Watch this space for specialist vintage watch knowledge

PUBLISHED: 11:20 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:35 09 December 2019

The expertise required to keep a vintage wristwatch in top condition is slowly disappearing as the technicians who understand both complex mechanical and quartz mechanisms approach retirement. Picture: Vintage Watch Fever

The expertise required to keep a vintage wristwatch in top condition is slowly disappearing as the technicians who understand both complex mechanical and quartz mechanisms approach retirement. Picture: Vintage Watch Fever

Archant

One of a rare breed, the ‘Ursmidur’ has the specialist skills to ensure top performance in valuable wristwatches.

Stefan Stefansson, owner of Vintage Watch Fever, is also also known as “Ursmidur”, Icelandic for watchmaker. 
Picture: Vintage Watch FeverStefan Stefansson, owner of Vintage Watch Fever, is also also known as “Ursmidur”, Icelandic for watchmaker. Picture: Vintage Watch Fever

Vintage watch owners and collectors are faced with a dilemma: having spent a considerable sum of money on a classic timepiece, who has the skills to maintain and service that wearable investment to ensure maximum performance?

The expertise required to keep a vintage wristwatch in top condition is slowly disappearing as the technicians who understand both complex mechanical and quartz mechanisms approach retirement.

A rare Lemania South Africa Air Force chronograph from the 1980s currently on sale at www.vintagewatchfever.co.uk Picture: Vintage Watch FeverA rare Lemania South Africa Air Force chronograph from the 1980s currently on sale at www.vintagewatchfever.co.uk Picture: Vintage Watch Fever

"There are not many young ones coming through," says Stefan Stefansson, aged 47 and owner of Vintage Watch Fever, the Essex-based online one-stop shop for quality servicing and vintage watch sales.

Stefan, who comes from Iceland and has been working with watches as a trained watchmaker while compiling his own personal collection for 16 years, was originally attracted to the trade by the beautifully engineered mechanisms of luxury brands such as Omega, Rolex, Cartier, Breitling and Heuer.

Daily wear and tear can cause any watch to need some fine tuning. Picture: Vintage Watch FeverDaily wear and tear can cause any watch to need some fine tuning. Picture: Vintage Watch Fever

"I set up Vintage Watch Fever to meet the needs of people like me who are passionate about watches - experienced collectors or just people who are intrigued by watches and need specialist advice and guidance," says Stefan, also known as "Ursmidur", Icelandic for watchmaker.

Watch servicing and repairs

"Daily wear and tear can cause any watch - even the best - to need some fine tuning," says Stefan. "We offer full services and watch restoration as well as smaller repairs for vintage and modern watches."

For a full service, which might be needed every three to five years, Stefan disassembles the watch and checks the movement for worn components, replacing with new parts where required. He then puts the watch back together, and regulates and checks it to ensure all parts are working perfectly.

As a vintage watch expert, Stefan also specialises in watch restoration, including dial restoration and reluming of dial and hands.

Why invest in a vintage watch?

The "Ursmidur" is especially fond of mechanical watches from the 1960s and 1970s, but he also has a soft spot for a rare Lemania South Africa Air Force chronograph from the 1980s, currently on sale at vintagewatchfever.co.uk. "There are probably fewer than 30 of these left with the mechanical mechanism," says Stefan.

It's often a story like this that attracts the enthusiast, wondering about the people who previously owned the watch and what events it might have witnessed.

Another appeal of an original vintage watch is the virtual guarantee of owning a timepiece that very few other people will be wearing.

Stefan adds: "These watches were hand-crafted and made from high-quality materials, so they're much more likely to stand the test of time."

For more information or to contact Stefan directly, call 07990 677116 or visit www.vintagewatchfever.co.uk

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