Tag Archives: retro

It’s Alright Baby Blue

This limited edition Viro model is one of those laidback designs that grows on you the more you look at it. It’s retro motorsport, yet still looks clean and modern. You can’t go wrong with Stoke pottery blue and white, offset with orange hands.

Here’s the word from Union Glashutte;

This special model, limited to 128 pieces, is a real eyecatcher. Its round 44 mm stainless steel case is equipped with smooth, easy-to-use push-buttons for starting, stopping and resetting short timing measurements.

The high-quality sapphire crystal provides clear view of the dial, thanks to its anti-reflective coating on both faces. The blue calfskin leather strap with large, sporty orange dimples and matching underside draw immediate attention to the wrist. For total versatility, the watch is also delivered with an interchangeable stainless steel bracelet.

The Union Glashütte Viro Chronograph Limited Edition Silvretta Classic 2021 skilfully combines total functionality and highly sporty appearance. The blue sub-dials of the 30-minute and 12-hour counters, date window and matching blue outer tachymeter scale beautifully offset the silver-coloured main dial area, with its small-second display at 9 o’clock and fine gradient finished indices.

The black nickel-plated hands with Super-LumiNova® coating ensure absolute clarity while bright red provides the necessary contrasts on the tip of the central stop second sweeper and the sub-dial indicators. This special chronograph is water-resistant up to a pressure of 10 bar.

Retails at £2330 in the UK. More info here. 

Brew Watches Retromatic is Back

The Brew watches Retromatic is back and why not? This 70s style, TV dial inspired watch combines Seiko automatic engine power with a modern US led design theme. Featuring a 36mm case diameter it also has a more modest 70s era width too.

Brew say the dial’s many perforations are inspired by espresso machines, although it is channeling Tetley tea bags for us Brits. Maybe even a hint of industrial soundproofing too? Very different and it has that tiny window showing the balance assembly, which is another industrial `inspection hatch’ feature we love.

It retails at $425, but you have to add on import duty and VAT of course.

Here’s the tech spec;

SPECIFICATIONS

CASE DIAMETER:  36MM x 39.5MM
CASE THICKNESS:  10.5MM
LUG WIDTH: 20MM
CRYSTAL: SAPPHIRE GLASS (FRONT & BACK)
CASE MATERIAL:  STAINLESS STEEL 316L
CASEBACK:  STAINLESS STEEL 316L
BRACELET: 20MM, BRUSHED STAINLESS STEEL 316L, QUICK RELEASE
DIAL: SUNRAY DEEP GREEN, 3-TIER PERFORATED DESIGN
WATER RESISTANCE:  5ATM (50 METERS)
MOVEMENT:  SEIKO NH35A, AUTOMATIC

Timex Continues With Retro Groove

Timex is staying on the retro path with new colour choices for the Q Reissue series, including a deep blue dial/bezel combo that we love.  It has a 38mm case, steel bracelet, easy-change battery compartment on the caseback – all that good stuff from the past, with a modern quartz movement inside.

It is a great looker although £175 is expensive for a basic fashion watch. Rivals from Sekonda, Accurist, even a Seiko 5, can be had for about £110. Just saying.

Now if you rock the Pride month then the Timex Malibu models will be right up your alley. Featuring Miami art deco colours, these watches have a 36mm case width, quartz movt, acrylic crystal and gold tone painted bracelets, which are the expandable type.

Good news for older customers who often miss these expanding links, although taking the pins out to remove links can be a bit of a faff, even for jewellers and watch shops.

Bizarrely, they feature a rotating bezel, which seems pointless on a fashion watch but still. Price is £175.

More info on  the UK Timex site here.

New Citizen Star Wars Watches Released

Citizen has launched  Star Wars merch range and some of them are kinda cool. OK, the  existing Han Solo chronograph is our fave, but it is 43mm across which is quite wide for some wrists.

Here’s the spec from Citizen;

Featuring a stainless steel case, rich brown and navy blue Two Tone leather strap and matching navy blue dial with bright red stripe; the caseback features an illustration of the Millennium Falcon. Limited edition; only 1,977 pieces available globally (the year of release of the first Star Wars film). Featuring Eco-Drive technology – powered by light, any light.

Price is £329 on that one.

Meanwhile we have a new pair of retro models;

These feature dual time and subdials with both the Rebel Alliance logo and the X-Wing with Rebel inspired colours. The watch also includes an alarm, the digital time, and the temperature, making it a unique and stand-out timepiece. Price is £269.

60s Style Seiko Presage Models Are Retro Heaven

There are retro/recreation style watches all over the internet right now, from brands like Timex, Zenith, Casio, Tissot, Longines and many more. You can’t blame watch brands for making the most of their heritage and remixing it DJ style for the 21st century.

So as a fan of the Seiko Presage models, I approve of everything to do with the Style 60’s range – except the incorrect use of the apostrophe. Nothing belongs to the number 60. It should be 60s plural, denoting the decade of style, OK?

Moving on, let’s look at these models which are arriving in June at Seiko dealers. The SRPGO models have blue, black, champagne or green dials and a 41mm case, featuring the 4R35 movement. Yep, you can wind it – no shaking required.

It has a more sporty feel than some existing Presage models, mainly due to the dive style bezel and more utilitarian crown. The cocktail time watches have the onion shaped crown. It looks like a scuba ready watch, but it really isn’t a dive piece though at 5atm rated.

Got some nice lume on there, plus a retro hardlex box crystal for that 60s vibe. Nice touch, but many buyers will still be slightly miffed that they are paying decent money for an acrylic crystal watch. That’s Seiko for you – they don’t have to change their philosophy for you, me or anyone else.

Some variants have a vintage, faded type lume on the indices for that extra retro flavour.

Prices start at £440 for the black model with a NATO strap and rise to £530 for the open heart dial option. Seiko are deifinitely `price-walking’ their fanbase up to entry level Swiss stuff, but then you could argue that a Seiko Presage is on par with a basic Hamilton, Tissot or Longines.

Except for the plastic crystal. Oh and the poor packaging with that kinda cheap ol’ 90s white box. OK yeah, they are getting cheeky on prices.

The range is inspired by the Crown Chrono model from 1964, but the modern days Style 60’s models lack the stopwatch button at the 2pm position.  Maybe that tribute watch is in the pipeline for the Christmas selling season?

More info here at Seiko’s site.

The Cult of MOD: Swiss Style

Many watch fans know and love Seiko MOD watches. There are several specialists out there making stunning Prospex/SKX or NH35 powered watches with a variety of beautiful dials, bezels and hands. It’s a cult thing that is definitely growing fast and it isn’t unusual to see some Seiko MOD dive models on eBay for over £700. Yep, not a genuine new Seiko, a refurbished, pre-owned model for 700 notes.

So we wondered, will the same process work its way through the older Swiss watches available online? Then we stumbled on Vinmov watches in Hungary and they are doing some very cool stuff. In fact the thing we love about Vinmov is that they’re showing off classic Swiss movements that thave been tucked away behind steel casebacks for the last 40-60 years.

So you can but a stunning Omega Vinmov, with a see-thru caseback showing the 552 or 471 series automatic movements, in all their copper-rose glory. If you love watches then you probably admire classic Omega movements for their exceptional reliability and durability. Plus they often look pretty good, and that cannot be said of some later Omega automatic movements. The watches come in 40mm cases mostly, which is an ideal way to rehome vintage movements we reckon and give them a more modern appeal, rather than the original 34-37mm case sizes that many 60s/70s Swiss watches favoured.

The dials are almost all punchy black plates with orange or red accents, plus a hefty black bezel set with dive minute numbers. Some, like the blue Zenith with stars on the dial and yellow accents, don’t really do it for us. They look a little too 1970s hotel carpet. The hands are new and the lume is bright too, which is something you don’t get on the older 60s/70s Swiss dress watches in the main.

But Vinmov has a wide range of designs and we love some of their Omega, Longines, Buren and there’s a gold coloured Favre Leuba that really hits the spot in our eyes. You get a manufacturer warranty with these vintage MOD watches, which is an advantage over buying old watches on eBay, as generally you have 14 days refund time, and then you own it – problems n all. We like what Vinmov are doing here, giving new life to older Swiss movements that may well be salvaged from unpopular Presentation watch cases, or simply a case and dial that has degraded over time.

If you want to build your own MOD watch then Vinmov also have plenty of older, and very clean, vintage movements for sale on their own. Prices for complete watches start at about £250.

The circular economy never looked so good. More here.

Accurist Retro Racer is a Winner

Ladies n gentlemen, can we have a tip of the hat to Accurist who have launched a pretty decent 1970s chronograph for under £130. In fact we saw one example at £109 on Ideal World today.

The Retro Racer has a qaurtz movement, the usual chrono functions and a Milanese mesh bracelet option too. It only has a 50m depth rating so don’t go swimming while wearing it, but this is an everyday watch that captures 70s motorsport style with a selection of dial colours. We love the blue best, but the silver is cool and the black option with red second hand gives you that older 60s vibe. The brown leather strap has the Paddy Hopkirk perforated look as well.

The thing we like about this is that the case has those rounded angles on its old fashioned TV dial look. Accurist has been making round case chronographs for ages, but since they dropped the Sekonda Monaco homage, they haven’t really produced anything a bit different from most of the budget fashion quartz watches out there. (Yes, Sekonda, Limit and Accurist are owned by the same company)

This new Accurist watch could pass for one of the many Indie brand VK64 models out there on Kickstarter right now and yep, that’s a good thing.

Why? Well, Accurist has become the Honda Jazz of watches, it’s an old person watch brand, so if it’s going to survive then they need some punchy, sharp designs – and they need to make much more of their 1960s Old England heritage. Spaceman cases, steering wheel watches, Twiggy Union Jack revival…the opportunity is there, get busy.

Accurist has produced a sort of Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance video for the Retro Racer, which is worth a look;

 

 

Feeling the Goodwood Vibe? Try a Marchand Driver Chrono

If you are looking forward to getting along to Goodwood Festival of Speed, or the Revival in September, once the lockdown house arrest ends, then a Marchand watch could be just the thing. Styled here in the UK, these Seiko VK64 quartz watches have motorsport oozing from every pusher and the retro Driver Chronograph model is on pre-order offer right now, at £199. Price then rises to £259 after the first 100 pieces are sold.

By the way the Marchand pictured in the header image is on Amazon right now for £179 – just saying.

Here’s the blurb from Marchand;

The Retro Driver Chronograph MKII wrist watch is inspired by retro motor racing, a mix of technical and elegance… steel and leather making it a stunning vintage drivers watch for your weekend drives.
The Driver chrono mens watch delivers sensations of tradition and modernity, its blue dial refers to the classic GT cars of the 70s and 80s with the added ivory and orange features of the dial to really reflect retro race styling. Elegant on the wrist the Driver chronograph embraces its owner with a perforated padded, leather rally strap to remind of the leather upholstery and gloves of the drivers. Who doesn’t love motoring watches?
Fave colours? Got to be blue, then the bold yellow panda.
The Driver Chrono MKIIs feature a brushed 43mm all stainless steel with a brushed and polished bezel, it runs on a highly popular and modern Japanese Seiko caliber VK64 chronograph hybrid meca-quartz movement with highly scratch resistant sapphire crystal to protect the dial. These chronos have the subdial dials lowered disc cut effect and features luminous hands and hours indicators. The caseback features an etched retro racing driver’s helmet from the 70’s and lastly all models tailor a genuine leather strap with quick release pins, brushed buckle and etched logo.

 

Timex Q 1978 is Pure Starsky & Hutch

Timex is reviving the 1970s in fine style with the Q 1978 quartz model. Featuring the handy coin-operated battery cover on the caseback, this baby has that tonneau case design that denoted the 70s for many watch fans.

You get a 37mm case diameter plus a vintage style acrylic crystal too, which may not be super resistant to scratches, but it is a piece of cake to replace it with the right watch tool and new high dome crystal. It’s a functional watch with a day/date feature and silver coloured dial, plus a retro style plain black leather strap. We love what Timex are doing in terms of tapping into its rich heritage right now and a gold plated case version of this 1978 model would be a welcome addition we rekcon.

There is a little Starsky & Hutch style video to promote the watch which retails at £155 in the UK. Just slightly too pricey for us and may we suggest a Seiko 5 for £100 or therabouts, or an Accurist retro racer at £129 as alternative choices?

Hamilton’s Intra-Matic Has a Petrolhead Edge

Some vintage style recreation watches look perfect, some less so, but the Hamilton Intra-Matic is one that we put in the first category. It has a 1960s vibe that pleases the eye, especially for petrolheads as this chrono looks pure motorsports. No date window, no gadgets, just a pure stopwatch lap-timer for the wrist. We like that purity, not gonna lie.

Ideal for a weekend at Goodwood’s Revival we think, or maybe a dream trip to Bonneville for Speed Week – if Covid rules and the Climate Agenda zealots ever let us mere mortals travel again of course.

With a 40mm case size this is arguably a watch that will suit most blokey wrists, not too big but big enough to catch the eye. Another detail we love are the vintage chrono pushers. Big n meaty, like a pitlane stopwatch from Le Mans. The cream dial option, with reversed out black sub-dials also looks the business, although the black dial is our top choice, even though it’s a little bit extra. Ah yeah, price. At £1870 or so this is a not-too-expensive Swiss watch, especially when you conside it has the H51 movement inside the case. It is based on the old Valjoux 7753 engine, with the auto function removed so the Hamilton needs to be wound up.

It has a sort of yellowed, or faded lume on the markers and hands, which is a nice vintage touch. Best UK price deal on the new Mechanical variant of the Intra-Matic was £1870 at CW Sellors, here by the way.  Many other big name jewellers were asking just under 2K sterling, which is unfair given that the Swiss price is CHF1995. No wonder Swatch sales were down by about 30% last year.

You can find a 7753 movement inside a Tissot Heritage 1973, a Sinn, or a Longines Master series chrono or even more left field chpices like the Dutch Van Der Gang Chronograf, which is a hefty 8600 euros. You do get some bespoke features on the Van Der Gang, so think of it as the AMG Merc variant of the ETA 7753 if you like.

So the Hamilton is actually decent value if you compare it to other ETA/Valjoux equipped 7753 watches. Now that we like. The downside with any Hamilton is that they seen very much as a starter brand in the Swatch family, along with Tissot and Longines. That has an effect on future values for sure, but if you love motorsport chronographs then we think your alternatives are the Sinn 144, Tissot 1973, or maybe a Yema Andretti Chronograph, which is currently on some end-of-line deals at the French brand’s website.