Gear: 3 Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
August 3, 2016

Heuer Autavia “Jo Siffert”

Price: $15,500
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At the moment, the Heuer Autavia couldn’t be hotter. Since the brand’s recent announcement of the watch’s imminent return, collectors have quickly scooped up what seems like all of the clean, early execution models available on the market, and as a result, prices have shot up significantly. Having that said, not all Autavias are entirely out of reach, with later vintage examples, and the early 2000’s reissue piece trading at relatively more affordable figures.

Of all the different variants of the Autavia produced over the years, one of the most celebrated is the cushion-cased “Siffert”—characterized by its striking panda dial and blue accents. This piece from Analog/Shift is just like the one worn many years ago by Jo Siffert, and is even currently mounted on a black leather racing strap, to match Siffert’s exact setup. 

While Heuer was producing what are now regarded as some of its most iconic watches, it was also manufacturing many nearly identical timepieces for other brands that were differentiated simply by their branding. Because of this, there are now countless “Poor Man’s Heuers”, which offer a significant amount of value if you’re not in dire need of the Heuer name on your dial.

Zodiac Chronograph Reverse Panda 

Price: $2,850
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This Carrera look-alike comes from Zodiac, another notable Swiss watchmaker, and features nicely aged luminous compound, along with a stunning reverse panda dial. I quite like the pump pushers on this one, as they’re large, and somewhat disproportionate to the rest of the watch, like the screw down pushers seen on Rolex Daytonas of yesteryear.

Just as collectors of classic cars will tend to pick up all sorts of automotive related curios and trinkets over their years, collectors of vintage watches. In my experience, one of the best places to look for such items is on eBay. One of my frequent sweeps of the site recently lead me to finding something that I think would be of great interest to many readers.

What you’re looking at is a Halda Speedpilot MK. III, which the manufacturer originally described as an “all-in-one mechanical rally computer”. When competing, co-drivers would set their speed on one of the dials, which would drive an extra hand on the clock to the right. Drivers would then try to keep the minute hand lined up with the third hand to stay on “pilot time”. Although the Speedpilot was popular in Europe, it didn’t see the same success in the States, due to its accuracy to only half a minute.

Rolex Daytona “2002 Winner 24 HRs Daytona”

Price: $40,000
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As motorsport enthusiasts will know, upon winning the 24 Hours of Daytona, drivers are presented with a brand new Rolex Daytona, that is fitted with a specially engraved caseback that reads “Winner”.

It could be said that these are some of the rarest modern Rolexs in existence today. If you’re on the hunt for one, you have two options: win the Rolex 24 at Daytona, or pony up the big bucks and let someone else do the heavy lifting, so to speak. Eric Ku of 10 Past Ten has one up for sale right now, and it’s a special one, in that it’s from 2002, which was possibly the first year that Rolex used the Ref. 116520 as a prize.


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Phil Huffstatler
Phil Huffstatler
7 years ago

Not driver’s watches, unless you’re a F1 owner or driver. These are high end collectibles to show off on special stands in the late afternoon light shining through the west castle window in the drawing room on your custom mahogany “tech” table.

quentin rowe
quentin rowe
7 years ago

Got any affordable drivers watches ? : /

Pascal Bouwman
Pascal Bouwman
7 years ago

None of those are real drivers watches. All though they are cool watches, there aim is not the driver.
Take a look at the Omega Chronostop Drivers Watch. The dail is turned by a quarter so it can be read while keeping your hands on the steering wheel.

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