The Marketplace for the Best Vintage Watch Ads



The way patina on a watch tells its unique story - like how and where it was worn - the copy and imagery of advertisements tell the history behind brands and their models. Reading the headlines and taking in the visual elements remind us of the spirit of timepieces: when dive watches were dive watches

The same way the perfect leather strap can make you enjoy your watch more, having original vintage ads can make you appreciate watches more. Ads add to the experience…

You might want a vintage ad to go with your watch. You might want to collect them, as they’re an important resource to study. And like dials, cases and movements, many ads are works of art to admire. For so many reasons - sentimental, educational, aesthetic - I think advertisements should be part of watch collecting; part of the conversation.   



Ads pre-framed, ready to send - to hang in your home or office.


Featured Ads

A monthly exhibition of particularly cool ads…

April I’m giving the spotlight to small ads. These quarter page and strip ads shouldn’t be overlooked. I mean just look at the watches advertised… You shouldn’t hold out for a large, full page ad for your favorite model. There’s a good chance it doesn’t exist. And even if it does, you should give serious consideration to a smaller ad as they often featured a very early or nuanced version… I also happen to think small ads look as good - if not better - framed up!


1961 Zodic Sea Wolf Dive Watch

Back then watches like this were just no frills gear for hunters of the deep… Nowadays they’re treasures for us mortals above sea level.

5” x 5 1/4” (12.5cm x 13.3cm)


1959 Omega Speedmaster Ref. 2915

Serious Omega history here. The original Speedmaster with its “tacho-productometer scale on the rim of the case.”

2 1/2” x 10 1/4” (6.5cm x 26.5cm)


1980 Tudor “Snowflake” Submariner

Hard to tell if the dial is black or blue? But one thing’s for sure - the hands are “Snowflake” and a Tudor is every bit a Rolex…

5 1/4” x 7 1/4” (13cm x 18cm)


1974 Rolex “Tiffany & Co” Submariner & Datejust

So much to love here… those unscrewed crowns, that rotated bezel, time not set to 10:10 or date to 28th, seven lines of text on the Sub!

4 3/4” x 5 1/2” (11.8cm x 13.7cm)


1982 “Tiffany & Co.” Patek Nautilus

If only it was as easy today to walk into Tiffany and walk out with a Nautilus. This ad is the closest you’re gonna get to having the watch…

4 3/4” x 5 1/8” (12cm x 13.5cm)


1977 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402

High praise for Gerald Genta. This ad essentially comparing him to Rembrandt. I’m sure owners of the Royal Oak would agree!

4” x 5 3/4” (10.2cm x 14.2cm)


Small AdS Framed

Past projects to inspire you…




Custom framing available. Let’s start a project…




Gift Guide 2018: Ad Patina Prints

A Quick Look at Ad Patina


LIST: 6 of the best vintage watch advertisements, according to @adpatina

Marketing Horloger: Etait-ce mieux avant?

(Watch Marketing: Was it better before?)