Vintage Watches Reviews of every basic old luxury wrist watch ever existed
Why Vintage Watches Reviews?
Vintage chronographs in the age of “digitalization” acquire their special value. Wearing vintage-style accessories these days is considered chic and the height of aesthetic taste. But in order not to get into a mess, you need to understand the features and be able to recognize vintage watches.
Our Vintage Watches Reviews’ standard
Of course one of the most fascinating things about vintage collectible watches is the price appreciation.
A nice and useful vintage watch’s review cannot avoid describing the technicalities of the watch.
On of the most useful thing in vintage watches reviews is comparing them with modern references to understand changes and progression.
Vintage watches reviews will help you decide. But How to chose a vintage watch?
Popular art styles never die. After 5, 10, 100 years, women of fashion retrieve old things from chests, designers look at yellowed sketches and in new works they reincarnate brilliant ideas of colleagues from the past: shape, color, ornament. Popular art styles never die. After 5, 10, 100 years, women of fashion retrieve old things from chests, designers look at yellowed sketches and in new works they reincarnate brilliant ideas of colleagues from the past: shape, color, ornament … And the well-forgotten old suddenly takes on a new meaning, becomes a symbol of sophistication and taste, the lot of aesthetes and intellectuals. A style that reproduces the bright finds in fashion of other generations is called vintage. Today, vintage is popular everywhere: in architecture, cinema, clothing, automotive and, of course, watchmaking. In our archive, we found 2 representative vintage models for our test, appealing to a variety of eras and styles. All watches belong to the most reputable brands… Are you ready? We are going to describe with our parameters how we evaluate the two different vintage watches reviews: Logines and Panerai.
#1 – Longines Evidenza Moon Phases
The Evidenza watch, with its characteristic tonneau case shape, made a splash back in 1911. So we can say that Longines made a great contribution to the development of the then unnamed, but already very fashionable Art Deco style. In 14 years, Evidenza will win the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition of Contemporary Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, and since then the rounded, barrel-shaped cases, large Arabic numerals and delicate hands of the Longines Evidenza will become classics of watchmaking.
Evidenza Moon Phases watch is hard not to recognize – it is not a remake, not a copy of 80-year-old accessories, but rather a continuation of the famous series, where all the basic design elements are preserved – from the case to the dial. At the same time, Longines is a device of the XXI century, where modern components and modules of additional functions are applied. The recognition of these watches is positively influenced by the enormous popularity of Longines in our country and in the world and the fact that Evidenza has not left posters and pages of magazines for several years. Recognition – 10 points.
The vintage Evidenza Moon Phases will be remembered for its very comfortable anatomical stainless steel case. The metal is polished to a mirror shine, nothing clings to clothing and does not restrict the wearer’s movements. By this criterion, compete with the craftsmanship of Longinescan only be another competitor of this test – Aerodyne from Dubey & Schaldenbrand. The front cover is made of sapphire crystal, while the back is made of steel. Water resistance is quite typical for vintage watches – 30 meters. Hull – 8 points. The manufacturer suggests wearing this watch both on a crocodile leather strap and on a very comfortable stainless steel bracelet. The inner surface of the strap is made of very high quality and is distinguished by its softness. The watch fits well on the wrist and is attached to it with a butterfly clasp with a lock. Strap – 8 points.
Spirit of the era
We don’t think Longines engineers had much difficulty trying to bring the spirit of the era into Evidenza. After all, the aesthetics of the twenties were formed by their own colleagues, the history of the company is inextricably intertwined with the history of aesthetics. In general, no matter how much you look for excuses for success, but the figurative connection with the times of Louis Armstrong and Maria Remarque can be traced very clearly – in the top ten!
The Evidenza Moon Phases is equipped with an automatic Longines L600 caliber (based on ETA 2892-A2) with an exclusive full calendar module and a moon phase indicator. Frequency 28 800 A / h, power reserve of the movement. The mechanism is standard, undecorated, but for a difficult module it can be upgraded to 7 points.
The Evidenza Moon Phases dial bears the lunar calendar, date, month and day of the week indicators. But it is not in the least overloaded and looks very nice. The calligraphic oblique Arabic numerals appear to be written on the beige guilloché dial in blue ink, blued steel hands are remarkably distinguishable on the ivory-colored guilloche surface. I must say that the lunar calendar adds a special charm to this model. The only pity is that it is impossible to find out what time it is in the dark by this clock. Functionality – 7 points.
Any complex watch, in addition to being comfortable to wear, needs a convenient adjustment mechanism. The company Longines has tried to rid its customers from the need to consider the position of the crown, and has equipped the body Evidenza Moon Phases four small buttons. By pressing them with a special key or a blunt needle, you can quickly correct the readings of each indicator. Comfort – 10 points.
Among the five contenders for the best vintage watches in this number, Longines, which is not inferior to competitors in almost anything, can boast of the most affordable price – just under 100,000 rubles, thanks to which we can recognize Evidenza Moon Phases as the best combination of price and quality out of the five. Score – 10 points.
Panerai Radiomir 1936
If the design of the rest of the models of this test was, to varying degrees, just a stylization under Art Deco, a set of allusions and memorable elements from watches-legends, then Panerai deliberately retained its original design. The Radiomir 1936 is an exact copy of the very first version (in fact, a prototype) of the legendary waterproof watch, released in 1936 for the Italian underwater special forces Gamma Force.
The brutal look and impressive size of Panerai Radiomir makes this watch not only recognizable, but recognizable from afar. Even those who were not familiar with Panerai before will recognize the military purpose in this accessory and assume about their long history. At the same time, the watches we are considering are not at all mass – they were released in a limited edition of 1936 pieces. Neither the limited edition nor the lack of a proprietary lever protecting the crown is confusing. This is a 100% Panerai underwater chronometer. Recognition – 10 points.
The steel case of the Radiomir 1936 is cushion-shaped with rounded edges and a round front cover made of 2mm Plexiglass. This may come as a surprise – after all, such a material is relatively easy to scratch and is not used in expensive watches. But Panerai tried to preserve the historical accuracy – at that time watches for divers were made with plexiglass glass. It can be scratched, but it is very difficult to break.
A rather large crown is protruded from the case, absolutely corresponding to the general style of the watch, which is easy to operate even with diving gloves. The only concession to modern trends is a sapphire window (instead of steel) on the case back, so that the owner can see the elaborately decorated movement. By the way, because of this, the water resistance of the model dropped to 30 meters. Not enough for Panerai! But this model was released for collectors, not for special forces. Hull – 8 points.
The strap looks no less brutal than the watch itself – the closest analogy to it would be a soldier’s belt. The wide band in smooth calfskin is finished with a massive classic u1079 clasp in brushed metal. Everything is permeated with strength and solidity. This strap cannot be called strange or uncomfortable, since it is created in full accordance with the original image of the watch. It is not for nothing that the wire-like fastening of the strap to the case is easily dismantled. Strap – 9 points.
Spirit of the era
It is hard to believe that Radiomir were born in the era of fierce jazz, open-top cars, country picnics and holidays on the Cote d’Azur that reached Europe. But the Second World War was already brewing, Italy invaded Africa, and Hitler and Stalin were gathering forces. Anxiety spread across the continent. Well, 3 years after the release of Radiomir 1936, the “military” style reigned on the planet for many years. So all military watches can be safely called Panerai Radiomir relatives. Spirit of the era – 10 points.
It is not possible to find more than 1000 original Angelus movements that operated in Panerai watches 70 years ago, and therefore Radiomir 1936 is equipped with a “remake” – the OP X caliber with manual winding, frequency of 21,600 vph and a power reserve of 56 hours … To make the owner proud of this mechanism, it was decorated by hand to the highest standard. This, by the way, contradicts the historical accuracy, but it greatly adorns the watch. 8 points – for the mechanism.
Like the first Panerai watches, the Pam00249 shows nothing but hours and minutes. This feature makes Radiomir even more original: on the smooth, coal-black, unloaded dial, there are 12 indexes of different styles (here there are Roman and Arabic numerals, and geometric shapes, and sticks). This “inconsistency” was admitted on purpose. Indeed, in 1936, a prototype was produced, and designers drew numbers in different styles so that customers would then inform them which style suits them best. Numbers, markers and large hands are all superlatively coated with SuperLuminova, making them hard to miss day and night. If the Radiomir 1936 had adequate water resistance, the functionality of the model could be appreciated to the maximum. And so only – 8 points.
The watch is as comfortable as possible with the u1080’s size and military design. A well-polished and smoothed body is no problem. And yet the 47mm case is made for the very large (literally and figuratively) Panerai lovers. Comfort – 6 points.
Panerai has estimated its limited edition for collectors at 204,820 rubles. In our opinion, this money is adequate to the quality of the movement and the original style of the watch. But some may be surprised that ordinary (so to speak) steel models with professional water resistance, which are also available in limited editions, cost almost half the price. Score – 6 points.
Our blog contains vintage watches reviews of every luxury old timepiece ever existed
VINTAGE WATCHES ARE COOL! If you know them…
And if it is also a heirloom retro jewel, then there is no price for this accessory. Many people in search of vintage watches visit watch auctions and pawnshops, considering them a good investment – over time, these chronographs will become antiques and become much more expensive.
But how to recognize such a watch? It’s simple: such old watch manufactories as Pavel Bure, IWC, Longines, Omega and others engraved their brand on the back of the lid. Their products also have rather complex functions for that time: they are equipped with an alarm clock, a calendar and even an indicator of the lunar phases.
Modern companies can also produce vintage watches. For the manufacture of retro models in vintage style, not only steel and gold are used, but also bronze.
It tends to darken over time and gives the case an old (worn) vintage look.
Vintage watches can also be recognized by the dial, which is covered with enamel, paper or patina. In the latter case, it is a thin plaque, which is achieved either naturally – by oxidation on copper or an alloy of metals, or by creating an artificial aging effect on the dial.
All time measuring devices from the past are simple and straightforward. An artificially aged leather strap will complete the vintage look of the product.
This detail should not be overlooked or you will not end up with a real vintage piece.
What are they?
You probably need to start a collection of vintage watches with pocket watches on a chain. Their body was made of brass and copper, such were worn by our grandfathers and great-grandfathers until the 40s of the last century, when various modifications for wearing on the wrist were already beginning to displace these specimens.
They were like in a box with a factory button to open the lid. A sturdy chain served to fix them in a pocket (for this our ancestors used an ordinary pin), and so that it was convenient to take them out.
Special watch pockets began to be sewn under such watches in jackets. Pocket watches were produced with three dials, they were of different diameters, but the average indicators are 5 centimeters in diameter, 1.65 cm thick, such a watch weighed 75 g plus 10 g – the weight of the chain, which was 27.5 cm long. Women wore such a watch on the neck.
Among retro watches, there are many wrist watches for men and women with a wide leather strap or a metal bracelet. They have mechanical, quartz or digital (electronic) mechanisms. Among the vintage ones, there is a table clock and a wall clock with a large dial.
In terms of shape, among the items in the retro style, you can find brooch watches, chronographs, mechanics with various complications. Among the unusual ones is the hourglass.
Review of popular models
What kind of vintage style watch to have in your collection is a personal matter, no one dares to impose this or that brand. But there are some models that collectors from all over the world are chasing after. Such popularity, for example, is enjoyed by Speedmaster watches made before 1970.
They contain an exceptional movement that differs from the movements of other watches of that time. And the early model of this Rolex Speedmaster James Bond watch even flashed in the very first pictures about the super agent on the hand of actor Sean Connery, which gained popularity among the male population of the world.
Traditionally, Patek Philippe watches occupy the leading positions in the auctions of vintage items. It should be said about the electronic options. Here the leaders are digital retro copies from Casio. They appeared in the 80s of the previous century. Models from the A151 series made a splash: they were equipped with a stopwatch, timer, automatic calendar and other features of technological excellence.
Casio still produces vintage digital copies. The legendary Montana watch with built-in melodies inside the module is still popular. Such products are produced in their original form, as well as the arrow copies.
But due to the fact that there are no old mechanisms, but there is a desire to make vintage watches more modern, some manufacturers are improving the technical components of retro items. Thus, the vintage “re-invented” the watch brand Jaeger-leCoultre, which launched the Polaris series.
The iconic Polaris Memovox model appeared in 1968 in the amount of 2,000 copies. The models were water resistant and let the diver know with a call that the time allotted for diving was over. For their manufacture, steel was used.
How to choose the right one?
When choosing a vintage style watch, you need to pay attention to some important points.
- Old age of mechanisms. There have been decent vintage pieces in every era, but experts point out retro watches from the 1960s. Products from this period are highly reliable and have a stylish design that is popular today. This era is considered revolutionary in watchmaking, since the era of quartz watches began, which widely supplanted mechanics up to the category of collectors.
- Great epochal significance. Vintage watches should be of great importance not only for their owner, but also for history as a whole. They should personify an epoch-making event or a historical fact in the development of the manufacturer. As an example, you can take the company Omega, which in 1966 released two models: the Omega Cosmic and the Omega Seamaster 300. The first was quite simple and cost around $ 200. The second watch had a great design and was water resistant. Their cost then reached $ 3,000. The Omega Seamaster 300 is considered a vintage watch.
- A rare difference. Retro products should have something that sets them apart from the crowd. They may in the past belong to a famous person, stand out with a unique design of the dial, have, in the end, a factory defect – all this and other differences will make time measuring devices unique.
Those who are buying a vintage watch for the first time should contact dealers. This will be safer, and you can firmly know that you bought not a fake. Dealers find original models that can be refurbished and serviced.
You will have to pay for this, but their cost will be lower than if you purchased them at auction.