Gear: 3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

Avatar By Isaac Wingold
February 7, 2017
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Today we’ve got a little bit of everything. Something sporty, something obscure, and something that would look just as good with a tux as it would behind the wheel of a 275 GTB/4. Before this turns into a mawkish love letter to the aforementioned machine of my dreams, let’s take a look at what’s caught my eye over the past week.

Heuer Autavia Ref. 2446

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As I’ve now mentioned many a time, the popularity of Heuer’s Autavia has shot up in collecting circles over the past couple years. What was once just another vintage sports chronograph is now a true blue chip piece, backed by an aggressively passionate community of collectors and scholars. Though the market’s development has definitely made finding desirable examples more difficult, outstanding Autavia’s do pop up for sale every once in a while, just like this one did on eBay the other day.

This is a compressor case Ref. 2446 Autavia, and as you’ll notice, it’s fitted with a bezel insert that denotes both minutes and hours. Most impressively, this example is also being sold with what the seller claims to be the original box and papers, which you just don’t see everyday.

Rooney Clamshell Chronograph

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I’ve never heard of “Rooney” watches, and chances are you haven’t either, but this piece was just too good to leave out of this week’s round-up. I mean, just look at it! For a moment, let’s ignore the unfamiliar name on the dial, and focus on the details that count.

What you’re looking at is an oversized, clamshell-cased chronograph, with a gorgeous multi-scale dial. While a few scuffs look to have made their way onto the dial over the years, it also appears to have faded to a pleasing tone of chocolate brown. It looks stunning if I do say so myself. All in all, it’s a terrific looking piece that reinforces the fact that the name on the dial isn’t always as important as it may seem.

Vintage Zenith A271

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Your last vintage chronograph for the week is a great one. I really mean it. This is easily one of my favorite chronograph designs of the past century, and one of the most beautiful pieces ever produced by Zenith, in my opinion.

This is what’s known as an A271, which makes use of Zenith’s Cal. 146D movement. If you’re looking for a head-turner, this isn’t it, but if understated elegance and tasteful details are more your thing, there’s lots to love here. I’ve always admired how concise and clean of a design the A271 is, and in such clean shape, you can still appreciate it in all of its original glory. Would someone please claim this before my impulsiveness gets the best of me?

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