Welcome to my site – Retro Watches UK

I run this website and collect Swiss mechanical retro + vintage watches as a hobby & passion, because I enjoy it, have a great deal of trade experience and like being creative with technology.  

I was formerly a business (sole trader) full time for over 5 years and sold thousands of timepieces worldwide.

I hope you enjoy browsing the site, reading news articles and my small collection. Each timepiece is individually procured for it’s retro design, collectible nature and medium/long term investment potential.

Based in leafy North Yorkshire near Harrogate / Wetherby, I’ve always prided myself on honesty, delivering quality, value for money with first class customer service.

My watches are online only.  (I no longer retail at any physical locations due to high rents and time limitations). Thank you.

Ian.

Watch trade experiences

2010-2013

Originally introduced to watches by a friend in the trade, a business partnership was formed in 2010, there was an exciting time of strong growth as e-commerce was in its infancy, (especially in vintage watches which were mainly found on shelves in antiques centres) They quickly sold when advertised online.

We had cabinets at Space Retro Store in Harrogate and retailed thousands of watches on ebay. 

We went to Hong Kong and London to seek out timepieces and sold watches for local jewellers and at Salts Mill. 

2013-2018

I became a sole trader in 2013, working as a photographer, website administrator and e-commerce consultant to companies such as Ogden of Harrogate Ltd. and Investing in Time Ltd (VintageHeuer.com) .

I spent 5 years self employed in and around the watch trade/e-commerce, running a successful ebay store whilst working freelance and stocking cabinets around North Yorkshire.

I’ve always loved e-commerce, customer service and the digital and logistical side of retail.

I once helped facilitate the sale of a Vintage Heuer watch which was presented to Ed Sheeran after a gig at the Barclays Centre in New York City ! (The original enquiry came via our ebay store) and I photographed the watch for the Vintage Heuer site. (photo below)

Ed Sheeran Watches

Over the years I have had retail cabinets in Harrogate, Saltaire (Salts Mill), Leeds, Knaresborough, Sheffield & Hull.

Time ran out for the business in 2018, eBay abruptly closed our store with over 3000 feedback, this was the main route to market but was unfairly restricted by the corporation. This came approximately 4 weeks after the 13th Feb ’18 Robbery at 27 West Park, so I decided to wind down trading.

> 2019 

I’ve since retrained and used previous experience to start a new career in the software industry working with SQL databases, I LOVE the challenge of it and the fast paced working environment and am training to be Microsoft certified… however, I still have a great deal of watch experience and enjoy sourcing and collecting retro and vintage watches so have decided to keep this site going as a hobby / project and post my private collection online as it grows (albeit slowly!!).

Thank you for your interest and visiting my site. 

All the best for 2020

Ian Abbott

Testimonials : 

Omega Speedmaster Mark II Vintage 

Published 06 November 2017

“I recently purchased a watch from Ian via his website and was very happy with the transaction. Emails were answered almost immediately even during the evening, the watch was posted when stated and tracking details given and once it arrived the watch ( a vintage Omega) was in fantastic condition. I would have no reservations what so ever about purchasing from Retro Watches Harrogate again in the future.”

Watch Repair Testimonial
(We are not currently offering a repair service)
 
“My step-father’s last wish in 2004 was that I wore the Omega automatic watch that he had chosen to keep locked away and unworn when he was alive.
The watch’s sentimental appeal to me was its appearance – the gold casing and gold mesh strap, but it also needed to work as a timepiece if I was to continue wearing it.
 
After numerous, costly failed attempts to get the watch to work for an extended period by various reputable establishments over the last three years, Ian’s watch repairer was able to fit it with a new movement, for a very reasonable charge.
 
Many thanks to both Ian and his watch repairer for all their efforts and patience, which has enabled me to resume wearing and enjoying it as a functioning watch.”
Philip Hayward, Pannal. May 2016