The Sub Register is back for March 1, 2017. Between adulting the last few weeks and an overall lack of watches or watches at prices worth posting, I skipped a week or two, but I'm back with a smattering of chronographs and what is probably my favorite (attainable) modern watch.
This is what I would call just a charming vintage chronograph for vintage chronograph's sake. It is pure vintage tool watch with the large signed crown with telemeter and tachymeter scales on the perimeter of the dial and nice sized pushers. The dial, though not perfect, is pretty clean overall and the mix of different colors hand shapes and applied markers make for a really attractive layout. I especially like the subtly shapely sub register hands. Powered by a no frills, manual wind, cam-lever actuated 14Y movement, the watch should be fairly reliable and reasonable to service for years of enjoyment at it's perfect 36 mm size. The case is showing a little bit of wear, but seems clean and unpolished overall with the great beveled lugs still present. Sitting at just $123 and ending Sunday here.
There's a lot to like about this next one and the final price might end up reflecting that. The all stainless steel case is sharp and rectangular-ly shaped in the "skin diver" case shape that so many funky 70's era divers had. The rotating steel diver's bezel, large round lume plot dial, big lume flag seconds hand, and 20 Atmospheres (200 meter depth rating) all add to the diving credentials. Interesting that the 20 ATU marking on the caseback uses seemingly no longer used "ATU's" as the unit, which I'm assuming to be Atmospheric Units or about 660 feet. Moving past my lack of diving terminology you get a great, evenly patina'd and very clean inverse panda dial with charming hands and those great big round lume plots. The ubiquitous Valjoux 7733 is said to have been serviced last year and functioning perfectly. 38 mm diameter and 47 mm lug to lug make this a fantastic size in such a great looking, purpose built chronograph. Ending Sunday, this one might fetch over $1000, and it's really got a lot going for it.
Moving on to what might be my favorite (attainable) modern watch, the super charming, and super German, original Nomos Metro. I love how this watch is so timeless and classic while at the same time it smashes all conventional watch practices with it's offset branding and power reserve indicator, and it's minimalist case and shapely wire lugs. The design of this watch and the layout of the dial is just absolutely killer and the balance of colors and hand shapes and fonts and details all come together to make it so simple but so sophisticated. This is a watch that I have contemplated buying numerous times, but have yet to see in person. This might be the lowest price I have seen one, and it appears to be very clean condition with the full kit as well. Featuring an in-house manual wind movement in a 37 mm case, this is such a great watch for the money. $2800 asking price on watchuseek forums here.
I've been buzzing on a bit lately about neo-vintage era watches of classic references being quite possibly the best "investment" in vintage watches these days (if there is such a thing/ I don't condone buying watches strictly as an "investment"). These are the last of the tritium era watches, and potentially some of the last watches to develop the charming patina of the lume material that get me every time. Combine that with a watch that has been in production for 60 years and to the moon, you've got a pretty solid "investment" of sorts. I can certainly understand the case for a new or modern Speedmaster, but they also look so stark with their bright white superluminova lume material in contrast to the warmth of the yellowing tritium hour markers. And considering this is a few grand less than a new speedmaster for essentially the same watch, there actually is a lot of "value" here. Now post moon-landing Speedmasters are certainly not rare, but if any of them are going to go up in value as the earlier ones continue to rise in price and out of reach, these 80's and 90's Speedy's represent all of the same charm and heritage for a fraction of the price because it has a different case back, or dot placement on the bezel, or a painted logo. I normally try not to link to dealers just to branch out a little, but at $3250 with bracelet, from a reputable source, this is an attractive option. Seller Lunar Oyster has this watch on WatchUseek forums here.
As always, if you see something out and about, please feel free to tag me or #thesubregister on Instagram, tweet me, or simply contact me the old fashioned way if you find anything interesting to share or have any questions.