It can be fun to collect vintage watches and easy as well; many antique shops have a good selection at reasonable prices. However, you should be careful as some watches are claimed to be vintage or antique, but are actually just replicas of older watches. Military watches in particular are often misleadingly described as vintage.
One way to determine whether a watch really is vintage or antique is to try to find the brand name of the watch. Once you have the brand name, it can be a little bit easier to find out more information about that particular watch and model. If you can find the serial number as well, that also can help.
Watches have small jewel bearings that can be found in them; in fact, they are part of the movement. The jewels are not really at all valuable, although the better cut they are, the more value they potentially have and the longer the watch will last. These iewels also affect the rating of a watch and can be another clue to its authenticity.
Watches that have extra features, such as a date, day and time indicator are usually going to be worth more. An older watch that has some or all of these features took considerably more skill and craftsmanship to create, therefore meaning its value today will be higher.
If you collect anything, it is important to be able to tell the difference between the real thing and a replica or fake. This can save you money as well as ensuring that you are not fooled into collecting something that is not genuine. However, if you do collect vintage watches, it is fairly easy to do some basic research; there are collectors guides available that cover both military watches and vintage watches. These guides will give you a price guide, as well as telling you what to look for to determine that a watch really is antique or vintage.