Hong Kong is a haven for jewelry and watch dealers, making it a hub for various brands. In this guide, we will explore our favorite watch shops and dealers in Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), and Central Hong Kong. Check back often as we’ll be continually updating this guide with more shops as we continue to regularly travel between our HQ in Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
When purchasing watches in Hong Kong, it’s essential to keep a few useful pointers in mind. While these can be applied in general to most watch purchases – we’ve found them especially useful in Hong Kong.
Dealers Prefer Cash Transactions
Most dealers prefer cash transactions, though some may accept credit cards with a processing fee if you’re not a Hong Kong resident. While Hong Kong is generally safe with low crime rates, it’s wise to exercise caution and be aware of your surrounding as pickpocketing and theft can occur in the crowded areas around the shops. Stay vigilant and avoid becoming an easy target.
Always double-check the serial and reference numbers.
Pay special attention to the bracelets, particularly in steel watches, as they are often replaced with aftermarket ones. This is a general watch buying area of importance but we’ve found it especially important within Hong Kong.
Travel with a loupe
To inspect the dial and lume condition, consider bringing a loupe or a UV torch for a closer examination. This again applies to all purchases in all locations but we highly recommend it within Hong Kong as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If you require additional assistance or guidance, consult our specialized guides that delve into the finer details of buying vintage watches. (Editors Note: Available here) Lastly, don’t hesitate to ask the dealer for help and advice; most are generally honest and willing to assist.
Causeway Bay, situated on Hong Kong Island, straddles the border of the Eastern and Wan Chai districts and also encompasses a bay of the same name. This vibrant area serves as one of Hong Kong’s major shopping districts, bustling with numerous modern watch authorized dealers (ADs). When exploring Causeway Bay, it’s best to keep in mind that most shops typically open around 12 o’clock, so arriving too early may lead to encountering closed steel doors. Lockhart and Percival streets around Causeway Bay offer a few second-hand watch shops, often housing modern or neo-vintage timepieces. While I’ve enjoyed strolling through these shops during my time in HK, I must admit that my vintage finds have been limited. Nevertheless, the experience of the hunt itself is always an exciting part of the journey.
From my knowledge, the finest vintage watch shops are housed within a midrise shopping mall-like building called Causeway Bay Plaza 1, accessible directly from the street. Despite the building’s significant size, the vintage dealers are located within the mixed commercial mall at the center. This setup provides a unique opportunity to explore vintage watches and indulge in some excellent dining options within the same location. A visit to Causeway Bay Plaza 1 is not only a treat for watch enthusiasts but also an experience of culinary delights for an enjoyable day out.
During our last trip, there was a T8 hurricane warning, and most of the shops were closed when we tried to visit to shoot examples of their inventory. However, there are a few vintage-specific dealers in Causeway Bay Plaza 1 definitely worth checking out.
Level 2 107A
You’ll spot this watch shop as soon as you come up the escalator after taking a few steps forward. All of the watches are displayed on the outside of the shop via glass. It’s quite common to see all of the watches displayed in the storefront in HK, whereas in European and Western shops, most of the watches are inside. They have an interesting selection of both Vintage and modern watches, with varying brands. You’ll find a nice selection of Vintage Rolex, primarily leaning towards Neo-Vintage from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. The selection isn’t limited to Rolex; you’ll also see Blancpain, Patek, and AP. I’ve actually purchased a watch here for the Craft + Tailored collection.
Central HK, or the Central District, is the prominent business hub of Hong Kong. Situated in the northeastern corner of the Central and Western District, it faces Victoria Harbour and Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon Peninsula. Once the heart of Victoria City, it now serves as the primary business district, housing headquarters of multinational financial corporations, consulates, and the former government headquarters on Government Hill until 2011. There are a good number of very high-end vintage watch shops in central and also one of my favorite vintage watch shops potentially in all of Hong Kong as I think it is quite unique to the world itself.
Hong Kong, Central, 1, LG/F, Century Square 1-13 D’Aguilar Street
The Vintage Concept is a beautiful store in the heart of Central HK. The store has a beautiful layout and specializes in vintage Rolex watches. They also have some Cartier and Omegas, among others, but the main contender here is vintage Rolex sport model watches primarily in steel. The selection is not limited to Rolex; you’ll also see Blancpain, Patek, and AP. Additionally, they have a beautiful curated selection of women’s jewelry from YSL, Christian Dior, and Chanel. So, this could make a nice visit if you are traveling with your wife or girlfriend or if you need to get a little something extra as a result of buying yourself a grail watch. The watches at The Vintage Concept speak for themselves, but one of my favorite elements that you may miss as a result of being distracted by the insane amount of vintage Rolex goodness is the collection of vintage Rolex collectibles and memorabilia in the background of the store and within the display cases. Old Rolex catalogues, books, and artifacts line the cases, making for an equally interesting experience as some of the watches themselves.
6-12 Wing Kut Street, Sheung Wan Shing Lee Commercial Building Unit A, 10th Floor, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Berne Horology is an extraordinary shop that immediately captivated me. Its ambiance and overall vibe resonated deeply with me, reminding me of my own shop back home in Los Angeles. As a family-run business, just like C + T, you can sense the personal touch and care the moment you step into their thoughtfully curated store. Their collection is not only of the highest quality but also meticulously selected, catering to both men and women. I was truly impressed by their array of vintage timepieces, including Rolex, AP, Cartier, Piaget, and others. What caught my attention was their exceptional selection of vintage ladies’ watches, which is often a rarity in many shops. The taste and style of Quinton Ng and the team at Berne deeply resonate with me, reflecting a youthful and artistic essence that sets them apart in the HK watch scene. If you find yourself in the central HK area, a visit to Berne Horology is an absolute must.
Shop 2, Pottinger Street, Central
I absolutely adore stumbling upon hidden gems like this. I can confidently claim that this is perhaps the tiniest vintage watch shop not just in Hong Kong but possibly in the entire world. Despite its size, Raymond, the proprietor, is incredibly knowledgeable and astutely recognized that we were experts and dealers ourselves. The range and quality of watches in Raymond’s collection are exceptional, and it’s essential not to be fooled by the shop’s modest location and size. From entry-level pieces to collector-grade treasures, he offers a diverse selection to cater to various preferences and price points. During my visit, Raymond proudly showcased one of the finest pre-moon Omega Speedmasters I’ve ever encountered in my entire career. It was truly a remarkable find.
Mong Kok, also known as Mongkok or MK, is a bustling and lively district situated in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Within Mong Kok, you’ll come across the Prince Edward subarea occupying the northern part. However, what truly sets Mong Kok apart is the presence of some of the finest vintage watch shops in all of Hong Kong, congregated in the Yan On building on Kwong Wa Street.
The Yan On building, or shopping plaza, offers a unique and eclectic mix of businesses. Here, you’ll find high-end vintage watch dealers, alongside high-end sneaker shops, collectible figure/toy stores, and even AirSoft pellet gun dealers. This diverse combination of businesses creates a vibrant and exciting atmosphere, making the Yan On building a must-visit destination for watch enthusiasts and collectors in MK. All of the shops outlined before are located in the Yan On building on Kwong Wa Street, but there are a bunch of shops in the surrounding area that are worth a look, specializing not only in vintage watches but also in Neo-Vintage and modern luxury watches.
Yan On Building, Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok
This charming shop is owned and operated by our dear friend @johnson167 and his partners. A captivating sight, the majority of their exquisite inventory is elegantly displayed in the shop’s window, situated in the heart of the plaza. Grateful Time specializes in a splendid collection of Rolex stone dials, where you’ll discover some of the most captivating and rare Rolex Day-Dates known for their unparalleled beauty. While stone dials are their specialty, Grateful Time also offers an array of equally fascinating and desirable timepieces. Without a doubt, this store is a top-notch destination that should be high on your list when visiting Hong Kong. @johnson167 and I have become close friends.
Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok
Situated right across from Grateful Time, you’ll find London Watch, an exquisite store that showcases most of its available inventory inside rather than in the window. Step into the neat and beautifully designed London Watch showroom, where the focus is evident – watches displayed in store-length showcases, exuding an air of elegance and sophistication. London Watch boasts an impressive collection of vintage Rolex timepieces. From steel sport models to stone dial Day-Dates and a touch of modern Rolex, their selection is truly captivating. While they do offer watches outside the Rolex brand, London Watch shines when it comes to rare, collectible, and highly sought-after Rolex timepieces. Their range spans from the simplest Rolex Oyster Precision to the most extravagant yellow gold Paul Newman Daytona. If you’re a Rolex enthusiast or a watch collector with an eye for the extraordinary, London Watch is a must-visit destination.
Every time I step into Past & Future Times, I’m filled with excitement and awe, always discovering timepieces that make me dream of adding them to my personal collection. From vintage Rolex sport models to the rare Blancpain Mil-Spec 1 and intriguing LIP watches with exotic dials, their selection is a true delight. Despite its small size, Past & Future Times exudes charm and houses a diverse and fascinating collection. You’ll find watches from various makers, spanning different production periods and price points. It’s a delightful and welcoming shop that exudes passion and love for vintage watches. With each visit, I’m warmly welcomed, and the enthusiasm of the PnF team for vintage timepieces is palpable as soon as I step inside. It’s truly a special place, and I can’t help but be drawn to their captivating selection every time I visit.
Tsim Sha Tsui, commonly referred to as TST, is a vibrant urban area nestled in the southern part of Kowloon, Hong Kong. Its northern boundary is marked by Austin Road, while Hong Chong Road and Cheong Wan Road define its eastern perimeter. Similar to Causeway Bay, TST is home to numerous authorized watch dealers (ADs), but it also holds hidden treasures for vintage watch enthusiasts who know where to seek them. I’m currently in the process of exploring this dynamic area and discovering the various dealers and shops, particularly within the CKE gallery. As I continue my visits, I’ll be adding more insights to this experience. So far, I can confidently say that this exploration has been incredibly enjoyable, and I highly recommend it as a must-visit destination for watch enthusiasts. Stay tuned for more discoveries as I delve deeper into Tsim Sha Tsui’s vintage watch scene.
CE Mall, Chungking Mansions, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
As you arrive, you won’t miss the prominent illuminated sign reading “CKE Gallery.” Simply take the escalator up two floors, and you’ll find yourself amidst an interesting mix of nail salons and watch shops. It’s quite amusing to witness such diverse businesses sharing the same space, with high-end vintage dealers neighboring nail salons – two worlds colliding.
Within this unique spot, there are some remarkable vintage watches waiting to be discovered. Over my next few visits, I’ll be diligently exploring and showcasing the dealers and shops that make up the CKE gallery. Each shop has its distinct offerings and contributions to the watch community, and I’m excited to shed light on these individual elements. Stay tuned for more exciting insights into this extraordinary watch haven.
In conclusion, Hong Kong stands as a mecca for vintage watch enthusiasts, offering a diverse and vibrant landscape of timepiece treasures. From the bustling streets of Causeway Bay to the hidden gems in Mong Kok, and the chic elegance of Central to the dynamic Tsim Sha Tsui, each district offers its unique charm and a plethora of vintage watch shops waiting to be explored.
As we continue our journey through the vintage watch scene in Hong Kong, we hope this guide has provided valuable insights and tips to enhance your watch-buying experience. We are excited to share our discoveries with you as we delve deeper into Tsim Sha Tsui’s vintage watch scene and uncover the hidden treasures within the CKE gallery. Stay tuned for updates as we continually explore and update this guide to reflect the ever-evolving vintage watch dealer and resource network within Hong Kong.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a passionate enthusiast, Hong Kong’s vintage watch scene promises an unforgettable journey filled with horological wonders. So, grab your loupe, set your sights on these extraordinary destinations, and embark on an unforgettable watch-buying adventure in the heart of Hong Kong. Happy hunting!
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