Discontinued watches are among some of the most highly sought after and highly coveted in the pre-owned market. This also means that they could be more expensive pre-owned than they were when they were new. However, these models are worth it. They represent crucial pieces of horological history. This is true whether they were a limited edition model commemorating a milestone or simply a variation a brand decided to drop from their catalog. Discontinued models hold a special place in our hearts and collections. Here, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites, many of which we’re fortunate enough to offer in our inventory.
OMEGA Seamaster 300M James Bond SPECTRE Limited Edition
Ever since the Seamaster became the official watch of James Bond in the 1990s, we’ve seen countless 007-inspired limited editions. However, something makes the Seamaster 300M James Bond SPECTRE Limited Edition special and a bit more appealing to certain buyers. With the SPECTRE edition, OMEGA opted against Bond-branding. Instead, they created a watch the special agent himself might actually wear while on the job. OMEGA has taken the popular Seamaster 300M and made a couple subtle updates. First, they’ve replaced the diver’s bezel with a bidirectional bezel featuring a twelve-hour scale that can function as a second time zone scale. It also features a lollipop seconds hand as a nod to vintage models. Finally, the model comes equipped with a grey and black striped NATO strap.
Rolex Explorer 36mm
The prototype for the original Explorer was the Reference 6150, first produced in 1952. It featured a 36mm build, stainless steel construction, and A296 movement just like the Explorer that debuted a year later. Fast forward over half a century later. Fashions and tastes have changed. In the new millennium, bigger is better. In 2010, Rolex upped the size to 39mm with the Reference 214270. Many were happy with the change. Others longed for the true retro look and feel of the Explorer 36mm.
OMEGA Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award
OMEGA’s Snoopy Award watches commemorate the Silver Snoopy Award NASA presented to OMEGA in 1970. The first debuted in 2003 in a limited run of 5441 pieces as a nod to the length of the mission: 142 hours, 54 minutes, and 41 seconds. OMEGA introduced the second, the Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award, twelve years later in 2015. This time, the brand only produced the model in a limited run of 1970 pieces. It showcases a completely unique design from the original Snoopy and other Speedmasters. One of its most notable features is an unusual fourteen-second counter that reads, “What could you do in 14 seconds?” The text references the crucial window of time the Apollo 13 crew had to burn the engines.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay with Rose Logo
Tracing Tudor’s logo throughout the history of the brand may sound like the stuff of true watch nerds. Perhaps it is. Still, something so simple as a logo can make the difference between one model and the next. In the 1930s, Tudor’s logo consisted of a rose within a shield. It represented the balance of beauty and strengths in the brand’s designs. About a decade later, Tudor removed the shield from the logo. This left the rose, the symbol of the Tudor dynasty. By the 1960s, the watchmaker had made a change again. The decade marked Tudor’s transition away from its parent company, Rolex. Part of this shift meant Tudor stopped using Rolex movements in their models. To signify the new era, Tudor adopted a new logo again, this time only the shield. Today, many continue to prefer discontinued models, like the Heritage Black Bay with Rose Logo.
Rolex Submariner Kermit
Most associate unique colorways and nicknames with Rolex’s GMT models. However, the Submariner Kermit is an exception to that rule. The brand first released the model in 2003 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Submariner. As the name suggests, it features the colors of the beloved Muppet. It boasts a bright green bezel contrasted by a black dial. The model was such a success, Rolex decided to create another special color scheme for the Submariner several years later. At Baselworld 2010, the brand unveiled the first Hulk featuring an all-green design. However, with the introduction of the Hulk came the retirement of the Kermit.
OMEGA Speedmaster Tintin
The Speedmaster Tintin is a totally unique variation of the popular model. It first launched at Baselworld in 2013 and only remained in production for two short years. The model came about as OMEGA was forging a partnership with the creator of the popular cartoon and comic strip from which the model gets its name. The brand took interest in the collaboration because the lead character famously goes to the moon. It was a fitting choice for the one and only Moonwatch. He does so in a red and white checkered rocket. This became the inspiration for the distinctive red and white checkered motif that decorates the minute track. Tintin’s creator ultimately backed out of the project, but the Tintin still went to production. When it first debuted, it was a bit of a flop. However, in more recent years, it’s become a cult favorite in the pre-owned among a subset of collectors.
Rolex GMT Master II Black Bezel
This one may come as a surprise. Earlier in 2019, Rolex decided to discontinue the production of both the ceramic and non-ceramic variations of the GMT Master II Black Bezel. You may recall back in 2005 when the brand first debuted the ceramic bezel in none other than all-black. At first, the two-tone bezels that have become synonymous with the GMT Master II were too difficult to make in the new material. These colorways with quirky nicknames are certainly charming. Still, we can’t help but feel like it’s the end of an era. Rolex will no longer offer a monochromatic black option in the GMT Master II lineup.
TAG Heuer Carrera 1964 Re-Edition
Many consider TAG Heuer Carrera 1964 Re-Edition to be one of the most important models the brand has ever released. To understand why, you need to know a bit about the history of the Carrera. The Carrera was the brainchild of Jack Heuer, the great grandson of the brand’s founder, Eduard Heuer. When the model launched in 1963, it was an instant hit. However, when Jack Heuer retired in 1982, the Carrera retired with him. Just three years later, Techniques d’Avant Garde acquired the Heuer brand. In short, the 1980s were a decade of much transition for the watchmaker. However, Techniques d’Avant Garde didn’t come in with the intention of revamping the brand – quite the opposite. In fact, they believed TAG Heuer needed to get back to its roots – they needed to revive the iconic Carrera. In 1996 they did just that with the Carrera 1964 Re-Edition.