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  • Writer's picturePhilip Dashiell

The Vintage Allure

More and more, I find myself gravitating to, and adding more vintage timepieces to my collection. Obviously, there are numerous established major watch brands and numerous microbrand watches to choose from, but the vintage pieces keep calling me back. However, there is a calculated method behind my madness.

I've definitely been partial to the vintage, or throwback look of modern watch models, so crossing over, or at least adding authentic, vintage timepieces to my collection wasn't a stretch. In starting my vintage journey, what I immediately found, was that while modern brands can attempt to capture the look and style of a vintage timepiece, the main thing that a re-issue piece cannot replicate, is the true character of a vintage timepiece. Character that can only be attained by weathered cases, bracelets, hands, dials, or crystals, or through developing the natural Patina that a timepiece forms as watch metals are exposed to decades of exposure to natural elements and body oils. There also the rare vintage unicorns that any collector loves to find. These include pristine examples, vintage pieces in excellent condition, or New-Old-Stock (NOS) gems!

Then, there are the oval and elliptical case designs that were a signature design element of timepieces from the 1960's and 1970's. Just imagine how forward-thinking and futuristic these out-of-this-world case shapes were, during the era of their creation.

Another benefit of dabbling into the vintage realm, is that it can be a more affordable way of obtaining pieces from luxury brands, with automatic or mechanical movements, whose modern examples may tend to be more cost prohibitive in attaining otherwise.

Probably the most interesting aspect I enjoy about the hobby of watch collecting, is the availability of learning something new about the history of a particular brand or timepiece. You can certainly do this with modern watches, but nothing beats digging into the storied history of a brand or model, or simply coming across an interesting tidbit or factoid to share with your daily WOTD post. For instance, while conducting research on vintage King Seiko models, prior to purchasing my Seiko Japan, King Seiko, I learned that during the era of the 1960's and 1970's, Seiko had two competing watch factories in Japan, one that exclusively built the Grand Seiko line, and another that was the exclusive manufacturer of the King Seiko line.

So for me, vintage timepieces are yet another intriguing path, or rabbit hole to follow, within this wonderful hobby of watch collecting. Vintage models have changed my perspective on wearing smaller case diameters in modern pieces, and have added an almost endless list of timepieces to my "wish list" of pieces to own. Vintage pieces offer a live-action window into horological history, with many vintage pieces having an interesting backstory and talking points to go with, making them true conversation pieces. Vintage pieces may be older in the tooth, but with age comes wisdom, and my watch collection has most certainly matured in style and substance, with the added vintage fare.

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