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Throwback Sundays: Six Recommendations for Vintage Reissue Watches, from Our Archives

by Robin Lim on January 10, 2016

There seems to be a trend in the horological industry recently, especially with some of the bigger brands. In our article on industry trends, we observed that there seems to be many brands bringing out watches from their archives and remodelling as vintage reissue watches. 

These watches, known either as homages or vintage reissues, have proliferated in the past few years. With that take a look at six vintage reissue/ homage watches that we think are worthy of your collection.

 

Tudor Black Bay Black

 

The latest iteration of the Black Bay family- the Black Bay Black.

The latest iteration of the Black Bay family- the Black Bay Black.

 

We begin with an offering from one of our darlings of 2015: Tudor. After all, Tudor  rebooted itself as the cheap sister to Rolex, an pulled themselves out by vitrue of the strength of their vintage reissues, viz a viz the Heritage Chronograph and the original Black Bay Red in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

The latest reiteration in the Black Bay family is the Black Bay Black, which was launched a few months back. Other than some subtle differences, as well as the color scheme change, the Black Bay Black is pretty much the same watch as the others in the family. The watch, similarly, is power by the automatic ETA-2824 movement. It has a depth rating of up to 200m, and its power reserve is approximately 38 hours. The Black Bay Black is also available in leather or steel bracelet, and it comes with an additional fabric strap.

For someone who adores vintage Rolex/ Tudor watches, we think that the Black Bay Black is an interesting proposition. It is definitely much more affordable, and it is certainly fitted with a more reliable and modern movement as well.

 

Panerai Luminor 8 Days Set (PAM 785)

 

The Panerai Luminor 8 Days Set (PAM 785), based on two Pre-Vendome "Slytech" watches.

The Panerai Luminor 8 Days Set (PAM 785) are based on two Pre-Vendome “Slytech” watches.

 

Panerai have had quite a success with their homage watches which are based on the timing instruments that they have produced for the Italian Navy in the early 20th Century.

Fast forward, Panerai takes it one step further with the Panerai PAM785, also known as the Luminor 8 Days Set, are based on two Pre-Vendome “Slytech” watches that were produced back in the 90s. These two models were known as the “Daylight” and the “Black Seal”.  This makes the Luminor 8 Days Set a reissue of a reissue, considering how original “Slytech” Luminor watches were based on the vintage Panerai watches that were created almost half a century back.

The Luminor 8 Days Set had its fair share of critics and fans alike. Some of them dismiss this as a marketing plot, and the usual “oh-they-have-ran-out-of-ideas” remarks. But for others, this set of watches is not only highly desirable, but it also reminds them of the history and the legacy of this highly controversial watchmaker.

 

Longines Heritage Diver 1967

 

The Longines Heritage Diver 1967.

The Longines Heritage Diver 1967.

 

Longines, similarly, is another entry-level luxury watchmaker that is placing a lot of emphasis on vintage reissues. In recent years, Longines had introduced several reissues that were met with roaring success. One of the greatest examples would be the Legend Diver, in which its “No Date” version is one of the most highly sought after pieces in the pre-owned market.

Following that, Longines had launched yet another reissue. This time, it is the Heritage Diver 1967. The dive watch features both the chronograph and a date indicator. The same dial layout is found on the original timepiece, faithfully reproduced with the red bezel and a black dial that is coupled with two white sub-dials that were of different sizes. With one exception. The reissue has a date indicator, absent in the original. We reckon it is for the sake of user-friendliness and functionality purposes, although some of us would have preferred to omit out the date window on the dial.

Did Longines create yet another timepiece that will capture the heart of watch collectors? Well, only time will tell. But we are certainly sure that this is a timepiece with a good value proposition, and we feel that this is one of the few watches that a young collector should look at, if he or she is looking at something that is relatively affordable and well-built.

 

Vacheron Constantin Historique Cornes de Vache 1955

 

Vacheron Constantin Historique Cornes de Vache 1955. A rather magnificent timepiece in terms of aesthetics alone.

Vacheron Constantin Historique Cornes de Vache 1955. A rather magnificent timepiece in terms of aesthetics alone.

 

Next up, we have something from Vacheron Constantin’s Historique collection. The collection, as its name suggests, focuses on Vacheron Constantin’s historical pieces, and it aims to recreate such wonderful watches using modern movements and technologies. The Cornes de Vache 1955 is one such example.

For the uninitiated, the term Cornes de Vache translates to Cow’s Horn in French. So, one must be thinking why Vacheron Constantin gave the timepiece such a peculiar and unique name? Well, it is all thanks to its lugs, it in it is shaped uniquely like a Cow’s Horn. It was also featured in the timepiece that it was based on- the Reference 6087. There are, however, some differences between the Reference 6087 and the Historique Cornes de Vache 1955. The case size is increase in case size from 35mm to 38.5mm, as well as the use of a new movement (the Vacheron Constantin Calibre 1142 which is a Lemania derivative in place of the Valjoux derivative in the 6087).

Overall, we think that the Historique Cornes de Vache 1955 is an incredible timepiece. Its aesthetics, especially the Cow’s Horn Lugs, are unique and yet very elegant. Coupled with the blue chronograph hands and the blue tachymeter scale, we can pretty much say that we are falling head over heels for this timepiece.

 

Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso 1948 Ultra-Thin

 

The Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso 1948 Ultra-Thin.

The Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso 1948 Ultra-Thin.

 

Ever since its inception in 1931, we have seen many iterations of the elegant and gorgeous Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso. The Reverso, with its unique reversible case, is probably one of the most iconic timepieces that have graced the horological world.

Among its many reissues or tribute pieces, we have a soft spot for the 1948 Ultra-Thin. What we particularly like about this piece is its color combination- the silvered grain dial, together with the blued applique indices and blued steel hands, contrasts beautifully. We also like how the watch, with its ultra-thin Caliber 822 movement, is so dressy and subtle. It is definitely yet another great addition to the Reverso family.

And this 2016, being the 85th Anniversary of the Reverso, we are looking forward to some interesting homages being offered when we go to Geneva next week for SIHH.

IWC Portuguese Hand-wound “REVOLUTION 10th Anniversary”

 

IWC IW5440001 Portuguese for Revolution Magazine's 10th Anniversary. Limited edition of 10 pieces.

IWC IW5440001 Portuguese for Revolution Magazine’s 10th Anniversary. Limited edition of 10 pieces.

 

Finally, we end the article with yet another brilliant reissue: the IWC Portuguese Hand-wound “REVOLUTION 10th Anniversary”. Technically, it is not exactly a reissue per se, as this particular watch is a special edition piece that was produced to celebrate Revolution’s 10th Anniversary.

The watch is almost identical to the Jubilee edition of the Portuguese that was released for the 125th anniversary of IWC in 1993. The only difference is the “Revolution” edition features the Cal 92800 while the 1993 special edition featured the Cal 9828 (Cal 982 with Jubilee markings). The watch case is 42mm and has a height of 9.8 mm and comes on a brown alligator leather strap, with matching pin buckle in 18-carat red gold.

What love this watch very much, and it is not simply because it is so similar to the Jubilee Edition. We like how simple the watch looks, and also especially the fact that IWC had spelled out its name fully on the dial of the watch in cursive. It is truly a remarkable timepiece, and one that will surely poison the IWC fans.

 

Afterthoughts

We have come to the end of yet another installment of Throwback Sundays.

This week, we took a look at vintage reissues. From our selections, as well as our comments, one can deduce that we are pretty much in favor of such genre of watches. But only of reissues that we think are done tastefully, with decent build-quality and finishing. We do not view all vintage reissues in the same light.

We hope that you have enjoyed our article today, and hopefully we have changed the minds of some critics who are at odds with vintage reissues. Please share with us some of your favorite vintage reissues, and do have a great week ahead! Till then, ciao!

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