seems to be lacking its bezel). Lastly, there’s a quartet of girls’ items from Guess, Self-importance Honest (made by Gruen, no much less), American Eagle (lacking a number of “stones”), and Marie Lourdes.

In case you’ve ever frequented the jewellery case at your native thrift retailer, you will know these types of watches are widespread fare.

The Unknown

The author with three ladies cuff watches on his wrist.

Are you not entertained? 

Rounding out this two-dozen-watch haul are some 13 watches which are both solely with out branding or from an unknown model. Of this baker’s dozen, eight of them are from a model that has a whimsical “N” as its emblem. Regardless of reverse picture searches, the HODINKEE Slack, and even Instagram, I haven’t got any strong concept of what the model is. In case you acknowledge the emblem, please let me know within the feedback.

Several more cuff watches all aligned on a table.

So many cuff watches … 

What do you imply you have not seen Pirates of the Caribbean?!

Extra cuffs. 

Aside from the “N” model thriller, there are a number of extra cuff-style watches, together with one with a neat embroidered end, and one with a denim-style strap and a dial that’s (very) loosely Journe-esque. Lastly, in true mid-2000s fashion, there’s a bronze-finished 25mm watch with about two full ft of strap for that stacked-up multi-loop look.

Return On Funding

Three inexpensive ladies watches from the bag on a table.

Whereas undoubtedly a enjoyable exercise and a good manner of creating certain your youngsters, nieces, and nephews all have a quartz watch that you just will not have to fret about, it seems, unsurprisingly, {that a} $50 bag of watches is extra of a gimmick than a great way to get a deal on a watch. That stated, in case you have a HODINKEE expense account and you do not use it to purchase baggage of watches – you then’re form of the issue, aren’t you?

Whereas I could not really feel like a winner, I positively have not misplaced something.

Bonus: A Deeply Puzzling Attraction Bracelet

The aforementioned charm bracelet laying on a table.


As a closing tidbit of head-scratching nonsense from this seize bag, we’ve got a confounding double-stacked appeal bracelet. I can solely assume that this bracelet was extra of a storehouse for numerous charms relatively than one poor soul’s assortment of on-wrist totems. Nonetheless, I figured the sheer selection warranted some stage of documentation.