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I won’t lie. I don’t know a great deal about vintage watches. But I do know one thing! And that is that Mr Tweed LOVES them. Stepping out of my comfort zone to research and purchase a vintage timepiece for him as a gift on our wedding day is something I am always so happy I did. I love the little smile he flashes me each time he puts it on his wrist on “special occasions”.

I have enlisted the help of Mr Tweed to bring to you a how-to guide for purchasing a timeless timepiece. – Ms Tweed x

Image by Will Chao Photography via Debra & Nelson’s Elegant & Classic Melbourne Wedding

A quality timepiece can last lifetimes – making them the perfect wedding day memento for your groom (or bride!).

With endless brands and models, the search for a new or vintage watch can be daunting. So here is my how-to guide for purchasing a keepsake to mark your nuptials.

  • Keep it classic and avoid fashion trends – you want timeless (pun intended), not something that will be dated in two years’ time and left in their sock drawer. Get it right and you’ll have an heirloom to pass down to future generations.
  • The days of oversized watches are numbered. Go with a watch of 42mm or less – after all it needs to be appropriate with a wedding suit.
  • Look pre-owned to save on RRP. But unless you’re an expert, buy from reputable vendors. Look for trusted sellers on Chrono24 (the global eBay for watches) or visit a reputable second hand watch dealer for high end purchases. You’ll find them in most cities.
  • Search the jewellery cabinet at pawn brokers, which usually have lots of vintage offerings. Check what warranty they come with and make sure you can return it if there’s an issue. Take it straight to a respected watchmaker to make sure it checks out.
  • Vintage options from brands such as Omega, Longines, IWC, Rolex, Tudor and Cartier will never go out of fashion. Expect to pay anything from a few hundred bucks to several thousand, depending on the model and condition.
  • Watch snobs prefer mechanical watches – wound automatically from the movement of wearing it on your wrist, or by hand. But don’t discount quartz; they are reliable, low maintenance, affordable and keep better time.
  • Do your research. No one wants to spend their hard-earned and then get a nasty – and potentially costly – surprise when it’s delivered to your door. Or simply choose from one of our handpicked selections below.

And just for fun, I’ve included 10 watches worthy of being your future husband or wife’s wedding gift, ranging from $100 to $10,000.

1. Braun

$100 – eBay

eBay can be a minefield if you don’t know what to look for,  but you can safely pick up a new Braun quartz for less than a hundred big ones. It’s a classic minimalist timepiece sporting Bauhaus design, and powered by a Japanese quartz movement. It will keep better time than the $10k Rolex below.

Braun Men’s BN0021BKBKG Classic Stainless Steel Watch via / Image via eBay

2. Timex Marlin

From $285 – timex.com

Whether the vintage-sized 34mm hand wound version or the more modern 40mm, the Marlin is an inspired choice boasting classic mid-century design. And from just a couple of hundred bucks, it’s in within reach of most. And brides, did we mention there’s a ladies version?

Image via Timex

3. Merci LMM-01

$385 – merci-merci.com/en

The first watch by iconic retailer Merci from Paris’ Boulevard Beaumarchais, the LMM-01 (for La Montre Merci) is a pared back vintage inspired field watch that comes in both quartz and automatic versions. It might be simple, but the details are spot on. Dress it up on a leather band for the nuptials – save the fabric Nato strap for the honeymoon.

Image via Merci

4. Tissot Heritage Visodate

$475 – tissotwatches.com/en-au

A vintage-inspired modern classic and a true everyday watch measuring a very modern 40mm. Quartz versions are around $500, or double that for an automatic. Either way you can’t go wrong, whether on leather strap or mesh bracelet.

Image via Tissot

5.Baltic Three-hands

$540 – baltic-watches.com

One of the many young “microbrands” making waves in the watch world, Baltic produces achingly handsome watches powered by reliable Japanese movements at attractive price points. You can’t go wrong with any of their models, but this 38mm Three-hands on a leather strap is sure to stir emotions when gifted on your wedding morning.

Image via Baltic

6. Vintage Grand Seiko

From $1000 – chrono24.com.au

About the most watch you can buy for the money, choose a Grand Seiko from the 1960s or ‘70s and you’ll have a timepiece that rivals anything from the best Swiss watch houses. Once a Japan-only offering, Seiko’s high end spinoff brand has become the darling of those in the watch know around the globe in recent years. New examples will cost several thousand (still amazing value) but this 1969 example will set you back $1,300 from a seller in Japan and will be worthy inheritance for your grandchildren. Look for verified dealers on Chrono24 for peace of mind.

Image via Chrono24

7. Vintage Cartier Tank

From around $1300 – chrono24.com.au

You can spend $20k on a new solid gold version… or just a fraction of that on a vintage version of the deco classic that put the wristwatch on the map in 1917. They’ve been on the wrists of everyone chic including Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Muhammad Ali, Princess Diana, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Kim Kardashian (who actually bought Jackie O’s example for more than $500,000). Most de Cartier versions – a more affordable range launched during the 1970s quartz crisis that crippled the watch industry – can be had for around a little over a grand for clean example. A bonus – this is definitely a watch that can be shared between brides and grooms.

Cartier Tank Quartz Must de Cartier Fullset 681006 for AU$ 2,823 / Image via Chrono24

8. Nomos Club Campus

$1870 – nomos-glashuette.com

An entry level model from the small German manufacturer adored by watch aficionados, known for their high-value mechanical movements made in-house. It’s pitched as the model to celebrate milestones in life, such as graduating, starting a new job or … getting hitched. Nomos will even offer complimentary engraving on the case back to literally mark the occasion for decades to come.

Club Campus 38 night — NOMOS Glashütte / Image via Nomos

9. Tudor Black Bay 36

$4000 – tudorwatch.com

Tudor is Rolex’s sister brand – but definitely not the poor cousin. It’s a historic and fabled brand that has been risen to even greater heights with a slew of vintage inspired releases over the last several years. The Black Bay collection has been the cornerstone of brand’s resurgence. The 39 and 41mm dive watches are the most prominent in the collection, but this understated 36mm version is the pick for checking the time while waiting at the top of the aisle.

TUDOR BLACK BAY 36 WATCH – M79500-0007 / Image via  Tudor

10. Vintage Rolex Datejust

From around $7,500 – The Watch Gallery

About as iconic as a watch gets, this is one wedding-worthy time piece. More than any other brand bar the stratospherically priced Patek Philippe, Rolex watches become heirlooms and often appreciate in value. Expect to pay a little under $10,000 for an example like this 2018 version from bricks and mortar dealer The Watch Gallery in Melbourne. It will be perfect on his wedding day, and every subsequent day of his life.

Image via  The Watch Gallery

Polka Dot Bride Shop

We are revving our engines over here because Menswear specialists M.J. Bale have just launched their new Winter 2020 campaign, Start/Up. William Phung, the PR and Social Media manager at M.J. Bale told us that, “Start/Up is all about engineering new ways and smarter plays to put the modern man in motion.”

The Polka Dot Bride team are loving the cosy and rich textures in this range, like the sumptuous velvets and woollen flannels. It’s no secret we love a pattern so we are all about the stripes and playful florals on show. It’s all in the details. M.J Bale are wowing us here with patchwork pockets and Japanese braid edging.

You can view the new lookbook full of exciting new styles right here.

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This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

Barry & Mark

When the stars aligned for a surprise ceremony, Barry and Mark went for it! Just after same sex marriage was legalised in Australia, their overseas family happened to be visiting and the couple thought, ‘Why not?’ What followed was a riverside elopement full of joy, sentiment, and some incredible vintage pieces that Mark loves to collect. Below, Barry details their love story and how their special day unfolded.

Once upon a time in Alice Springs, Mark and I refused to meet each other… A mutual friend attempted for a while to us up on a blind date. However, neither of us were looking for a relationship, and didn’t trust our friend’s taste. After a few weeks, our friend was moving away from Alice Springs and invited us to going away drinks. Upon showing up, we realised that outside of our friend’s boyfriend, we were the only two invited.

I’m always keen for more friends, so I made the most of the encounter and tried to make a good impression. Mark on the other hand was so shocked at being set up and was extremely keen to avoid a relationship. So, he avoided eye contact and kept answers to one word, while messaging a friend about how mortified he was at being set up on a “blind double date”.

While we thought it was going to be our last encounter, our friend ensured we exchanged numbers, and we ended up dating shortly thereafter.

With my job in Alice Springs coming to an end, I needed to choose what the next chapter in life would be, and if I should change from my current life plan to involve Mark. So, we decided to put our relationship to the test by putting it in a travel pressure cooker. We took an 18 day cruise from Sydney to Honolulu. After three weeks of sharing every waking hour and living in a 12m square room, we knew our relationship could handle anything.

After nearly three years together, we were on two month holiday touring the US. After attending my best friends’ wedding and introducing Mark to my entire family, I knew Mark was the one I wanted to spend my life with. However, Mark had jokingly said he would only ever say yes if his ring came in a little blue box. While I knew Mark was kidding, I wanted it to be perfect, so I snuck a way to find the perfect ring.

On one of their last nights in the US, I made an excuse to go to a park in my hometown that had a sculpture of the world and all the nations’ flags. Once there, I started talking about our joint passion for travel, and my desire to see the rest of the world by Mark’s side. With that I got down on one knee and asked Mark if he would be my forever travel companion and take my hand in marriage.
With that I pulled out the little blue box, to which Mark said, “No, no… no no no… oh my… Yes, of course, YES!” as tears started to roll down his cheeks.

When it came time to choose wedding outfits, Mark knew he didn’t want ordinary. Endless hours were spent scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest, trying to find inspiration. He wanted something that said old Hollywood meets Great Gatsby. Whilst out for lunch in the city, something caught his eye. Shimmering in the front window of Jack London was the jacket of all jackets. A tuxedo jacket covered in black sequins. A mix of glamour with just a dash of “look at me”! He just knew it had to be his. Myself, on the other hand, lover of all things conservative was a little apprehensive of Mark’s new purchase. I convinced Mark that perhaps another jacket would be needed just in case he changed his mind (which in all fairness Mark was renowned for). The “conservative” jacket came in the form of a blue velvet smoker’s jacket. The decision was made that Mark would walk down the aisle in the velvet jacket and eventually change into his little sequin number for pre-dinner cocktails.

I had conflicting ideas in my head for my own attire. I didn’t want the standard black tux, but still wanted to maintain something traditional. I ended up slipping on a jacket that was a perfect fit! It was a deep blue jacket with a subtle pattern by Hugo Boss inspired by 1930s style.

Our ceremony was held at a local heritage listed bed & breakfast built in 1902 overlooking the Swan River, with a cake and champagne reception in the formal dining room.

Initial plans saw a massive 200+ wedding. However, as our original planned wedding date approached, same sex marriages were not yet legal in Australia. So, we made the tough decision to postpone indefinitely. When same sex marriages were legalised late 2017, my parents already had plans to travel from the US to visit us in Australia. At this point we decided we would have a surprise ceremony while all of our parents were in the same city. This meant the wedding consisted of us, Julie (Mark’s mum) and her partner Richard, Mark (Mark’s father) and his wife Survira, and Loretta and Geoff (my mom and dad).

Being a small wedding party we decided to walk down the aisle together to ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ by Frankie Valli.

Both Simone Addison Photography and Andrew Pickering Celebrant paid attention to every detail to set the day up to be a day to remember forever.

We wanted to have our wedding at a place that incorporated Mark’s love of vintage but would also cater to a small wedding party of eight. We came across this venue overlooking the Swan River, only to find out the owners did not allow weddings. However, we were not deterred and told our story, explained how the property was exactly what we were looking for and how small our wedding party was. After we promised to use the house as is, with minimal disturbance, we were lucky enough to secure our dream location.

Then with consultation with Simone (our photographer) we found a few locations to capture some stunning images.

The inspiration for our florals was really quite simple, We had a healthy stockpile of vintage china to draw from. Mark originally wanted to do the arrangements himself, but soon quickly realised this task was not for the faint of heart. Our celebrant Andrew saved the day when he let us know his husband’s  business (Weddings That Pop) would be able to create vintage inspired blooms that would match our vision.

The style of our wedding all started with Mark inheriting his grandparent’s vintage dinner set. He took on the mammoth task of hunting down vintage treasures so that everyone could share the same feeling he experienced when dining off of these very much loved plates. He romanticised the moments these plates have shared over the years; joy, laughter, and even sometimes tears. What he loved most of all is that it brought people together. The vintage floral patterns from the china was really the inspiration for everything that followed. We love the idea of wonderful vintage pieces. We believe each piece has had a unique experience and an amazing story to tell if they could talk.

We cannot say enough about our photographer. Before we had thought about a date, Simone Addison’s work had caught Mark’s eye, and when he showed me, I too loved her style. From our first phone call through to the end of the big day, Simone was there to capture our day without missing a detail. Simone took the extra time to understand us as a couple, as well as understanding why we decided on each detail of our wedding. On the day, Simone captured all the candid moments, as well as capturing some formal photos as well.

Ms Floral Says: Congratulations Barry and Mark on your marriage and for creating such a gorgeous wedding. So delighted that you celebrated your day YOUR way, surrounded by your families. Loving the meaning and story behind the vintage pieces too!

 

Polka Dot Dream Team...

The below wedding vendors made this magic happen and are an approved part of the Polka Dot Directory. Visit their portfolios to learn more and enquire about their services!

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This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.