Gear: 3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
February 16, 2017
2 comments

I was crossing the street a few days ago when I spotted a 930 Turbo waiting patiently for the light to change. I was instantly overcome with excitement, but my eyes really lit up when I quickly noticed a vintage Viceroy Autavia on the driver’s wrist. While I didn’t know the car’s owner, I could tell he knew what was up, and my faith in the synonymy of vintage watch and car collecting was restored. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some stand-out vintage chronographs listed over the past week.

Tudor Ref. 7169/0 Monte Carlo

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Tudor Monte Carlo’s are genuinely fun watches to wear. There are just so many colors, and so much going on in that dial, that should you ever find yourself bored with the mundane happenings of everyday life, all you need to do is look down at your wrist for some instant entertainment.

How this example from San Francisco’s H.Q. Milton hasn’t moved yet I’m not sure, as it looks to check all the boxes and then some. Thick case, vibrant dial, and a mighty clean bezel insert. The full package, if you will— minus the box and papers of course.

Heuer Ref. 2444 Chronograph

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To truly appreciate archetypal Carrera references like the Ref. 2447 and Ref. 3647, it’s my opinion that one must take a look through the back catalogue. By analyzing pre-Carrera references like the Ref. 2444, you’ll find that legibility and ease-of-use had always been top-priority design principles at Heuer, as evidenced by their use of clean, concise dials.

Earlier this week, I came across this example of a Ref. 2444 from European Watch Company on eBay, and I must say that it’s a good one. The example in question is clean as can be, with an untouched dial, and matching luminous compound in both the hands and dial markings. Best of all, the case remains unpolished, so the original lines of the case can be enjoyed to the fullest.

Heuer Autavia Dash-Mounted Stopwatch

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Regardless of whether or not you collect watches, it’s hard to deny the innate cool-factor of a dash-mounted Heuer stopwatch. The production of highly functional sports timing equipment has always been an integral part of the Heuer brand, and is largely why their wrist-mounted chronographs are so good.

What you’re looking at is an early example of a Heuer Autavia, which makes use of a manually wound Valjoux 340 movement. It’s in stunning shape, with a possibly tropical dial, and all of its luminous plots still intact. While I don’t own a vintage sports car that would potentially warrant the ownership of such a timekeeper, this one has me thinking.

Steer Clear: Chop-Shop Heuer

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If an Autavia or Camaro is what you’re after, I highly recommend doing your homework so as to avoid ending up with some Frankenstein, chop-shop number like this. When I first saw this one while scrolling through eBay, I immediately knew something was up, as I’d never seen a Camaro-cased Heuer with a dial like that. Sure enough, it’s an Autavia dial that someone has worked into a Camaro case, with the movement from a Ref. 73463 Autavia Diver sitting beneath the caseback. Technically, the seller’s “SUPER RARE!” proclamation in the listing’s title is true!

If you’re looking for parts, then maybe this is a decent opportunity to find that case or set of pushers that you’ve been after, but otherwise, do yourself a favor and let this one go. You’ll thank me for it.

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2 Comments on "3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now"

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Phil Huffstatler
Phil Huffstatler

Mr. Wyngold is a purist. No hacks for his collection, and he doesn’t recommend one for yours. Apparently. 🙂

JB21
JB21

Steer Clear – it’s not like the seller is selling it as something that is not, the description is very clear about what it is, so I don’t understand your comment about this.

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