We are back today with a pre-Fourth of July round-up of vintage watches to help get you through to the holiday weekend. Today’s selection comprises all white-metal watches of either the chronograph or time-only variety. Whether you prefer manual to automatic, we’ve got options in both, all in an assortment of case shapes and sizes.
Sit back and relax, it’s vintage time.
1964 Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3498 In 18k White Gold
There is just something about a vintage ultra-thin watch with a manually wound movement that is extremely satisfying on the wrist. It’s also a reminder that horological innovation can be found in all eras. How impressive is it that Patek Philippe was able to craft a movement approximately 5mm thick, all the way back in the 1960s? This Calatrava ref. 3498 features ultra-thin caliber 175, allowing the watch to sit extremely flat on the wrist and perfectly under any shirt cuff. Further, this example is cased in 18k white gold, adding to its understated appeal.
1971 Heuer Autavia Ref. 1163T ‘Jo Siffert’
The Autavia ref. 1163T with “Jo Siffert” colors, known as such due to the watch’s presence on the legendary driver’s wrist, differs from all other vintage Autavia models because of its crisp white dial and striking blue accents. The use of these two, eye-catching colors on the dial allows the ref. 1163T to stick out from the crowd of similar black-dialed sport watches and chronographs from the same era. This watch has a remarkably clean overall look that is perfect for the summer months. The ref. 1163T “Jo Siffert” is one of the most desirable vintage automatic Autavia models. Heuer produced this reference from 1969 to around 1972, where it then partnered with Viceroy cigarettes to sell the ref. 1163 Viceroy (more on that here). The Autavia ref. 1163T “Jo Siffert” holds a special place in the watch collecting community and remains highly sought-after. Comedian and car enthusiast Jerry Seinfeld is known to wear a ref. 1163T on occasion, which you can sometimes spot on his show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
1971 Bulova Deep Sea ‘B’ Chronograph
This Bulova Deep Sea Chronograph is full of character and neat details. First, the watch features a nicely sized 37.5mm case with visible bevels on its edges – always a welcome attribute. The dial itself is glossy black with two white registers, providing it with a “reverse-panda” look. For extra legibility, the dial has a highlighter-orange central seconds hand, which you won’t be able to miss. The bezel is executed in a “Coke”-style colorway, with the first 15 minutes in red and the rest in black, something that was also selected to improve legibility. The lack of text on the dial provides the watch with a nice, minimalist look. All the dial says is “Bulova” near 12 o’clock, with a depth rating reading “666 Feet” directly underneath it. The last bit of text at the very bottom is “T Swiss Made T,” which indicates where the watch was built and that the dial contains tritium lume. Overall, this is a very handsome example of a diving chronograph from the 1970s.
The Full Set
In addition to the three highlights above, we also have a beautiful IWC with caliber 852 in steel from the 1950s, a strikingly simple 1959 Rolex Oyster ref. 6426, and a sporty Waltham chronograph from the 1970s. Head on over to the HODINKEE Shop for a closer look!