The vintage look is having a moment in the watch world. Many luxury watch brands boast models that were inspired by retro and vintage styles. If you’d like to spruce up your watch collection, there are plenty of models to choose from.
Here are some outstanding examples of retro style timepieces, some of which may still be located. These watches come from powerhouse watch designers like Omega, Patek Philippe, Breitling, and Longines. But there are many more that are readily available from new brands and from pre-owned brands.
The Omega Globemaster is the world’s first Master Chronometer which was certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology. The watch set new standards of watchmaking, while boasting the design inspired by the past. Well known for beautiful “Pie Pan” dials, Omega embellishes their watch with this famous dial that echoes the 1952 Constellation.
The fluted bezel of the Globemaster is like the bezel of the Constellation model from 1968. The 39mm case with a brushed finish is available in stainless steel, two-town steel and gold combination, yellow gold, and in Sedna gold, an alloy that Omega introduced in 2013.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524
This impressive timepiece stands out among the traditional watches of the world’s possibly most conservative watch brand. Few Patek Philippe aficionados expected the unconventional 42mm-wide model. Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524 takes on various design characteristics of pilot watches of the past 100 years, traced back to the 1920s and 1930s.
Rather than being based on any specific pilot watch, the aesthetic is vintage-inspired and adjusted to the brand’s unique style. The design of the hands, dial and numerals have the look of the pilot watches of the early 20th century. The navy-blue dial is inspired by the body paint of the U.S. fighter aircraft. The brown leather strap with the contrast topstitching evokes the leather belts worn by pilots in the 1930s.
Oris Divers 65
With several subtle modifications, the Oris Divers 65 pays homage to the brand’s timepiece released in 1965. Half a century later, Oris gives it a makeover, achieving a classic and attractive design. While the Oris Divers 65 has a larger 40-mm case made of stainless steel, the case is only 12.8mm thick. Though the narrow PVD bezel makes it appear larger than it is, the slim profile of the case contributes to the overall simple design.
The case back is engraved with the same Oris emblem found on the 1965 watch. On the other hand, the Oris Divers 65 has a unidirectional bezel. This is safer for diving than the bidirectional rotating bezel of the 1965 model. The dial of the Oris Divers 65 is what makes this timepiece unique and funky without looking overly designed. Oris made some visible changes like moving the date window from 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock on the dial. They also put it on a black wheel instead of the original white.
Today’s dive watches have varying degrees of water-resistance from none to 30 meters, to 300 meters or more. With a water resistance of 100 meters, the Oris Divers 65 honors the heritage of its predecessor.
Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915
To celebrate a hundred years from creating the first independent chronograph push piece, Breitling introduced the Transocean Chronograph 1915 in a limited edition of 1,915 pieces. In the early 20th century, chronographs were monopushers, meaning that the controls for starting, stopping, and returning the timer to zero were all placed in the crown. Then the timepiece with a major design innovation was created. The separate pusher placed on the side of the case at 2 o’clock would soon become standard.
Though Transocean waters are usually automatic, the Transocean Chronograph 1915 has a hand-wound movement which runs 33 jewels and has a 70-hour power reserve. The vintage-inspired dial, numerals, and the hands give the watch an antique and refined look. There’s also an engraving “100e anniversaire 1915-2015” displayed on the back of a 43mm stainless steel case.
Longines Pulsometer Chronograph
The brand found its inspiration in the 1920s Longines watch used by medical personnel to calculate a patient’s heart rate. The Longines Pulsometer Chronograph 2015 is indeed an incredible vintage revival. It is a functional tool that is smart and simple, with retro elements like the Breguet-style hour and minute hands.
The eye-catching white dial is surrounded by a red pulsometer scale, the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock markers have been removed and the sapphire crystal has the anti-reflective coating, so the watch is legible and easy to use. The self-winding movement is contained in a 40mm steel case with a column-wheel monopusher chronograph mechanism and holds a 54-hour power reserve.
Grand Seiko Historical Collection 62GS
Released in 1960, the Grand Seiko has become an iconic watch known for its accuracy and precision. All the timepieces of the Seiko Historical Collection honor the heritage of this Japanese brand. To mark the 55th anniversary of Grand Seiko, the brand introduced a series inspired by the very first Grand Seiko watch with automatic movement.
There are eight models in the collection, and all are limited editions. Four are faithful remakes, while the other four are modern reinterpretations featuring the Grand Seiko’s most advanced movements. The traditional-looking models look like the original but are a bit larger in size. They are available in stainless steel, white gold, and rose gold.
The 62GS released in 1967 had the crown positioned at 4 o’clock, emphasizing the fact that hand winding was no longer required. Though not all models of the Grand Seiko collection for 2015 have the off-centered crown, they do share some design elements with the original 62GS.
Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers is the largest full-service jewelry and watch store in San Diego. Visit our deluxe showroom on San Diego Avenue and browse through the always-changing selection of luxury pre-owned watches, as well as new watches from Hamilton and Tissot.
Whether you’re looking for a new watch or a pre-owned watch in mint condition, our helpful and knowledgeable staff will help you find your ideal match. And our guarantee and warranty keeps you covered. If there’s a particular pre-owned timepiece you admire and we don’t have it on hand, we’ll do our best to find it for you from our global network! With Leo Hamel’s, time is on your side!