It has been said there are watch buying "seasons" and that the forums and market for vintage and pre-owned dips a bit in the summer and around the Holiday's, and is typically stronger in the spring and fall, coinciding with the major auctions. And I have seen some really cool watches for sale on the forums and a lot on instagram in the past several weeks. But, that's not what I have for you today, no, this is #thesubregister so I have the less obvious, but still some cool pieces, that will hopefully fly under the radar and make for some good snags.
I originally fell in love with this dial configuration by way of Justin Vrakas, of Watchsteez.com 's instagram post showing a similar model with power reserve indicator. This one doesn't have that complication, but is just as clean and strikingly beautiful. I love the clean date at 12 layout, and two-tone brushed silver, sector-style dial that has a retro vibe, while being really modern or futuristic. And just look at those hour and minute hands! The lugs are maybe a touch soft, and that would really be its only flaw, but the pictures might be making it worse than they really are. And just look at the linked pictures, this watch is stunningly beautiful, and it's only sitting at $760 at time of writing. I love the it is on a period correct (presumably reissue) type strap with signed buckle was well. (And if anyone knows where to find super clean, plain, no stitch vintage style straps like this, please let me know. The original Heuer Carreras used them and I love how clean and minimal they are). This watch is on eBay, ending Friday, click through for more details.
Okay, maybe Heuer in't very under the radar, but if there is a Heuer that's under the radar it's the Camaro, and so is this watch being that is hasn't sold already. With Camaro's it's all about the case, and this one retains the top surface sunburst brushing, polished chamfered edges, and crisp corners, as it would look in the late 1960's. Add in the venerable Valjoux 72 movement said to be in perfect working order, and a Gay Freres double grain beads of rice, which basically doubles the value, and the (in my opinion) cleanest of all camaro layouts, the silver dial, with appropriate tachymeter scale for all your V8 racing needs, and you have maybe the most underrated, but oh so good vintage chronographs around. I've owned a Camaro, and I can attest that you cannot appreciate how great they are until you have one on your wrist. They wear extremely well, are very fun and different, and are extremely interesting with all the facets and surfaces. I have not doubts of vouching for the condition or the seller of this one, in fact, I actually told the seller to let me know if he ever wanted to sell it a few years ago. Unfortunately, I am not in the position to make that move at the moment, but whoever buys this is going to be very happy. It's in great condition and available via ChronoTrader here.
If that Camaro was too mainstream, this one certainly isn't. Chronographe Swiss and the likes of various import sub brands like this one of the vintage era are not necessarily going to have the name cred, but I will tell you, this is a great looking watch at a very fair price. Starting with the appearance, it has a rather common skin diver case, used by many manufacturers of the time, nice external bezel, and a fantastic black dial with loads of warm, attractive patinated lume. The case shows it's age, but I rather like it since it's not overpolished; it looks genuinely used and vintage and well worn, like it should be! It houses the ubiquitous hand wound Valjoux 7733 movement in an all stainless steel, 37.5mm case. And that's where this one is really surprising; it's hard to find attractive chrome plated vintage chronographs on eBay these days at this asking price of $650, and here is an attractive, honest, and fun example in an all steel case. If you're in the market for a vintage chronograph, that market gets tighter every day, and this one looks like a relative steal compared to most of the odd balls and crapshoots you'd find on eBay. Asking $650 net on OmegaForums here.
I like to include at least one that has sold recently to get an idea of what some watches are actually being had for. And in this case, this is one that I was outbid on by less than $2 mid feeding my 5-month old, and it's still haunting me. Maybe I'm weird, but I love the fact that this looks very much like a Rolex President, without being a Rolex president. Maybe it's the irony of the blatant resemblance, or that a quirky brand like Enicar did it, but here you have a 36mm, potentially actual gold case (but most likely plated) and very attractive Swiss Made day-date watch... for less than $150! It's vintage, it's fun, it's retro-semi-ironic-classy, and I love it. The auction ended, and I honestly thought I had won it since I didn't get a notification that I was outbid, but to my dismay, this ended up somewhere else for just $139.92 plus $6.95 in shipping. If you happened to be the winning bidder, please contact me, I will happily pay you a good $20 profit on your purchase! This is a very cool watch, showing there are still cool watches to be had for short change.