Gear: 3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
March 22, 2017

In this week’s roundup, we’ve got a little something for everyone. On paper, all three of the selected watches are quite similar, though it’s in the details that they can be differentiated, and celebrated today for their aesthetic excellence. Without further ado, let’s take a look at three stellar approaches to the vintage chronograph.

Zodiac Zodia-Chron Hermetic


The way I see things, Zodiac’s Zodia-Chron is one of the coolest vintage chronographs trading today. With all its different contrasting finishes, and neatly finished edges, it really is a visually stimulating piece, and its Valjoux 72 movement only affords it more credibility. What’s more, they’re quite rare—I’ve only seen three over the past few years, and I always excitedly await the discovery of the next.

While browsing the current inventory at Menta Watches, I was delighted to find what may be the cleanest Zodia-Chron I’ve ever seen being offered for sale. This one also happens to be a rare variant, in that its spotless silver dial bears the word “Hermetic” just above the 12-hour register, indicating that the watch makes use of a waterproof case. In addition to its original steel Zodiac-signed bracelet, this unpolished example comes complete with the original box, papers, and hangtags. Can’t ask for much better.

Breitling Clamshell Chronograph


Looking for a fixer-upper? I know they’re not for everyone, but hear me out on this one. What you’re looking at is an early Breitling chronograph, which presumably dates back to the 1940s, and if you’re still reading this sentence, I ask that you stop and take a moment to gawk at that gorgeous dial. Wow!

So here’s the rub — the watch likely needs a service, and it’s missing a pusher. With that said, I wouldn’t let that discourage you, as this is still a seriously impressive vintage Breitling, in a thick oversized clamshell case. Do a little hunting for that missing pusher; I assure you it’s worth it.

Longines 30CH Flyback Chronograph


As I’ve said before, gold watches aren’t really my thing, but I’m a sucker for a vintage watch in great condition, and this Longines from a seller in New York certainly fits that description. Everything about this watch is crisp. From the text and scales that fill the dial, to the precisely cut and hallmarked lugs: everything is sharp, and nothing is truly telling of just how old this watch really is.

The other reason why I love this Ref. 7414 can be found upon removing the caseback. This Longines Cal. 30CH flyback is a movement that’s as important as it is good looking, and believe me, it’s a looker. See for yourself.

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