There comes a time when anyone who has found a love for watches that the vintage fever comes on. This is where the collector will have a fervor for vintage watches like no other. He reads up about many vintage watches, decides on what he wants, and then finally, scours the Internet and his locality on some deals. So the question now is, what are the best vintage timepieces available?
Vintage watches, like antiques, have a certain charm to them – it’s like getting a piece of history and the watch’s brand heritage in your wrist, and bragging rights too if you know what we mean. In this article, we’ve collated some of the best vintages watches anyone can buy this 2020. Word of caution, though, these pieces may be harder to source than regular watches you can buy directly from manufacturers online or on your local watch shops. As with anything, patience is key.
Panerai Radiomir 1940
Panerai is arguably the Italian watch brand that can compete with its Swiss counterparts. Although the company’s history is muddy, and some watch collectors try to keep old watches from the company hidden, the modern iterations of some of its iconic timepieces still bound up to this day. And why not? Panerai watches have a distinctive look on them, coupled with some technologies that are in-house.
The Panerai Radiomir 1940 is one prime example of a vintage watch that’s been reimagined successfully. Yes, you can get the Panerai Radiomir 1940 brand new, off the company’s website, and it would be a great buy to add to your collection. But it won’t mean as much as when you find the original 1940 Radiomir that started it all. The hand-wound mechanical movement is to die for, a movement so powerful it can power the watch for up to 8 days of non-usage.
Rolex Datejust 1960s
If there’s a vintage Rolex you want to invest in, it’s the late 1900s Datejust. Think 1960s, 1970s, even 1980s. Almost all watch connoisseurs agree that the Datejust is one of the most classic and wearable watches in the world. There is quite the list of configurations to the Datejust from these decades, some with colored dials and hands.
But if you want to stick it with a dependable styling and aesthetic, one that you can wear casually, formally, and even on lazy days, go for the original silver Oystersteel case and strap. The white on silver on white is the perfect watch to impress. Under the hood, you get an automatic in-house movement, with a power reserve of 40 hours.
IWC Caliber 89
The International Watch Company, or IWC, has proven its horological prowess time and time again and is one of the more revered luxury watch companies in the world. Among its legendary product lines, the Portofino and Ingenieur are the most popular and revered, but IWC has produced some classic beauties in its storied past. One of which is the Caliber 89.
This is the vintage watch to get if you are into the minimal, no-frills, straightforward handsome watch. The movement inside is a hand-wound mechanical one, a far cry from the automatic ones that are produced today. Since this model was mass-produced, you can easily spot one in online repositories. Plus, you won’t break the bank with this vintage watch when compared to getting a brand new IWC timepiece today.
Seiko 1968 Sport Diver
Seiko, the great Japanese watch brand, has some of the most affordable dive watches in history. When the company introduced the quartz movement in the late ’80s, it etched its name in history as the company, which made mass production and accessibility of the rather expensive automatic watches accessible.
While it is true that the company still has the hand on quality dive watches without the exorbitant pricing up to this day, getting a 1968 Sport Diver for the same price of a mid-range Swiss watch is one of the better decisions that any collector could do. The dial, which is a coal-colored number with a sunburst pattern, perfectly complements the stainless steel strap. With an automatic movement under the hood, you get the best of both worlds with this timepiece.
Certina 1900 with Valjoux 726 Movement
Certina watches have their own market, and some modern releases from the company have been a hit. As vintage watches go, a 1900 Certina with a Valjoux 726 movement is a steal through and through. The infamous movement, which is the basis for most modern automatic movements like the Rolex Daytona, gives this vintage beauty an extra boost in attractiveness.
Oris Holstein 1904
Oris Wristwatch Company was founded in 1904 by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian at Hölstein, Switzerland. For over 100 years, the Swiss watchmaker has been designing mechanical watches which are popular amongst watch enthusiasts due to their red rotor. With the intent to get to every watch enthusiast, Oris watches are available for various fields including aviation, water sports, and even the music industry. Buy Oris Watches.
So there you have it. These vintage watches will be an uphill climb to get your claw on, and if you found the exact brand and model you want, plus the year the next hurdle is how to get them to you safely. It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t expect these watches to be in pristine condition. It’s common not to have the original box or strap that it was in. The most important thing is you get the watch itself!