If there’s one thing almost any watch lover can enjoy in a watch, it’s history. Although tastes in watches vary, everyone loves a good vintage piece. They vary greatly in style, too. Some were popular enough in their day to become vintage must-haves, and some may be more prized for their rarity, but a vintage watch is always a treat for somebody.
One great example of a classic vintage watch is the Cartier Tank. The Tank line has always been one of Cartier’s staple lines, and little has changed about its style over the years. Still, the vintage designs stand out. Depending on the model and where you are getting it from, you might also find a great vintage model for a much lower price than you would a newer Tank. Tanks vary in case size, materials, and sometimes dial colors, but they are all generally square or rectangular and have Roman numerals at every five minutes.
Another series with many good vintage pieces is the Constellation collection by Omega. This series has changed many times over its history. Nowadays, the most coveted models are those with the “pie pan” shaped dial. The series has had so many different styles and movements that it’s almost hard to name its characteristics, but a Constellation watch is always a great watch. Another good Omega series that has good vintage models is the DeVille series.
On the sportier side of things, there are other great vintage models that were popular for other reasons. For instance, there’s the Rolex Submariner. This watch has been around for decades, and it has always been loved by collectors of dive watches. There are several varieties of the Submariner. Some of these might get a boost in value for having been part of a limited edition production, some of which were made for military or other special uses. For daily wear, one of the best Submariners is the 16800. Made famous by James Bond, this watch has a classic look and is tough enough for continued use.
Another excellent sports watch that has been around for a while is the Omega Speedmaster. Originally designed with racing in mind, the Speedmaster earned another claim to fame when it became the first watch worn during a spacewalk and, even more impressively, the first watch to be worn on the moon! While it can be a bit difficult and expensive to acquire the exact model that was worn on the Apollo 11 mission, the previous model looks almost just like it. As an added bonus, it’s a completely wearable watch.
Of course, you don’t have to stick with classic favorites. Sometimes what makes a vintage watch great is that there were never very many of them. For instance, during the 70’s and 80’s, mechanical watches were in sort of a funk. Though people continued to buy them, for a time it looked like quartz watches would completely take over the market at some point. Watches from these years are sometimes forgotten. Some of them had strange designs, meant to be futuristic, that were unpopular at the time. Zenith, for instance, has several models from the time that have odd case shapes with colored dials. Some of these color schemes are immediately recognizable as something vintage.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to vintage watches. Whether you’re into sports watches, luxury models, or even antique pocket watches, the world of vintage likely has something to offer you.