FRIDAY WIND DOWN: The barn find edition, how to hunt for valuable vintage and what to look out for

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: The barn find edition, how to hunt for valuable vintage and what to look out for

Andrew McUtchen

It was one of our most popular ‘who to follow’ posts ever. @barnfindwatches stepped up to the plate way back in 2017 to share some of his secrets as a master bargain hunter. His key takeaways are below, but before we get into them, let’s call out something important.

A ’50s Abercrombie & Fitch Solunar does not even rank in @barnfindwatches’ most memorable scores.

The massive spike in traffic when the story went live revealed a truth that remains unchanged to this day. There is nothing quite like a barn find to light up a watch lover. Like a match to Indiana Jones’ methylated spirits-soaked torch in a cave, it ignites the mind. Visions of adventure. Riches. History.

A Rolex Panerai 3646, however, does. It’s his most epic barn find to date.

This was brought to the fore once again when Eric Ku, or @fumanku on Instagram, posted a picture from five years ago on his Facebook. While re-telling that story on social media, we asked about your own barn find wins. Our inbox was regaled with some absolute beauties, including this one, by @speedyfett

So we thought we’d go one step further in the Friday Wind Down and extract some of the juiciest answers from @barnfindwatches’ interview, including some less obvious models to look out for, as well as his most epic barn find ever. Find a Q&A below. And the very best of luck finding hidden treasures on your watch-hunting travels!

In other news this week, there’s a new DOXA SUB 300 in town that’s slimmer, more accurate and now on rubber. There’s a Seiko 5 sans bezel, and we’ve done two lists that may need your immediate attention: 5 of the most popular watches under $1000 USD spotted at American get-togethers, and 7 left-handed watches approved by Ned Flanders.

Well, I feel that our work for this week is once again done … so many reading activities for you!

Have great weekends, wherever you are, and thanks again to @speedyfett and @fumanku for lighting up the barn find subject all over again — Andrew

Q&A with @barnfindwatches

What are your favourite vintage watches?
My core collection is high-end military pieces, with brands like IWC, Blancpain, Rolex and Breguet … Where I depart from the stark utility of military, I pretty much exclusively hunt for Longines. I love 13ZN/30CH models from the ’40s and ’50s, owning a few dozen overall that span from 35mm/37mm Calatravas all the way to rare Beta 21 quartz models. I am head over heels for Longines and can see this being a persistent obsession for quite some time. The variety and impeccable styling of the brand up through the 1960s is simply stunning.

What are some of your most interesting finds?
Too many to recall. Recently, from flea markets alone, some really cool Heuers (including a rare Abercrombie & Fitch Solunar from the 1950s), a few awesome Universal Genèves (both a Big Eye and a Film Compax, the latter of which I bought for $10 from a costume jewellery pile).

Any other tricks of the trade?
I frequently try to buy watches directly off of the owner’s wrist. This is the ultimate challenge in my opinion, and in the last year alone I bought a 1967 Speedmaster, a few really sweet chronos, and a couple of dive watches just by striking up a conversation.

What has been your best-ever ‘barn find’?
My ultimate barn find was a Rolex Panerai 3646. That was more than 20 years ago.

The bezel-less and the beautiful 

Friday Wind Down 14 08 20

Say what you will, but there are few cooler mods you can make to a stainless steel sports watch than removing its bezel … just ask Marlon Brando. It’s obviously a sentiment that Seiko agrees with, as 2020 has seen them release no fewer than 11 new iterations of its iconic 5 Sports model without the uni-directional, ratcheting diver’s bezel. Click here for the full story.

International day of the southpaw

Friday Wind Down 14 08 20

Being a left-hander ain’t easy. While struggle might be overstating it slightly, there are constant daily reminders to the 10 per cent of the population who are southpaws that we are living in a right-handed world. Hit this link for seven watches made for southpaws.

Old diver, new tricks

Friday Wind Down 14 08 20

The meteoric resurrection of DOXA over the last 18 months has been both exciting and heartwarming to witness. What started out as a strong showing at Baselworld 2019 (think solid gold SUB 200T and SUB 200) has been followed by a succession of compelling offerings that neatly bridge the gap between heritage and contemporary watchmaking. Click right here to read all about the new DOXA SUB 300, and click here to watch the video review.


Friday Wind Down 14 08 20

Coming in hot like a Ki Blast, G-Shock is expanding its releases in collaboration with the internationally renowned Dragon Ball Z franchise across the globe. And this new GA110JDB is both the ultimate wristwear for Dragon Ball Z fans, and a watch that – in general – makes perfect sense in 2020, because it’s wild. Hit this link to read all about this bright orange baller.

Ain’t nothing mundane about this Mondaine

Friday Wind Down 14 08 20

Time+Tide is proud to now be offering the Mondaine Official Swiss Railways stop2go backlight wristwatch at the Time+Tide store. Click right here for the full listing.

Un-bear-ably good looking 

Friday Wind Down 14 08 20

We’re also pretty excited to offer this wilderness-ready beast, the Luminox Bear Grylls Survival wristwatch at the Time+Tide store. Hit this link to check out the toughest watch we currently offer.