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Many watch brands, even those with a distinctly modern persona, have a fascinating past, full of unexpected models that lend depth and character to their current products. The watches of the past are often what watch designers look to for inspiration and continuity of design, and the sport watches especially of the 1960s and 1970s probably have the most influence on new collections. Each of the three watches below is from a brand with a strong history making sport watches that continues to do so today.
What We Like: Vulcain is best known for its Cricket alarm watch, famously worn by several US presidents, but the brand has a well-rounded catalog that includes watches like this colorful chronograph. Red highlights on the white dial really pop, especially the first five minutes emphasized in the chronograph subdial. With a 36mm case, it is powered by the Valjoux 7733 manually wound chronograph movement.
From the Seller: In overall very good condition considering the age. The movement runs very well keeping accurate time & the chronograph works as it should.
What We Like: The Airman is Glycine’s biggest claim to fame, and the brand today still produces a wide range of options based on the iconic pilot’s watch. The Airman was a unique and innovative watch when it was born in 1953 featuring a 24-hour dial and rotating 24-hour bezel for tracking a second time zone. Hacking seconds were also a notable element. This well-worn model from around 1967 has all those features in a 36mm case, powered by an A. Schild (AS) 1700/01 automatic movement.
From the Seller: Case in good vintage condition; movement running fine; date changes exactly at 24 hours.
What We Like: The off-beat, colorful designs of vintage watches from around the ’60s and ’70s have an irresistible charm. This Fortis Marinemaster, however, is also attractive for its modern 39mm-wide case size and the manually wound Valjoux 72 chronograph movement inside, the very same that brands like Heuer, Breitling, and Rolex used in iconic models. This combo diver/chronograph was rated to 200m when it was released, and although you probably shouldn’t swim with it now, it promises a reasonable level of durability and a healthy dose of style.
From the Seller: Overall, the watch is in very good condition, keeping accurate time.
A vintage 1966 Rolex GMT-Master is far from perfect. The painted markers may be discolored, cracked or, at the very least, lack their luminescence. The rotating bezel might not ratchet; the acrylic crystal is likely scratched. Set alongside a modern Rolex GMT-Master II, with its ceramic ratcheting bezel, sapphire crystal, solid bracelet and 100-meter water resistance, there shouldn’t be much of a contest. The new watch is the one to get, right? Wrong.