Gear: 3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
September 20, 2016

This week’s selections are all a bit atypical, beginning with the Omega “Bullhead”. Omega’s Bullhead chronographs are watches that require a certain confidence to wear, given their irregular case shape, and the location of the crown and pushers. Essentially, Omega traded conventional looks for extreme ease of use when designing this watch, to the extent of having an uneven case thickness for easier reading. In other words, form followed function in order to make the best possible wristwatch for its auto-racing clientele.

Bucherer ‘Bullhead’ Chronometer


With that said, what we’ve got here isn’t an Omega Bullhead, but what looks to be an exact clone made for the Lucerne-based retailer of jewelry and watches, Bucherer. In my opinion, the colors on the dial of this piece work so well, as on a timepiece like Heuer’s ‘Skipper’ Autavia.

‘Marcel et Cie’ Champion watch


Next up is a watch there isn’t much to say about, other than the fact that it’s a pretty cool piece for the money. It’s your basic black dial, steel case chronograph with a manually-wound movement, but what gives this “Marcel et Cie” an extra edge is the iconic Champion (auto parts) logo, found just beneath the hand stack at six o’clock. My guess is that this watch was given to an employee of the company at some point.

The seller also mentions that the watch is currently mounted on a vintage JB Champion bracelet—which did make some great bracelets back in the day—giving the watch two ’champion’ connections, in a sense.

Zenith El Primero


Zenith’s legendary El Primero movement has been lauded by collectors for years, and regarded as one of the all-time great automatic chronograph movements…or simply the first, depending on who you ask. While browsing several watch dealer websites one night, I came across this: a 1969 Ref. A384 with a golden brown tropical dial, from San Francisco’s H.Q. Milton.

While the watch does indeed have replacement hands with luminova luminous compound in them, there’s still a lot going for this piece. A lot. In addition to the presence of a beautifully aged tropical dial, the watch is being offered with a Zenith strap and buckle, boxes, paperwork…you get the idea. It’s a sick watch.

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7 years ago

I’m surprised the Rolex Daytona wasn’t mentioned.

Robert Rames
Robert Rames
7 years ago

Great article Isaac!

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