3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now
Every week I must see somewhere in the ballpark of a thousand and one black dial chronographs. In theory, they’re all the same thing. In reality, too. But it’s the details that separate one from the next, making each piece a direct reflection of the individuals that wear it, and what they intend to do with it on their wrist. This week, I’ve put together another selection of black dial chronographs, each with their own distinctive style and persona.
Anonymous Gilt Clamshell Chronograph
The other day, I took a drive to go see a low-mile 993 that popped up for sale locally. Everything about the car checked out, save for the rear “Carrera” badge that was missing—not a big deal though. Its absence was appreciated in a sense, in that it allowed me to admire the curves of the design in all their glory, unfettered by meddling attempts at branding. This inspired me to include another sterile-dial chronograph in this week’s roundup, free of any and all dial signage.
Since there’s no manufacturer name to be found anywhere on this gilt dial piece, what I can tell you about it is rather limited, but what I do know for certain is that it’s stunning, rare, and offered in excellent condition. It also features clamshell-style case construction, with exposed lug holes for effortless strap changes.
Breitling Top Time Ref. 810
As established markets continue to develop, collectors are looking to other, perhaps previously overlooked brands to get their fix of multi-register goodness. One of those brands is Breitling, who made a host of outstanding chronographs in its prime, including the Top Time, Navitimer, Premier, and many others. While working my way through the murky waters of eBay, I came across this one.
What you’re looking at is a Top Time, and more specifically, a reverse-panda dial example of the famed reference 810. Like many of the chronograph-equipped offerings of the competition at the time, it’s simply an honest time-telling tool, void of any truly “luxurious” characteristics. It got the job done, and it continues to do the trick to this day.
Rolex Daytona Ref. 6262 “Azuli”
Last up, we’ve got the quintessential sports chronograph: Rolex’s Daytona. But this isn’t just any Daytona. To begin with, it’s one of the more obscure references — the Ref. 6262. In comparison to other Daytona references, the 6262 was produced for a far shorter period of time—for only a single year in fact—making it seldom seen, even in collecting circles.
On top of that, this particular example has what some refer to as an “Azuli” dial, in that the silver Daytona text has changed over time to a faint shade of light blue. Also of note on this example is the stainless steel case, which looks to be in great shape, with thick, even lugs. Lots to love.