Following up on the all-chronograph lineup from two weeks ago, this edition of #theSubRegister is all about time-only vintage watches for under $1000. Some purists may point out that a few of these have dates, but I’m going to call that a gray area, as these watches don’t have any other complications.
There’s a lot of charm and a lot to like on this all original C-shaped diver. These 70’s era C-Shaped cases aren’t for everyone, but they do wear pretty well, and this one is a good size at 35mm, excluding the original signed crown. The dial and patina look really clean and even, save for a tiny black spec on the 10 o’clock lume, and the tritium lume has aged to a really attractive color that contrasts the dial nicely. I find the offset 4:30 date window to be better hidden than most, which keeps the balance of the dial overall. I believe this might have the 2572PC movement, which rolls along at a Zenith characteristic high-beat of 28,800 A/h, and has quickset date. What really brings this one home for me is the signed original shark mesh bracelet. Open to offers with a $535 asking on eBay.
Sticking with the Zenith diver theme, this Defy with an funky rectangular case and original signed bracelet is not without its faults, but might be able to be picked up for song. The watch features the trademark Defy gradient dial with ridged applied indices and a nice taupe-gray color, and the original big signed crown. The chapter ring has a little bit of aging, and there is some lume loss from the hands, but hey, that’s what’s keeping the price reasonable. In my opinion, this would make for a very fun and funky weekend watch. The watch features a similar 2562PC movement that also rolls along at 28,800 A/h, and has sweep paddle hand seconds and quickset date. Sitting at a mere $10.50 at time of writing, this might be one to keep an eye on here.
Not realizing I had found so many Zenith watches, I present to you a manual wind option. The dial and hands on this one say it all, and they say it well being so wonderfully preserved. The case is crisp and the hands and lume all look sublimely good, this is simply a very attractive three hander, in great condition, and for a reasonable price of 555EUR here.
Breaking the Zenith trend with another time only high-beat movement, is this very affordable and clean vintage Seiko. These 36,000 beat Seiko movements are so wonderfully smooth and the dial and condition of the watch looks well kept and honest overall. The case appears it might have seen some polishing time, but the lug facets are still present, and it said to have received a service. Asking a reasonable $250 including PayPal fees and insured shipping, entry into mechanical watches really doesn’t get much more accessible and classy than this. Listed on the watchuseek forums here.
Last, but certainly not least, is an extremely clean, pre ETA caliber Tudor that is now accepting best offers. The story on these FEF movements is pretty neat, with more posted at mansfinelife.com, but basically Rolex commissioned FEF to make these automatic movements specifically for them and only seen in Tudor’s due to exclusive agreements. This allowed Rolex to launch Tudor as a true lower cost alternative brand. What I love most about this watch is its unbelievable condition. The case is claimed to be original, which I almost find hard to believe, but honestly, even if it was touched up, I’m okay with it because it looks damn legit. The brushing on the tops of the lugs, the chamfer on the edges, and the uniform brushed caseback all look like this watch came off the line last year. Add to that an original, signed Rolex twinlock crown, and a fantastic silver sunburst dial with even tritium lume throughout and we have a winner here. Asking $925 and now accepting best offers over on WUS forums, get it while it’s hot.