Hi, I'm Alan and I live in Chicago.
As is pretty obvious, I'm a huge fane of wristwatches. I created Alan's Vintage Watches in 1999 as a non-commercial site dedicated to display, description and sharing of my (at that time rather small) collection of vintage watches.
I would consider myself a "hobbyist, a fan, and a collector" of watches. I would in no way call myself a historian, but I am very interested in the history of watches, watch companies, manufacturing, advertising, and more.
I am not skilled in watch repair or cleaning, though I can say I've learned to "tinker with," modify, and tweak watches here and there. I've destroyed a few. Sometimes by mistake, sometimes deliberate.
I have enjoyed hosting Alan's Vintage Watches, and enjoy sharing what I've learned about watches. I enjoy feedback from folks, and feel free to email me with comments, or questions.
While the site has "vintage" in the title, you'll see that some of my watches are not at all vintage, purchased in the 2000s, a few being mechanical, many being quartz. This is a departure from my original hobby of focusing just on vintage mechanical.
The photography has changed, naturally, during the 20+ years of the site. I originally took photos with an actual film camera, developed and obtained prints at the drug store and then scanned the prints on a flatbed scanner to get them into digital format! Then, I obtained a Sony digital camera. Most of my pics now days are taken with my Samsung phone!
I hope you enjoy the site!
Whether they're fine and elegant, strange or weird, or just plain ugly, they're all nice...
Thanks for visiting. If you want to skip this intro, you can and just go to the watches. This site is dedicated to vintage wristwatches, mainly a display of interesting and unusual pictures of my watch 'collection' and accompanying text. What is vintage? Please see explanation of the term 'vintage.' Most are fine-looking watches with only a very few ugly ones. You will also find descriptions, diagrams, old watch ads, a little history, and maybe a few urban legends.The site is meant to be relaxing and pleasurable, and I encourage you to bookmark it so you can view the pages at your leisure.
I'm Alan, from Chicago, and I like vintage wristwatches. While I like a fine watch movement, I can be persuaded to buy a watch based on its visual appeal if I really enjoy the dial and the overall look, even if the movement is nothing special. My interest is both aesthetic and technical. I buy watches to wear and enjoy them, and if I find that I don't wear a watch frequently enough it doesn't stay around long. I have tried to render and image my watches in ways I hope you find unique, interesting and enjoyable.
All of my watches are working mechanical wristwatches, manual wind or automatic. Most have conventional Swiss anchor escapements and movements; though I have Japanese, American and Russian watches as well. They're from the 1920s through the '70s. Most are from the '40s, '50s and '60s. Recently I have purchased a few new mechanical watches, but mostly my watches are older.
A few of my watches are 'no-name' or 'low-name' vintage watches, but they look great, run well, and have character.
Many of the pictures were taken with a Sony DSC 70 digital camera; when I first started this site, all the pics were taken with a Nikon N70 camera, a 35-80 zoom lens, with three stacked Tiffen magnification lenses. I have since replaced some of the watch pictures with digital shots. If you have a standard film camera, you can get good results with mag lenses. These lenses are inexpensive, and achieve almost the same degree of clarity as a macro zoom lens. Improvised lighting was used, including sunlight and ordinary household lighting.
Thanks for visiting. I hope you will like it. Alan.
(Below is something I wrote maybe in early 2000s, though I can't remember when. Much of it it outdated, but I kept it and I'll reprint it here, as it does explain a bit more.)