The sub register is back with some vintage divers to cure your summer doldrums. I typically start my searches by just saving anything I come across, and this week, I was almost able to make it an all Baylor vintage diver roundup. So, save for the last wildcard that isn’t Baylor related and isn’t even a diver, let’s… dive in.
Typically the term Devil Diver is applied to the more common Bulova and Caravelle divers that prominently display the 666ft depth rating, but here’s an attractive alternative to those. This chunky diver has a thick case in good condition, rotating bezel and plentiful amounts of nicely aged Tritium lume. The lume on the hour and minute hands has aged to a slightly darker shade than the dial, but they are very uniform and this is not uncommon in vintage watches. I don’t know if the crown is original, but I love that it is HUGE, and looks the part nonetheless. Likewise, the bracelet is not original, but looks really great on this watch. Watches like this are kind of guilty pleasure of mine, you’re not necessarily buying a big name, a sexy movement, or a rare dial, but you are buying a true vintage dive watch with loads of character, nice charm, and at a killer price. As with any vintage watch, you’ll want to factor in the cost of service to the purchase price, but given a pretty straight forward, and most likely common movement, service costs shouldn’t be too high, and you can afford them at this low asking price of just $198 with free shipping here. I’m trying to keep myself from pulling the trigger on this, because at this cost it’s a pretty low risk investment, and I suspect this watch looks really great in the metal.
Sticking to the theme of chunky divers with Baylor automatic movements, this dual-crown super compressor style Baylor Diver is one I like, just not at the asking price. I include it though because low-ball Hail Mary’s have been known to work on eBay. The watch is clean and honest looking overall, nice even patina and plenty of pops of 70’s diver’s colors, plus I love that it includes a period correct Tropic style strap which is both befitting and comfortable for sweaty summer days. These watches with the inner rotating bezel controlled by the top crown offer a nice different take on the typical externally bezeled diver, with the chunky signed crowns adding some good wrist presence. With a $750 asking price, with the option to make an offer, a half price or less low ball offer, might not be too bad here.
I’m not even sure how this happened, but I present a third chunky Baylor diver. This one with an equally big and thick case that appears to be in good condition has a really attractive pewter colored starburst dial with good patina and great hands, including the paddle central seconds hand. The date at 6 keeps the dial clean, and is certainly less common, and the blue tachymetre tension ring adds a nice contrast of color the dial. I’ve seen Tachy scales on non-chronograph watches before and never really understood how useful they are given you’d have to time your timing start to coincide with the top of the minute, but maybe I’m missing how it’s used or they were just popular to have during that era of motorsport and tool watches. This one also features a great big crown, automatic presumably ETA caliber movement, and a funky, period-esque rally type metal bracelet. These bracelets are certainly not for the faint of heart, but definitely offer some vintage character. For me though, it’s all about the dial on this one. That brushed/starburst metallic gray is killer in contrast to the patina on the lume plots and hands. A $399 asking price on eBay isn’t necessarily a steal, but it’s not a bad buy either. Perhaps contacting the seller could open up the conversation.
This is exactly the type of listing vintage chronograph junkies go nuts for. The seller clearly doesn’t know exactly what he has, has provided poor enough pictures including a badly scratched crystal to scare most off, but good enough pictures to show that the dial appears good and there’s a Valjoux 72 under the hood, and the title states it’s a different movement to boot. LeJour chronographs have been hot in the last year with some really great and used to be under the radar funky designs aimed at regattas and sail boat racing. This one features the long and shapely twisted lugs, similar to some Universal Geneve Tri-Compax’ and familiar to Omega Speedmaster fans. The dial appears to be an unscathed glossy black with even Tritium patina hiding behind a badly scratched and easily replaced acrylic crystal. The dial and hand configuration has all of the characteristics of hot vintage chronographs with an inverse panda layout, tachymeter, pops of color, engine turned (concentric circles) on the sub registers, and overall clean and sporty layout. The bonus to the listing is that the seller thinks it is the cam-actuated Valjoux 7736 movement, instead of the more desirable and typically higher price fetching Vajoux 72. The caseback and watch overall appears to be in pretty good and honest condition, and I (unfortunately) fully expect this one to soar in price. It is sitting at just $285 on eBay and ending Sunday, and I could easily see this hitting $1500 - $2000 by then.