Gear: 3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
November 23, 2016
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As we’ve discussed before, Omega’s Speedmaster was originally intended to be a driver’s chronograph and saw many years of use in automotive circles. At one point the watchmaker ran advertisements in brochures and magazines featuring Speedmasters on the wrists of daring looking individuals behind the wheel. It was a true driver’s watch. But alas, history had other plans for it.

Omega Speedmaster Straight Lug

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Long before the moon mission, Omega manufactured this very Ref. 105.003-63 Speedmaster, which could be called a rarity of a sub-reference in Straight Lug Speedmaster collecting. In its fifty-some odd years, the dial has faded from black to a rich shade of brown, along with the bezel which has turned a pleasing light grey. If you’re into wabi-sabi and the like, you might want to give this one from Lunar Oyster a closer look.

Tudor Monte Carlo

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Among my favorite watches associated with motorsport and car culture in general is Tudor’s Monte Carlo – a stunning chronograph with a quintessentially ‘70s aesthetic. The Monte Carlo also happens to be the subject of what I believe to be one of the greatest advertisements put out by Rolex/Tudor back in the day.

Just above a picture of the watch is a block of text which translates roughly to “This rally driver chooses his watch as he does his headlights…with discernment.” Incredible!

While browsing the website of a Spanish watch dealer, I came across this example from 1972. Much like the aforementioned Speedmaster it’s also held up incredibly well over the years. Two details of note are the case and bezel on this Monte Carlo, both of which are thick, and in excellent condition.

Clebar

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Lastly, we have a Clebar and a great one at that. There’s admittedly not much to say about the watch in that it’s not a notable or widely documented model, but after taking a brief look at this piece, it’s easy to recogize that it’s something special. I especially like the aged luminous, dauphine-shaped hands, which work well with the red and blue scales that surround the dial.

Keep scrolling through the dealer’s provided photos and you’ll notice that the original display box and paperwork that the watch was sold with in the 1950s are included. Once again, this proves that not all great watches are accompanied by a gargantuan price tag.

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