New Rolex Vintage WatchesAugust 20, 2021
As the days get shorter, less sunlight has the chance to grace us with that perfect, golden sunlit moment with a watch. No matter if you catch it early in the morning, heading out for the day, right at noon while grabbing some lunch, or even on the way home in the evening, there is something special about the sunlight in late summer. Sure, you can share it with some friends on social media but maybe even better is enjoying your naturally lit watch, solo, for just a moment. As far as the vintage team is concerned, these days filled with late-summer sun are best spent looking at a fabulous vintage watch.
This week’s selection includes the off-the-beaten-track choices that bestbuycheap.ru has found a bit of a niche with, including a Hamilton Thin-O-Matic, the first one we have ever posted for sale, and a Gübelin Ipso-matic– ~matics galore! Other favorites include a pair of Omega Seamasters, an IWC Caliber 89, and a 1940s Heuer Chrono. As always, a few picks are explained in-depth below, highlighted by a gorgeous Rolex GMT-Master. The week’s full collection can be found in the slideshow, above, and in the Vintage Watches section of the Shop.
1973 Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 1675 ‘Mark 2’
Watches tend to come across the H Vintage desk in waves. My theory is that members of the community, readers like you, see a watch sold in our collection and are inspired to offer theirs for sale. We love this; it is our favorite way of finding a watch. That being said, it can lead to a flood of the same model and droughts in others. Compared to the love and admiration in the community for the Rolex ref. 1675 “Pepsi” GMT, the model has found its way into drought status. Sure, we have offered a couple excellent examples, but compared to the Submariner and Explorer, there have been very few over the past six months or so.Beyond the very usable – perhaps the most usable complication in the Rolex catalog – GMT function, beyond the PanAm connection, beyond the ref. 6542’s iconic bakelite bezel and its famous radioactivity recall, the boiled-down appeal of the Rolex GMT-Master is simple: it’s all about the color. For vintage Rolex, a red line of text on the Submariner or blue on the Daytona carry extreme premiums. The ref. 1675 comes stocked with both. I don’t mean to dumb down the watch at all but, to me, it is really that simple. The GMT has color in droves.
The Mark 2 dialed example we have this week features a proud bezel, prominently showing those “Pepsi” colors, while the softness of the matte black dial and creamy lume patina create a versatile total look on the wrist. The drought was really worth the wait. Consider this 1973 Rolex ref. 1675 a delightfully cool summer shower. Hit the Shop for all the details, no umbrella necessary.
1970 Bulova Deep Sea ‘B’ Chronograph with Tropical Dial
Vintage watches and patina go hand-in-hand – the one feature of vintage watches that cannot be organically mimicked by a modern piece is none other than the concept of patina. It is an interesting word since it refers to the beautiful transformation of an object over time, but it’s really subjective as to how much is not enough or too much. I always consider an attractive patina as colors and textures that add warmth to the watch, the thing that makes you want to pick up the watch and see what it’s about. It is like the way the difference in color temperatures of light in different rooms can make a huge difference: Candlelight and white light give a cozier feel and daylight gives a crisp feel.
This Bulova Deep Sea Chronograph (aka the “Devil Diver” because of the 666 feet depth rating) has undeniably aged elegantly with what’s referred to as a “tropical” dial. I suppose one could consider the term “tropical” as a category of patina. It specifically refers to when the dial, or parts of the dial, have turned into a different color than the original. The most talked-about “tropical” variety is the dial color transition from black to brown, giving a unique appearance in various shades of brown. The one on this watch has a gorgeous glossy milk-chocolate brown hue when viewed under natural light. And when combined together with the patina on the lume and registers and with the gently faded red and black bezel, the chocolate color on the dial comes alive even more. And a pop of bright neon orange on the chronograph hand even gives the watch more of a nod to the ’70s vibe.
The other fun part of vintage watches is wondering where the watch has been in its lifetime. We don’t know exactly how or why the dial changed color the way it did over time. Perhaps the watch was out on an adventure somewhere between the glorious tropical ocean and the hot summer sun. Hey, your imagination is boundless and no one can take it away from you! The stories surrounding a watch … isn’t that part of the fun of Vintage collecting? See everything this Bulova has to offer, right here.
1960s Enicar Sherpa Super-Dive Ref. 144-35-02
As I sit here setting this Super-Dive to today’s date, I am thinking to myself what an awesome watch it is. This gives me a good chance to focus on the red-text date wheel with open sixes and nines, which is always a nice detail. I am personally a big fan of these EPSA Super Compressor cases with two crowns, and since this is the Super-Dive, it’s a well-sized 42mm case. Enicar made these in 42mm and 36mm sizes and both are pretty sweet, but when strapping on this 42mm version it just feels right, especially in the summer.
As many of you can tell by now, I am all about the little details and this watch is full of ’em. Like I mentioned earlier, the red text on the date wheel is a signature look of many Enicar sport watches. This example has a light grey internal rotating bezel with white text, giving great contrast to the dial. The lume design is also very Enicar and super-interesting when you look closely. The lume plots on the dial at 12, six, and nine are in almost a diamond shape while the lume plots on the other hour markers are square; focusing on the fork-style hands, the company placed lume in the tip as well as a square of lume on the hands before the forked section. This is a design you don’t see too much outside the Enicar brand. Another neat detail worth mentioning is the tiny “T” above the six o’clock hour marker – this means that the lume on the dial is made of tritium. One last detail that I really love on these are the crosshatch dual crowns with the company’s Saturn logo – it’s just so good.
As I mature in my watch collecting journey, I tend to gravitate toward more interesting and funky designs. This Super-Dive is a good combination of funky and conventional, rolled into one. It’s got the dual crown case with the internal rotating bezel and interesting hour markers so it has a lot going on, but it’s done in a way that just works. As vintage watches go, finding something bigger than 40mm is not always easy and this Super-Dive checks that box. Check out all the details here!