I promise you it’s not because I’m lazy, but everything that stood out this week was a vintage chronograph and from ChronoTrader. I normally try and spread the sources around and really dig up some odds and ends, but I decided in honor of ChronoTrader creator Jeff Stein’s Talking Watches episode on Hodinkee, I would let it slide. There’s only one Heuer in this mix of vintage chronos, but they’re all very cool and in a variety of price points.
I’m sure it’s no secret that I love 1960’s Carreras. In my (very humble) opinion, they are just perfect. The 36mm size wears so versatilely well on a wide variety of wrist sizes due to its long lugs, the design is so clean but so striking, the balance, depth, and proportions of everything on the watch just suck me in. Although the differences between the various references is subtle, I want them all. And if I were to fire on one with a tachymeter scale, I would want one of these early examples. These earliest Tachy Carreras had an eggshell white dial with a metallic “pie-pan” track for either the decimal or tachymeter scale. Heuer eventually abandoned the metallic track for straight red, blue, or black text for the various scales because they could be difficult to read at certain angles, but for someone that’s not timing race cars, I find this extra contrast to be really appealing and interesting.
The dial is not without faults with some age spotting that is pretty uniform across the dial. This may turn some off, but it appears honest, and doesn’t bother me, though I would make sure I wasn’t pay the price of a pristine dial. It seems like the 3647T’s tend to lose their lume dots even more often than some of the other references, but this one appears to have them all in place, and aged to an attractive patina to boot. The correct hands are a uniform shade lighter, which does raise the question if they have been replaced.
One of the most important aspects of a Carrera is the case, and this one is nice and sharp, as you would want to see it. The rest of the watch appears correct, and the movement unmolested, but you probably should factor in the cost of a service considering the grime present in the case back threads and the pusher tubes. This one has been up for sale for a while with a few price drops, so I believe the seller is motivated. Available for 5500EUR over at Chronotrader.
If that Carrera was too small for you, I present you with a big unpolished hunk of 70’s stainless steel. Tissot chronographs from this era have a lot of cool and funky character, yet they remain relatively affordable. This one is made extra appealing in that it’s a 3 register chrono, with signed Gay Feres bracelet, and it was recently serviced. I’m not 100% sure if the bracelet is original to this particular watch, but it’s a great bracelet non the less and can probably be sold for a few hundred dollars pretty easily if you didn’t care for it. The watch is big at 43mm in diameter and 48mm in length, and thick too, but you have to love the big chunky styling that is pure 70’s tool watch. The inner tachy scale, far outer applied indices, and orange and red accents really keep the all black dial interesting. The lume filled hands with the funky syringe style minute hand were for maximum under water legibility. Available for a mere 1400EUR asking price on ChronoTrader here.
Retailed by Wright Kay & Co Jewelers out of Detroit, this Movado M95 chronograph is unusual with the WK&C signature on the dial and those fantastic applied Brequet numerals. The tarnished solid 14K gold case adds a ton of warmth and vintage charm, and the 1952 engraving on the caseback add some appealing provenance in my opinion. The M95 column wheel movement is a great one and appears to be a time capsule tucked away inside. All of the screw heads look to be very crisp and the movement appears clean overall. A service is recommended by the seller, so I would ask for a little more clarification on what exactly he is seeing to make him state that.
Back to the dial, I’m not sure what would have caused the reddish patina across the dial other than some transference of the hand color, but I like it, further adding to the patinated warmth. The dial font appears consistent and remarkably crisp across, with great flat top 4’s and open 6’s and 9’s. This is certainly an unusual one, but with a needed movement service, it should also be a great one. Asking $3250 on ChronoTrader.
Universal Geneve Compax 30
I have a definite fondness of most things vintage Universal Geneve, and this chronograph sums up why quite well. It features a very well laid out dial with great big subs filling the 35mm case. The blued steel hands characteristic of UG's from this period are so, so good in person, and the column wheel cal 386 movement should be a joy to use. The fixed bars at the lugs drive home the tool watch nature of chronographs from this era, and should also help the watch wear larger with a NATO or bund type strap, if that's a concern of yours. The crown was changed at last service, as this honest seller states. I also normally wouldn't get quite as excited for a chromed case, but this one looks really good with no noticeable signs of pitting, flaking, or damage. The chromed case is also what helps keep this on the more affordable end at 1350 EUR shipped asking price.
That's it for this week. Stay tuned as we near the holidays, I'm going to try and put together a Holiday gift watch guide, and try and find some other fun themes. As always, feel free to tag #thesubregister on instagram for any great FS listings and leads, and feel free to contact me with any questions.