3 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now
Before Longines became one of the many Swatch Group brands, it was known in its heyday for producing some of the finest chronograph movements that money could buy, like the 13ZN and the subsequent 30CH. From both a technical and architectural standpoint, these two flyback calibers are absolute works of art, and their overall desirability in today’s market certainly reflects this—but is there a lower-priced Longines you could proudly wear?
Longines ‘Vernier scale’ Chronograph
The watch in question today is unfortunately not powered by one of the aforementioned calibers, but a modified Valjoux 72 instead. Having said that, Longines still proves its watchmaking prowess through an innovative “Nonius” chronograph seconds hand that allows the user to accurately time an occurrence to one-tenth of a second without the use of complex mechanics. It looks great, it’s functional, and if you look closely, you’ll notice the presence of Paul Newman Daytona-style registers at three and nine o’clock.
After first seeing the 1971 film Le Mans, I instantly became obsessed with the Porsche 917 and Heuer’s striking Monaco chronograph. Both are such stand out designs in the history of their industries, and truly reflect the era in which they emerged.
In the film, the inexplicably cool Steve McQueen can be seen wearing an example that features a blue dial, but today we’re talking about the slightly more understated grey dial variant. While doing one of my daily searches, I came across an example in excellent condition, and after looking it over, I think I might even like the grey dial slightly more than the blue. There’s just something about the non-contrasting subdials that really lets other details of the watch shine.
Last but not least, we have an Omega Dynamic, which is best characterized by its abnormal, lug-less case design. Most of examples of the Dynamic usually don’t do much for me, but this one is a different story. Surrounding the dial, you’ll notice the same hash mark design that’s seen on racing-dial Speedmasters, which looks stunning against the greyish blue sunburst dial, if I do say so myself.
While the luminous plots on the dial seem to have not held up so well over the years, I still think this would make a terrific addition to the collection of a budding watch enthusiast who’s looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, especially at well under $1,000.