Gear: 3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
April 19, 2017
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To those that don’t understand the watch fascination, I often make the argument that it can be attributed to a fascination and reverence for thoughtful details. Be it a chamfered edge on a lug or the concentric lines that trace a chronograph register, these details set one watch apart from the rest, and ultimately determine potential desirability. This week, I’ve picked out a few pieces with tasteful details, outlined and deconstructed for your enjoyment.

Heuer Carrera Ref. 73353

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First up, we’ve got a vintage Heuer Carrera–reference 73353, specifically—that’s being offered for sale on a stunning bracelet. There was a point in time when this reference did absolutely nothing for me, but lately it seems to be a main focus of mine. This one in particular is a nice example, complete with a silver dial, black registers, and a contrasting red chronograph hand.

As I mentioned earlier, that bracelet adds a significant bit to the overall desirability of the watch. That’s because it’s a period correct “Beads of Rice” bracelet made by none other than the legendary Swiss bracelet manufacturer, Gay Freres. Heuer, among others, looked to them for bracelets way back when, and they’re now considered to be some of the finest ever made.

Jacques Monnat Chronograph

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Next in the roundup is a more accessibly priced piece, and one that I have always had eyes for. The name Jacques Monnat might not carry much weight in the grand scheme of the watch world, but I think it’s simply a great looking mechanical watch that would make a solid addition to any collection.

This is largely because of the amount of color packed into this single piece. On the bezel, you’ve got blue and dark grey, which work wonderfully with the pink chronograph and red register accent. It’s a bold look, but at 39mm you won’t have to worry about drawing undue attention. 

Eberhard Pre-Extra Fort

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Your last vintage chronograph for the week comes from the Hodinkee shop: a stainless steel Eberhard Pre-Extra Fort chronograph from the 1940s. At 40mm across, this watch was seen as being rather large in its day, given that at the time of its release tastes tended to favor smaller timepieces.

Although its dial isn’t perfect, and does have a few notable flaws, it’s worth noting the rarity of these watches, and the fact that all too many have had their dials unfortunately compromised as a result of refinishing. Scratches and wear aren’t always such a bad thing—there are no doubts concerning originality here. 

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