In The Shop – Vintage Watches: A 1969 Rolex Submariner, A 1981 Vacheron Constantin 222, And A 1970s Tradition Chronograph By Heuer For Sears

In The Shop – Vintage Watches: A 1969 Rolex Submariner, A 1981 Vacheron Constantin 222, And A 1970s Tradition Chronograph By Heuer For Sears

It’s the middle of the week, which means more vintage watches in the HODINKEE Shop! We’re coming off a long, three-day holiday weekend in New York, and we think today’s selection will be the perfect midweek pick-me-up to help you power through to the weekend. This week’s lineup is a bit more diverse than usual, with seven total watches, including a Heuer Regatta, a Vacheron Constantin 222, and even a pocket watch for good measure. 

1981 Vacheron Constantin 222 Ref. 44018-411 ‘Jumbo’ In Two Tone With Full Set

It was a common misconception among watch enthusiasts for many years that the Vacheron Constantin 222 was designed by Gérald Genta, mainly because it shared a similar aesthetic and came out around the same time as his most famous designs, which include the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. The Vacheron Constantin 222, however, was actually created by Jörg Hysek, a young designer who later developed the Breguet Marine and TAG Heuer Kirium. The 222, with its sleek combination of elegance and sportiness, is unquestionably Hysek’s masterpiece. 

When the 222 was first released, it was not as popular as Vacheron had hoped it would be, which is coincidentally a fact that it shares with both the Royal Oak and Nautilus. The watch community eventually changed its mind on the luxury sport watch category, and today, the genre is one of the most popular in all of watchmaking. Vacheron originally released the 222 in stainless steel, gold, and in a two-tone combination of steel and gold like the example we have today. It comes complete as a full set, with its original box, papers, hangtag, and even the caseback sticker! Vintage 222s offer extraordinary value, especially when compared to Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak models of the same era, and this two-tone 222 is no exception.

1969 Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 ‘Meters First’

The Rolex Submariner ref. 5513 is one of the most requested watches we get at HODINKEE HQ, and there’s a good reason why. Rolex first released the reference in 1962, and it was in production until 1989. It is one of the longest references to be continuously produced in all of Rolex history. The Submariner started out as a no-date watch, and although that option is still offered today, it’s examples like this ref. 5513 that get us the most excited. Whether it’s the symmetry or the simplicity, no-date Rolex Submariners are the centerpiece of countless watch collections worldwide. The example we have here today is from 1969, and it has a matte dial with a “meters first” depth rating. 

A 1960s Tradition Chronograph Ref. 73323 By Heuer For Sears, Roebuck And Co.

Tradition was a watch brand in the 1960s and ’70s that consisted of watches made by Heuer and sold at Sears, Roebuck and Co. This chronograph dates to the 1960s and features a strong case and a nice patina on the dial – giving it the vintage charm we love. The black-on-white panda dial has engine-turned sub-dials that pick up the light nicely and are quite legible. Overall, the watch has the typical styling associated with Heuer chronographs of the period, with matchstick-style hands and a two-register dial, while also offering impressive value-for-money. Finally, the compact 36mm diameter ensures that the watch will wear quite easily on most wrist sizes.

The Full Set

In addition to the three highlights above, we have a beautiful Ulysse Nardin pocket watch from the 1940s, a cool Heuer Regatta with a black-PVD case and bracelet from the 1980s, a Vulcain Cricket from the 1950s, and an uncommon Omega Seamaster 60 from 1971. Head over to the HODINKEE Shop to check out all of our latest vintage-watch additions! 


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