Omega Railmaster - Heuer Autavia - Rolex Sea Dweller

Back to the future 2017:
Vintage novelties from Basel

WORDS: GISBERT L. BRUNNER
PHOTOGRAPHY: GISBERT L. BRUNNER AND THE BRANDS THEMSELVES

You can never go wrong with a vintage-look wristwatch and the current range is remarkably wide. Here are some new models ranging in price from €400 to €70,000
Gisbert L. Brunner

Gisbert L. Brunner has been writing about watches and chronometry since 1981

Old wristwatches are booming. Which means vintage is in. Upon closer inspection, we see this love of the traditional is no coincidence. Classics, by definition, never go out of fashion. Change as a fixed sign of progress sometimes comes back to haunt the watch industry and, as such, it is currently focusing on ever more traditional values. So it’s good when the company store-rooms are full to bursting with both authentic and historic models.

Raising these treasures and adapting them to today’s needs is therefore in high demand. The comeback has some very specific advantages, such as larger cases or better water-proofing, say, to take account of today’s needs. The integrated movements also show that time never stands still. Purists who are bothered by retro progress can, of course, still have the originals. But they are hard to find in good condition and are also very expensive.

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The Grand Seiko

Original: 1960, with a 12¼-line in-house 3180 calibre

Movement: 5964 calibre (regulated to the standard -3/+5 sec/d at the manufacture for the steel and gold versions, to -1/+5 sec/d for the platinum version)

Winding: manual

Frequency: 4 Hertz

Power reserve: 80 hours

Case: stainless steel, yellow gold or platinum

Diameter: 38 millimetres 

Water-resistance to: 3 bar

Number: steel: 1,960 (the year of the first Grand Seiko), yellow gold: 353 (the day of the year the first-edition Grand Seiko was released in 1960) and in platinum: 136 (136 years of Seiko)

Prices: stainless steel €6,500, yellow gold €20,000, platinum €36,000

Comment: the Grand Seiko re-establishes itself as its own brand within the large Seiko empire with this retro model. 

Grand Seiko Handaufzug 2017

Grand Seiko Limited Edition 2017, manual winding, cases: platinum, yellow gold, stainless steel

The Heuer Autavia

Original: 1963, known for its association with Jochen Rindt

Movement: Heuer 02, in-house chronograph with 30-minute and 12-hour counters

Winding: automatic

Frequency: 4 Hertz

Power reserve: 80 hours

Case: stainless steel

Diameter: 42 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 10 bar

Number: no limit

Price: €4,600 (with leather strap), €4,750 (with metal bracelet)

Comment: 50,000 Heuer fans voted and the majority wanted a comeback by this model.

Heuer Autavia Referenz 2446 Mark 3 Jochen Rindt undf Re-Issue 2017

Heuer Autavia Ref. 2446 Mark 3 “Jochen Rindt” and the new 2017 edition with the automatic calibre Heuer 02

The Junghans Max Bill Edition 2017 

Original: Max Bill created the dial in the early 1960s

Movement: quartz

Case: stainless steel, with special graphics on the back

Diameter: 38 millimetres 

Water-resistance: splash-proof

Number: no limit

Price: €495 

Comment: simple case and Perspex. It can get scratched but can easily be polished or replaced by any watchmaker.

The Longines Flagship

Original: 1957

Movement: Eta 2895-2 calibre

Winding: automatic

Power reserve: 42 hours

Frequency: 4 Hertz

Case: stainless steel, yellow or pink gold

Diameter: 38.5 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 3 bar

Number: 1957, 60 and 60 

Price: €1,750 (steel), €6,900 (gold)

Comment: the Longines flagship is back.

Longines Flagship 2017

Longines Flagship 2017: stainless steel, yellow and pink gold

The Omega 1957 Limited Edition

Original model no. 1: the Omega Seamaster 300 CK2913 from 1957

Retro model: the Seamaster 300 - 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer 39 mm

Movement: 8806 in-house calibre, COSC- and METAS-certified

Winding: automatic

Power reserve: 55 hours

Frequency: 4 Hertz

Case: steel

Diameter: 39 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 30 bar

Number: 3557 units

Price: €6,400 

Comment: close to the original 1957 diver’s watch it’s based on with the original Naïad sign on the crown. The seahorse represents the extraordinary water-resistance.

Omega Seamaster 300

Original model no. 2: the Omega Railmaster from 1957

Retro model: Railmaster - 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Master Chronometer 38 mm

Movement: 8806 in-house calibre, COSC- and METAS-certified

Winding: automatic

Power reserve: 55 hours

Frequency: 4 Hertz 

Case: steel

Diameter: 38 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 6 bar

Number: 3557 units

Price: €6,200 

Comment: designed for people whose wristwatches were regularly exposed to strong magnetic fields.

Omega Railmaster 1957

Original model no. 3: the Omega Speedmaster from 1957

Retro model: the Speedmaster - 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 38 mm

Movement: 1861 calibre (a simpler version of the structurally identical 1863)

Winding: manual with two-register chronograph

Power reserve: 48 hours

Frequency: 3 Hertz 

Case: steel

Diameter: 38.6 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 5 bar

Number: 3557 units

Price: €6,600 

Comment: first chronograph with tachymeter scale on the bezel to measure average speeds.

Omega Speedmaster 1957

You can buy all three retro watches as a set. Omega will deliver in a heavy oak box. It is a 557-piece limited edition. Each set costs €19,700.

Omega Trilogy 1957

The Patek Philippe, ref. 5320G with perpetual calendar

Prototype models: the 1940 - ref. 1463, 1945 - ref. 2405, 1952 - ref. 2438/1 and 1981 - ref. 3450

Movement: 324 S Q calibre with perpetual calendar and moon-phase display (accurate to within a day every 122.6 years). Day/night and leap-year display 

Winding: automatic

Power reserve: at least 35 hours

Frequency: 4 Hertz

Case: white gold

Diameter: 40 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 3 bar

Number: unlimited

Price: €74,478 

Comment: the best of several eras in a state-of-the-art watch with perpetual calendar.

The Rolex Sea-Dweller

Original: the Rolex ref. 1665, water-resistant to 60 bar, on general sale from 1967

Movement: 3235 calibre, COSC- and Rolex-certified

Winding: automatic

Power reserve: 70 hours

Frequency: 4 Hertz

Case: stainless steel with helium escape valve

Diameter: 43 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 122 bar

Number: no limit, but you can probably expect to wait at stockists

Price: €10,350 

Comment: to celebrate its 50th birthday, Rolex – as many had expected – has created a new Sea-Dweller with the top 3255 calibre.

The Tudor Heritage Black Bay

Original: 1954, snowflake hand 1974

Movement: in-house MT5612 calibre, COSC-certified

Winding: automatic

Power reserve: 70 hours

Frequency: 4 Hertz

Case: stainless steel

Diameter: 41 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 20 bar

Number: no limit

Price: €3,140 

Comment: purist steel version of this Tudor retro model.

The Zenith Heritage 146

Original: 1960s with hand-wound 146D calibre

Movement: 4069 El Primero calibre

Winding: automatic

Power reserve: at least 50 hours

Frequency: 5 Hertz

Case: stainless steel

Diameter: 38 millimetres 

Water-resistance: 10 bar

Number: no limit

Price: €6,900 

Comment: a 1960s-style purist’s stopwatch.

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04 2017 The Red Bulletin
 

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