The $20 Vintage Watch


Old, Classic Watches Aren't Just For Rich Guys.

Many young men aspire to buy a relic like a vintage Rolex or Omega, knowing this dream is many pay raises down the line. But there are plenty of beautiful old time pieces around that can be had at dirt cheap prices.

I picked up this watch at a flea market here in Los Angeles for just $20. What or who is “Diantus”? Not much is known of the brand, even on the web's go-to watch forums. It's believed to be an affordable movement by a Swiss company that was merged with Swatch at some point. Regardless, it keeps great time and looks like it cost a lot more.

And don't fear the watch collectors telling you not to waste your money…listening to someone tell you not to buy a nice, used watch on the cheap unless it's a Speedmaster is like not buying a used car unless it's a Ferrari.

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Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


  • Reply July 17, 2012


    If you want a recognizable brand, you can find plenty of vintage working and inexpensive Bulova watches on ebay.

  • Reply July 18, 2012


    That watch is beautiful. Nice find!

  • Reply July 18, 2012


    That is one nice looking watch. $20 would never come to mind if you asked me how much I thought it was. Great find.

  • Reply July 19, 2012


    I’ll give you $30 for it! 🙂 Nice find!

  • Andrew: I appreciate the attention that Primer has given to presentable but affordable wristwatches, over the past couple of years. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply July 25, 2012


  • Reply August 20, 2012


    I love my vintage Waltham. There is something to be said for a wristwatch that you need to wind.

  • Reply October 3, 2012


    i have bought many fine watches for next to nothing at antiques stores–a 1970’s seiko chronometer…for $8.00, because “it’s not a Rolex”…it is worth 200; a bag of cheap ladies watches for 26.00 yielded a 250 longings Mystery dial watch—look for the castoffs; You might be surprised!

  • Reply March 18, 2013

    Kelly Rogers

    You are correct. Your watch looks great. I hope I can also find great watches like yours in flea markets. Or find Patek Philippe watches Australia.

  • Reply October 6, 2015

    Ernie Velasco

    Found same watch in a estate sale new ne’er used for one dollar

    • Reply October 6, 2015


      Whoa! That’s awesome! Does it keep good time?

      • Reply October 7, 2015

        Ernie Velasco

        It stops I m going to have it cleaned hopefully it will take care of it

  • Reply April 25, 2016

    Scott Kimberly

    Andrew, what strap do you have on the watch here? Looks like a good dark leather strap.

    • Reply April 26, 2016


      Hey Scott,

      I bought it at a Fossil store.

  • Reply April 25, 2017


    give me ur email id bro, mine is [email protected]

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