Gear: 4 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

4 Vintage Driving Watches You Can Buy Right Now

By Isaac Wingold
July 26, 2016

Editor’s Note: We’re big fan of vintage watches around here, specifically Driving Watches. Our friend Isaac Wingold knows an awful lot about both, so he’s going to be pulling together some of the better options we’re seeing on the market each week.

Heuer Carrera Ref. 2447D

As far as vintage driver’s chronographs go, you really can’t do much better than a Heuer. These Swiss sports chronographs have always been and forever will be the some of the best driver’s watches ever made. It’s as simple as that. This notion is supported by an extensive list of noteworthy individuals who wore Heuer’s on the track, that includes names like Jo Siffert, Mario Andretti, Derek Bell, Jochen Rindt, Niki Lauda, and James Hunt to name a few. Need I say more?

Miami’s Menta Watches just listed a terrific looking Ref. 2447D Carrera, which features a rare, silver decimal dial. As the dealer’s description says, the watch is being offered in “barn find” condition, as the intact luminous plots and unpolished stainless steel case would indicate. A solid example through and through.

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Seiko 7A28-7008

This next piece is significantly younger than the aforementioned two, and with its futuristic aesthetic, it shows. What we’ve got here is a 7A28-7008 from Seiko, and if you fancy yourself a movie buff, you’ll probably remember seeing a similar looking reference (7A28-7000 to be exact) on the wrist of one Ellen Ripley in 1986’s Aliens.

This otherworldly design came from none other than the renowned Italian industrial designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, who also brought you a genuinely mind-blowing number of iconic classics. We happen to think this “Seiko Speedmaster” looks an awful lot like BMW’s M1, which Giugiaro designed just nine years earlier.

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Tudor Monte Carlo Ref. 7169/0

Since 1946, the world’s most well-known luxury watch brand, has been producing relatively more affordable wristwatches under the name Tudor, and while these watches might be a little bit more wallet friendly, they’re still every bit as rugged as their coronet-clad counterparts.

Of all the great watches that the brand has produced in their rich history, my personal favorite Tudor from a purely aesthetic standpoint is the blue and grey Ref. 7169/0 Monte Carlo – a chronograph designed with motorsport in mind. Between all of the orange and blue details on the dial, the rotating bezel, and the quintessentially 70’s look of the trapezoidal “Home Plate” subsidiary registers, this watch really pops on the wrist.

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Enicar Sherpa Graph 072/001

In recent years, collectors have started looking through older photographs of prominent figures in racing to hopefully find horological ties to the greats. A picture that clearly depicts a person of interest, like Jim Clark for example, wearing a known vintage chronograph, can make all the difference in developing the market for a particular watch.

A watch that embodies this idea well is the Valjoux 72-powered Sherpa Graph from Enicar. Only a couple years ago, these were seen as just another vintage chronograph, but as of late, the Sherpa Graph couldn’t be hotter, and finding clean examples—like this 072/001 from European Watch Company—is becoming more difficult.

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7 years ago

Why no Omega Speedmaster?

Frank Anigbo
7 years ago

What makes a watch a driving watch? I understand driving gloves because they have a clear design purpose that is very essential for cars with slippery steering wheels or spirited driving. But wouldn’t any old wrist watch work just as well for motoring?

I get what you are saying but the term “Driving Watches” sounds a bit of a misnomer.

I’ll take the Heuer.

7 years ago
Reply to  Frank Anigbo

Technically, there is a thing such as a driving watch. Technically. It’s usually a watch with split-second chronograph function for accurate measurement of time as in derived from early days of rallying. However, you have a point, those functions aren’t all that specific to driving, and applied to other specific type of watches.

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