Gear: 3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
January 10, 2017

As I’ve learned over the years, not all weeks of vintage watch hunting are created equally. Sometimes you hit it big, and other times you strike out with nothing to show for it. Luckily for us, this has been a particularly good week, with several compelling watches in excellent condition having hit the market.

Omega 33.3 Waterproof Chronograph

Like many things in life, patina is best enjoyed in moderation. Or at least that’s how the market sees it. While there is something to be said about a weathered looking, beat up survivor, a well-preserved watch that still shows signs of its age will always be the better buy, as condition is king. To start things off, let’s take a look at a true grail, so to speak, that has what I’d say is the perfect amount of patina.

This is an early waterproof chronograph from Omega, which makes use of their revered Cal. 33.3 movement. Over time, the outstanding multi-scale dial has aged to a warmer tone, which adds to the charm of this crisp as can be piece. Great watches like this mustn’t go unnoticed, so soak it in.


Heuer Silverstone

The 1970s are largely characterized as an age of experimentation in watch design, as several of the otherworldly timepieces of this age would indicate. One such watch is Heuer’s Silverstone, which was technically the iconic Monaco’s successor upon its release in 1974.

Some look at the Silverstone like a movie sequel that doesn’t live up to the original release, but in my opinion, it’s a wildly cool piece if you can pull it off, and a stand-out reflection of the time period in which it was manufactured. If the Silverstone does it for you, here’s a particularly clean example, that comes complete with a Heuer-signed NSA bracelet.


Breitling Ref. 762 Rattrapante

In the lifetime of any vintage watch collector, a point usually is reached at which aesthetics alone can no longer sell a watch. You start to seek out the full package — something that’s as exciting mechanically as it is visually. This last piece — before we enter murky waters — is undoubtedly the full package.

What you’re looking at is a Ref. 762, split-seconds or rattrapante chronograph from Breitling, though you wouldn’t know that upon first glance, as Breitling cleverly hid the second hand engagement button within the stem assembly. This is a terrific looking example of a rare watch, and if I’m not mistaken, that’s an import hallmark on the top left lug. The cherry on top, if you will!


Steer Clear:

To end off the week, we’ve got one listing for two watches. Two extremely desirable watches at that. But before you go thinking that you’ve just found the deal of the century, do note that this is not a common practice when selling watches of this supposed calibre, and should be interpreted as a major red flag. Things are off to a shaky start with this duo.

If spotting fakes isn’t your forte, the use of the word “homage” in the seller’s brief description should be enough to affirm all of your suspicions in an instant. Case closed.


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1 year ago

A KTN is a number that’s issued by either the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Department of Defense (DoD).

1 year ago

If you love travelling but can’t stand the long customs lines, then it might be worth it for you to get a Known Traveler Number (KTN).

6 years ago

I admit, that I have certain affection for “homage”watches. The ones you listed are what I personally considered to be “fakes,” though admittedly the line is incredibly fine…
By the way, the previous posting, you pointed that the certain Breitling as fake – that I’m not entirely sure, as there were Breitling watches that had exact features as the watch mentioned with a standard Valjoux movement without any modifications in the past. Honestly, I can’t tell from where I’m sitting.