A Modern Twist on Vintage Watches
There are often two camps when it comes to vintage watches. To some, a vintage timepiece may be a family heirloom passed down through generations. It has a story behind it, memory attached, and sentimental value. Certain collectors focus on finding vintage pieces. They appreciate the nostalgia and the watch’s place in horological history. On the other hand, some people take issue with the allure of vintage timepieces. They might argue that they’re outdated or lack modern functions and design elements. Your take on vintage models is a completely personal opinion. However, there’s one particular style of watch that might just appeal to both camps: a vintage reissue.
Vintage reissues are modern editions of models past. They combine the best of both worlds: a look and feel reminiscent of the original and contemporary technology and materials. These “homage watches” have become particularly popular for brands and collectors alike in the past decade. This is in part because some of the most iconic watches are celebrating monumental anniversaries. It’s also because of the demand to satisfy the vintage lover without compromising on quality and performance. Based on the number of models revived in 2018 alone, it doesn’t look like this trend is slowing down. So, we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorite recent vintage reissues.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
The Black Bay is a vintage-inspired dive watch with a look and feel similar to Rolex and Tudor Submariners past. However, it has modern proportions: an oversized 41mm case that’s 14.75mm thick. At Baselworld in 2018, Tudor finally released a version of the Black Bay that vintage enthusiasts have been looking for. The Black Bay Fifity-Eight measures 39mm in diameter and just 11.9mm thick, giving it truer vintage proportions. Inside, the movement honors the legendary 1958 Tudor 7924 Oyster Prince Submariner.
Longines Military Watch
Longines has a rich history with the military. At Baselworld in 2018, they debuted one of their latest models honoring this heritage. The Longines Military Watch echoes the design of the early 1940’s pilot watches supplied to the RAF during WWII. The brand approached the reissue with such attention to detail, it’s hard to distinguish it from a true vintage piece. However, it gets a modern update with the L888 automatic caliber.
Zenith Heritage 146 Chronograph El Primero
The El Primero is one of the most innovative movements ever made and one of the most precise chronographs available. Zenith began conceptualizing it in 1962. After rigorous work, they presented it seven years later in 1969 in the Zenith A368. The Heritage 146 Chronograph pays homage to the original A368. It features an exact replica of the case design and, of course, the El Primero movement.
OMEGA 1957 Trilogy
1957 was a big year for OMEGA. They produced not one, not two, but three of their most iconic models: the Speedmaster, the Seamaster, and the Railmaster. 2017 marked the 60thanniversary of that monumental year. To commemorate the occasion, they released the Omega 1957 Trilogy. The brand went to great lengths to recreate the look and feel of the 1957 models. They used advanced digital scanning technology to uphold the original dimensions and proportions of each watch.
Oris ChronoOris Date
At Baselworld in 2017, Oris released the ChronoOris Date. The model pays homage to the brand’s 1970 racing-inspired stop-seconds chronograph by a similar name. The vintage ChronoOris is a particularly special model for the brand because it was their first chronograph. The 2017 ChronoOris Date features a distinctively more modern look with that same 1970’s feel. However, the most interesting design choice for the vintage reissue is that it doesn’t come equipped with a chronograph function.
TAG Heuer Autavia Calibre Heuer 02
2017 marked the 55thanniversary of the Heuer Autavia, first released in 1962. To celebrate the occasion, the brand wanted to create a vintage reissue with a twist. So, they took a unique development approach. They presented sixteen vintage Heuer models to the public and asked fans and collectors to vote on their favorite. The winner of the Autavia Cup was the 1966 Reference 2446 Mark 3. For the anniversary, TAG Heuer created a modern interpretation of this icon.