This is what I call my website, Vintage. What exactly is 'vintage' anyway? I was encouraged to look this up recently, and glad I did, as it is a term which is used frequently. Please see below entries from two dictionaries, one from Cambridge University Press, and the other from the The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
The word 'vintage' can be used as a noun or probably more commonly as an adjective. The first meaning (noun) relates mainly to winemaking it seems, and revolves around the year and place in which the wine was made, as well as the yield of that year, among other things. "It was a fine vintage."
The second meaning (adjective) relates to something I can most easily characterize as 'outmoded excellence with lasting appeal.' It is the use of the word vintage here which imparts a sort of attractiveness or quality of an older object, which sustains itself over time. These objects are sometimes found to be charmingly seductive in ways which sometimes defy rational explanations.
When used as an adjective, the speaker/writer is revealing his favorable inclination toward that object; of course this opinion is by nature subjective. Most people would agree that rusted farm tools from 1921 would be objectively classified as 'old,' but should someone claim these are 'vintage' farm tools, he is instantly making a subjective assessment of their beauty, worth, quality and excellence. Some may agree, but others may not.
Ultimately, when considering vintage watches, vintage clothing, vintage children's books or vintage toys for example, the 'vintageness' of these items, whether or not they are accepted as vintage in their own subculture will be determined by the others in that particular culture. A claim to being vintage can be challenged, and not everything called vintage will be accepted as such. I might say that an old transistor radio is a "nice piece of vintage electronics," and someone else says that's just an old piece of rubbish.
Having said all this, please read on and then take a look at some of the watches! I hope this is informative. I hope you like the watches and find that they posses a kind of seductive charm.
1. From Cambridge University Press:
1 [C] the wine made in a particular year, or a particular year in which wine has been made:
The 1983 vintage was one of the best.
What vintage is this wine (= In what year was it made)?
2 [U] LITERARY a group of things which were produced, or a group of people who were active, during the same particular period:
He is undoubtedly England's best captain of recent vintage.
vintage (HIGH QUALITY)
of high quality and lasting value, or showing the best and most typical characteristics of a particular type of thing, especially from the past:
a vintage aircraft
a vintage comic book
This film is vintage (= has the best characteristics typical of films made by) Disney.
(from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
2. From The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:
NOUN: 1. The yield of wine or grapes from a vineyard or district during one season. 2. Wine, usually of high quality, identified as to year and vineyard or district of origin. 3. The year or place in which a wine is bottled. 4a. The harvesting of a grape crop. b. The initial stages of winemaking. 5. Informal a. A group or collection of people or things sharing certain characteristics. b. A year or period of origin: a car of 1942 vintage. c. Length of existence; age.
ADJECTIVE: 1. Of or relating to a vintage. 2. Characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic. 3. Old or outmoded. 4a. Of the best: played songs that were vintage Cole Porter. b. Of the most distinctive: "Fatalism has coexisted with vintage American overconfidence" (Thomas Oliphant, Boston Globe October 19, 1989).
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, alteration (influenced by viniter, vintner) of Old French vendange, from Latin vndmia : vnum, grapes + dmere, to take off ( d, de- + emere, to obtain; see em- in Appendix I).