London second-hand watches under £500?
March 18, 2015 8:41 AM   Subscribe

I'm a guy with small wrists (5.5"), so most modern dress watches don't fit me well at all. An option I've seen suggested online is to go vintage, since older watches are often 36mm or smaller - is there anywhere in London with a good selection that isn't centred on £4000 Rolexes? Alternately, are there any modern watches in a smaller case size that anyone can recommend? I'd really like a Christopher Ward, but 39mm is just too large for me.
posted by piato to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Portobello Market. Chepstow Villas to Elgin Crescent is antiques and vintage; Westway to Golbourne Road is more 2nd hand goods but also vintage accessories. Both are worth a good rummage on a Saturday.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:46 AM on March 18, 2015

On the modern-but-small front (and way under your price cap), the Seiko 5 SNK80X series (last digit indicates color) has an automatic movement in a 37mm case. It's not a dress watch per se, but can be dressed up with a different band and has a face very similar to this 44mm Christopher Ward pilot watch.
posted by Partial Law at 8:50 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Seiko 5. I really like mine--the classic look, smaller face, and automatic movement are all points in its favor. I got a nice leather strap for it and wear it regularly with suits. It's not flashy, but to my mind a great value.
posted by bepe at 9:02 AM on March 18, 2015

Not a direct answer, but did you know you can get links removed from metal bracelet-style watch bands? I'd say just about any jeweler could do it, or of course watch repair places. They can take out just one link or several links, however many you need removed to make it fit. (I had three taken out of my current watch band; my father used to have it done to all of his, too, but we're in the US so I can't suggest a specific place to go.) That way, if you already have a watch you like, you can still wear it.
posted by easily confused at 10:23 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

You can try John Lloyd's Little Yellow Watch Shop in Clerkenwell. He's known for his repairs (I've taken my husband's 65-year old Omega Seamaster there a few times) but also does retail. Be aware: he's closed Saturday-Monday, shuts the shop at 4pm, and closes for lunch.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 12:56 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Burlington Arcade and Austin Kaye on the Strand are mostly higher end, though may have watches in your price range.

There's also Antique Watch Company just a little way down from the Little Yellow Watch Shop on the opposite side of Clerkenwell Road.
posted by holgate at 1:31 PM on March 18, 2015

Oh dude, there are so, so many watchings available under 37mm. A large number of watches dedicated to the Asian market fall into this category. I recommend you do some googling at PMWF (poor man's watch forum), or Watch U Seek Forum. There are plenty of great options that don't cost the earth.
posted by smoke at 3:11 AM on March 19, 2015

(not PMWF any more.)
posted by holgate at 8:26 AM on March 19, 2015

Jesus christ. Indeed worn and wound is the place to look, then.
posted by smoke at 1:43 PM on March 19, 2015

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