vintage watches

TOP 3 Reasons to Choose a Vintage Watch

You know, the past couple of years watch manufacturers have come up with a myriad of vintage reissue watches. You name a brand, and I bet they have a vintage-inspired diver’s watch in their catalog. But why wouldn’t you just buy an actual vintage piece?

Alright, I’ve got to admit, there are some drawbacks with vintage.

The thing that puts many people off is the size. Vintage watches are usually fairly small by today’s standards. Hence, people might opt for a larger reissue. Whereas it was totally normal for a man to wear a 35 millimeter dress watch 50 years ago, nowadays that size is often considered too small.

There is one definite downside to rocking a vintage piece - you constantly worry about it. Or at least I do. If I’m strapping my 50's Zenith Sporto on my wrist, I’ll be thinking what am I going to do today? Is something potentially going to break this thing?

One very common example is riding a bike. Speeding over bumps and potholes causes a lot of sudden shocks for the watch you’re wearing. I guess I am a bit paranoid, but I wouldn’t wear a vintage watch for a bike trip. It’s not that all vintage watches are brittle and will break just at a bare sight of a bicycle, but shock resistant movements were not really a common thing in the 50’s.

Despite of these things I still think it is worth it to take the leap and go vintage. Here are three reasons why you should.

The Oris Divers 65 is a great re-issue and worry-free way to enjoy some vintage vibe.

Uniqueness

Every vintage piece is unique, so no one will have exactly the same watch as you. Over time, after getting exposed to sunlight and humidity, a watch starts to show some age. Black dials fade into a chocolate brown, and white ones develop this beautiful vanilla tone. Or radium lume on the hands might burn some spots on the dial, leaving these great stripes on it. All kinds of things can happen.

This is all damage, alright. But usually it looks very nice and that’s why I prefer to call it patina. And patina cannot be replicated in a new watch.

My personal Zenith Sporto oversize dial has developed this minty tint to it.

Story

I’m a sucker for a good story, and boy, do vintage watches tell some great ones.

Take the Dirty Dozen, for example. During the Second World War, the British Ministry of Defence ordered watches for their troops from 12 different manufactures, the “Dirty Dozen”. The watches had very strict specifications, and they naturally had to be very accurate and durable in order to serve soldiers well in combat. You can still find these watches on the market, and it’s crazy to think what kind of ordeals the people who wore these watches had to go through.

This Omega "Dirty Dozen" from 1944 is on sale at www.longitudi.fi

Or take my grandfather's Girard Perregaux. It is a beautiful dress watch he got as a gift from his co-workers. He wore it very sparingly, and it mainly just sat in its watchbox next to a little note he had written. One day, ten years after he passed, I came home and found this little red box on my desk. I opened it and saw his watch, with the note he’d written himself. Every time I take a look at this watch it reminds me of him.

My grandfather's Girard Perregaux from the 1970's.

The Hunt

The single best thing about vintage, though, is finding the watches - the hunt. More often than not, you cannot simply walk into a shop, and purchase the vintage Jaeger Le-Coultre you’ve been eyeing. Oh no, you’ve got to go on eBay and forums, trying to find one in decent condition. And it’s always a gamble. You can never be completely sure that all the parts are original, or if the dial is repainted. You need to carefully inspect every single find to make sure it actually is what the seller says. It’s part of the game and keeps things interesting.

I’ve been looking for a black dial Tudor Prince “Small Rose” for months now, and I’ve still yet to find a good one for a decent price. But it’s part of the fun - maybe even most of it.

So go on, do some research, and start an adventure to find your first vintage piece!

 

Gallery


follow us on instagram

Watch Spotting at Watch Show Finland x Kelloharrastajat event

The long awaited Watch Show Finland x Kelloharrastajat meetup finally took place yesterday. The event was arranged at Ostrobotnia in the center of Helsinki.

The place was full of life when watch fans came to see the show.

The main event of the night, was the announcement of the very first community watch project of the Kelloharrastajat Facebook-group. And let me tell you - they weren't playing around.

The watch was made in collaboration with Stepan Sarpaneva, the independent Finnish watchmaker behind the brands Sarpaneva and S.U.F. The new piece is an addition to his popular Myrsky-line of watches. The number of pieces produced was very limited - only 50 were made. And they were sold out in one minute and thirty-six seconds. Pretty cool, aye?

The just released Kelloharrastajat Myrsky on the wrist of a happy new owner.

The back of the Myrsky has a picture of Mörkö, a familiar Moomin character, etched into the sapphire glass.

While the new S.U.F. Myrsky was indeed very cool, the pieces on the visitors' wrists and vendors' showcases were world class. The lighting conditions were not the best, but I tried to snap some decent pics anyways.

Naturally, as the star of the show was a S.U.F., a lot of people were wearing the brand. Mr. Sarpaneva also had a booth where he showcased two new watches.

On the left the yet-to-be-released S.U.F. Vetehinen with a DLC coated case, and on the right a new S.U.F. collaboration with Makia, the Myrsky Archipelago.

On the vintage side of things, the offerings from Longitudi could not be beat. All of their watches were in great condition, and albeit they were priced quite high, their selection was nothing short of amazing.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual ref. 6564 from 1956 had developed some crazy patina on the dial.

This trio would make any watch enthusiast very, very happy. From left to right: Rolex GMT Master ref. 1675, Tudor Submariner ref. 7928, and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 4100BA.

The very definition of a baller watch - a solid gold Royal Oak from year 1987.

Any Rolex collector's wet dream - the GMT Master ref. 1675 in great condition with some beautiful patina.

And what do we have here... A Rolex Daytona ref. 6262 from 1970.

Not everything at the event was about watches. Saint Vacant was also present, showcasing their beautiful shoes.

Grand Seiko was also very well represented in the event.

The contrast between the creamy dial, golden numerals and blued hands was a sight to behold on this Grand Seiko SGBW003.

This vintage Grand Seiko ref. 6146-8050 had a really cool chiseled crystal. You can't really see it here, but it was shaped like a polished diamond.

Quartz precision at its best with the Grand Seiko SBGT003. The kanji weekdays don't hurt either.

Thank you Watch Show Finland and Kelloharrastajat for arranging the event. Absolutely loved spending time with great watches and even greater people.

'Till the next time!

 

GALLERY


follow us on instagram