We are back this Wednesday with a fresh round-up of nine vintage watches to help get you through the week. We have a pretty diverse selection of styles to sort from today, from an 18k white-gold Rolex pocket watch to all sorts of wristwatches, in all sizes and with or without bracelets. Whether you prefer a regatta timer to a dive watch, or a Datejust to a Day-Date, we’re sure you’ll find something to appreciate.
Now sit back, relax, and let’s get into it.
1972 Heuer Autavia ‘Viceroy’ Ref. 1163V
The Heuer Autavia “Viceroy” is a watch that is full of character and oozes style and racing heritage. It takes its name from the Viceroy cigarette brand first introduced in 1936 by Brown & Williamson, an American tobacco company. In the early 1970s, the company saw stagnant growth in Viceroy, and market research realized most consumers regarded it as a more feminine option compared to the red-blooded image of competitors like Marlboro. In order to change consumer perception, Brown & Williamson’s marketing staff teamed up with Jack Heuer. We won’t go much further in-depth on the topic (for more historical background, click here), but the partnership was a massive success thanks to a single watch: the Autavia ref. 1163V (“V” for Viceroy).
Unlike more common examples, which featured a tachymeter bezel, this present example is fitted with a bezel featuring both minute and hour markers. It was not uncommon for a buyer to request a bezel change, and many other examples of this same reference are known to be fitted with this type of bezel. The defining characteristics of this watch are the large case with a black dial featuring red accents and white sub-dials. The overall style of the watch is sporty, especially when paired with an appropriate perforated leather racing strap, a subtle nod to the original Corfam straps that originally came on these Autavias.
1971 Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601
The Rolex Datejust has existed since 1945. It is, of course, an all-time classic Rolex model, but it’s also just a great watch for all occasions. Rolex has created countless variations of the Datejust over the decades, and the example we have here is one of our favorite executions. It features a stainless steel case with a white-gold fluted bezel, a silver dial, and is paired with a Jubilee bracelet. This watch is a textbook example of a watch that will always be in style. The sportiness of the Oyster case coupled with the design panache of the white-gold bezel and the comfort and distinct look of a Jubilee make it an ideal watch in all settings.
1967 Tudor Submariner Ref. 7928/0
This Tudor Submariner has so many little characteristics that give it charm, but one needs a keen eye for detail and a knowledge of Tudor past and present to pick up on them. For example, the curved “self-winding” text at the bottom of the dial means this watch features what some collectors refer to as a “Smiley Face” dial. (You might remember its more recent appearance on the Tudor Black Bay Heritage from 2012.) The dial also features the Tudor Rose logo under 12 o’clock, which was soon replaced by the Tudor Shield in 1969. (Tudor brought this Rose logo back in 2012 with the Black Bay Heritage, as well.) Another neat characteristic of this watch is the lollipop-style seconds hand. Collectors call it this because the end portion of the hand filled with lume is circular and a bit bigger than usual. Those who own and appreciate contemporary Tudor Black Bay watches will find extra joy out of these vintage Submariners, as they’ll be able to track the brand’s aesthetic development through decades of history.
1978 Rolex Day-Date Ref. 18038
A Rolex Day-Date is a classic for a reason, and this model cased in gold with a champagne-colored dial is a quintessential example. The Day-Date received the nickname “Presidential” due to the specific style of bracelet used that isn’t found on any other watch. Many political leaders have been known to wear the Day-Date, so over time, the watch itself earned the Presidential moniker. The Day-Date has remained in the Rolex line-up since it was introduced in 1956, and it maintained a diameter of 36mm (as seen in the current example) from its beginning all the way up to 2008, when Rolex introduced the Day-Date II in 41mm; in 2015, Rolex replaced the Day-Date II with the Day-Date 40, with a 40mm diameter. The 36mm version is, of course, still available. You don’t just get rid of a classic, after all.
The Full Set
In addition to the four watches above, we have a beautiful mid-sized 18k Rolex Datejust Ref. 68728 from 1984 with its original papers, a super nice Aquastar Regate from the 1970s, a cool Rolex Air-King with ‘Alpha’ style hands from 1965, a 1968 Tudor Oyster Prince Date+Day ‘Jumbo’ Ref. 7017/0, and a white gold Rolex Cellini pocket watch from 1976. Head over to the HODINKEE Shop to check them all out!