What are the best vintage watches?

3 September 2020

In this blog I discuss vintage watches in different price ranges, all these watches are unique and have something different to offer, these are my picks for cool vintage watches in different price ranges. If you’re looking for inspiration to buy a vintage watch, or just want to see some cool watches, you’ve come to the right place.

Vintage Universal Geneve Polerouter
Picture by fratellowatches.

1. Universal Geneve Polerouter

The Universal Geneve Polerouter was designed by the famous Gerald Genta, who is also known for designing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. The polerouter is famous for its iconic design and rare micro-rotor movement. This means that the rotor of the watch is extra small making the watch extra thin. There are not many manufacturers who make such watches, with vintage watches it is even rarer. My personal favorite layout is in gold with a black dial, but there are also steel versions.

Vintage Rolex GMT-Master pepsi, reference 1675
Picture by subgmt.

2. Rolex GMT-Master (reference 1675)

It is difficult to choose the best vintage Rolex for this list. There is the datejust 1601 for a great all-rounder and the daydate 1803 is a great classic watch. These are both good options but I chose the GMT-Master because of its iconic vintage look created by a combination of patina on the dial and the faded bezel. This is the pinnacle of vintage Rolex watches in my opinion.

Vintage Universal Geneve Tri-Compax
Picture made by analogshift.

3. Universal Geneve Tri-Compax

This second Universal Geneva is on the list for very different reasons than the first. The Universal Geneva Tri-Compax is the best choice for getting complications in a great designed watch from a reputable brand, all at a (somewhat) affordable-price. They are not Seiko prices, but you still get great value for money. Plus, it’s really an eye-catcher with the beautiful moonphase.

Vintage Grand Seiko
Picture made by vintageseiko.nl

4. Vintage Grand Seiko

Vintage Grand Seiko’s are watches with an interesting story, the watch house was founded to beat the Swiss at their own watch competitions. They succeeded in this and as such are known for their very high build quality. Their vintage pieces have an iconic look with sharp corners giving them a fairly modern look. It is difficult to choose a reference that is the best, as most of them are of very high quality and look good. I personally owned a 4522-8000 and this reference is definitely recommended.

Cartier tank

5. Cartier Tank

The Cartier Tank is very different from most watches on this list. Cartier is a brand that watch fans often have mixed feelings about. However, the Cartier Tank is a design icon, if you are looking for a square watch from a reputable brand, the Cartier Tank should be considered. The Tank is also particularly suitable for women, the tank in smaller sizes is a popular choice among women.

Vintage Seiko J12082

6. De Seiko J12082 & 697990 SilverWaves

Frankly, there’s not much to say about the Seiko Silverwave. It’s just an incredibly cool design and the watch is also very rare. The watch has a very cool dial, which makes the watch even more unique. Furthermore, the J12082 is 37 millimeters and the 697990, both are good to wear because they fall quite large.

Vintage Seikomatic weekdater

7. Seiko Seikomatic Weekdater

This item in the list is by far the most affordable, the Seiko Weekdater is an affordable dress watch with a very modern look. Like any other Seiko watch, this is a very robust and reliable watch, especially considering the price.

Vintage Omega Constellation Pie pan
Picture made by AVW.

8. Omega Constellation Pie Pan

This last watch is the coolest vintage dress watch in my opinion. Omega is known as a quality watch house and the vintage ones are no different. The Omega Constellation series was launched in 1952 and it was Omega’s flagship for many years. There are a few different references and versions, personally I prefer the gold model. The distinctive aspect of the constellation is the beautiful pie-pan dial (meaning the edges are lowered from the center).

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