Gear: 3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
January 31, 2017

This past week was a big one in the world of vintage chronographs, as a first execution Heuer Autavia sold for just over $200,000. If you needed further assurance of the strength of the vintage watch market, well there it is. Now that we’ve addressed this momentous sale, here’s a look at what piqued my interest this week. Don’t worry — none are quite as costly as the aforementioned Heuer.

Bovet Mono-Rattrapante


Despite the best efforts of dealers and photo-savvy collectors, pictures often don’t do a watch justice, and in the case of vintage gilt dial chronographs, this couldn’t be more true. The combination of contrasting gold details against a jet black backdrop is enough to sell most on a fine example, but in my opinion, it’s how light playfully reflects off these watches that makes them so wildly attractive.

Here we have a stunning gilt dial chronograph, and a rare one at that, from the Miami-based dealer Menta Watches. This is a Bovet Mono-Rattrapante, which can be used to time two occurrences simultaneously, and as you can see, it’s been preserved wonderfully. If a gilt dial is what you’re after, this could be a good way to get into the game.

Wakmann Triple Date Chronograph


This next watch has long served as my way of gauging just where the vintage chronograph market is at. Over the years, I’ve followed these Wakmann’s closely, and have watched them go from being sub-$1000 curiosities, to staples of vintage chronograph collections that command strong numbers daily.

Here we have a noteworthy example that’s currently being offered for sale on eBay, with richly patinated luminous plots, and an included copy of the original operating instructions. While these triple date chronographs are no longer the bargains they once were, the same can be said of most high quality vintage watches. Luckily, the price tags attached to these Wakmann’s aren’t too hard to justify, given their devilish good looks.

Vetta Waterproof Chronograph


Your last vintage chronograph for the week comes all the way from Italy, where an individual has listed their Vetta for sale on eBay. What caught my eye about this piece was the outstanding waterproof case architecture, that features a smooth bezel, and a number of tasteful, subtle details, like chamfered lugs.

There looks to be a little bit of spotting on the dial, and the case appears to have been polished at some point, but this one was just too good to leave out of the weekly roundup. On a vintage Gay Frères bracelet, this one would look all sorts of awesome.

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