It’s Wednesday, which means a fresh batch of vintage watches have arrived in the HODINKEE Shop. This week, it’s all about highlighting the differences that make vintage watches so interesting and exciting. We’ve got some watches that are slight variations on all-time classic references, including a Submariner ref. 1680 and a Carrera ref. 2447, as well as a few models with funky case and dial designs that are completely out of the ordinary. While the designs may vary, the case metals don’t. Each of the vintage watches in today’s listing is made of stainless steel and can be considered a sport watch. Sit back and relax, it’s time for vintage!
1967 Heuer Carrera Ref. 2447 NST
Heuer introduced the first Carrera chronograph, the ref. 2447, in 1963. The name was borrowed from the Carrera Panamericana race, which was a legendary – and deadly – rally held in Mexico from 1950 to 1954. The Carrera was introduced to the world the same year that Rolex released its first Daytona. The pair of chronographs both featured dials made by Singer and the legendary Valjoux 72 chronograph movement. The Carrera ref. 2447 would eventually be available with a variety of dial designs, and the example we have today is a rare bird. It’s the classic reverse-panda design, and the real standout feature is the white tachymeter scale that runs along the edge of the dial and matches the color of the sub-dials. These models (indicated by the “NST” at the end of the reference number) are quite uncommon, especially in the lovely condition that this model has achieved, with beautifully aged lume on the dial and hands.
1975 Rolex ‘Red’ Submariner Ref. 1680
The Rolex Submariner was originally designed without a date window, but with the ref. 1680 in the late 1960s, a date complication was added at the three o’clock position. Over 50 years later, Rolex continues to offer the Submariner with (or without) a date window, and it’s all thanks to the ref. 1680. That’s one of the reasons why collectors go crazy for the model, which is perhaps best known for the small, punchy line of red text on its dial. The example we have here is in great condition, with attractively aged lume and a Mark VI dial, which is indicated by the case number and the closed sixes found on the depth rating.
1974 Omega Speedmaster Mark II Ref. 145.014 With ‘Racing’ Dial
Introduced in 1969, the Speedmaster Mark II was an evolution of Omega’s classic chronograph, intended to bring the collection into the future. Omega clearly took design cues from the standard Speedmaster Professional when designing the Mark II, as the dials in most variations are nearly identical, save for the Mark II branding. The watches were powered by the same caliber 861 found inside the Speedmaster Professional, but the movements were placed inside a thicker, more tonneau-shaped case. Omega offered the Mark II with a few different dial variations, including the one we have here: the “racing” dial. The original “racing” dials had a light grey color that was brought to life by bright orange accents on the chronograph hands and a bicolor checkered seconds track on the periphery of the dial. Collectors tend to gravitate toward the “racing” dial version of the Mark II for its rarity and striking aesthetics; the popularity of the vintage models even inspired Omega to release a reissue of the watch in 2014. These Mark II models with “racing” dials offer great value, especially when compared to the asking price of vintage Speedmaster Professional models with similar dial designs.
The Full Set
In addition to the three highlights above, we have a cool automatic Zodiac chronograph on its original bracelet from the 1970s, a funky 1970s LeCoultre Master Mariner with a blue, egg-shaped dial, and a Universal Genève Compax Chronograph from the 1990s that comes as a full set. Head over to the HODINKEE Shop for all the details!