Looking over this week’s roundup, we have an unintended theme of vintage nautical or water related watches which happen to be in pretty sharp contrast to the all of the auction coverage sure to dominate this week’s watch news. Diving in…
Skin diver’s watches from the 70’s are distinctly recognized by their squarish case profiles, mostly black dials, and myriad of manufacturer’s on the dial. They’re not terribly difficult to find, and usually have some fun and funky lume or markings to the dial, and can typically be had for relatively reasonable prices as far as vintage divers go. This one is a bit on the upper end of the price spectrum at $850 shipped, but has been listed for a couple of weeks now, and might be open to negotiation. Why I still chose this one is because the condition, charm, and great looks this one has. The deep, glossy black dial provides the perfect contrast to the abundantly thick and full creamy tritium lume, and the sharp case with the chamfers still prominent on the lugs really makes it pop. Throw in the bezel in great condition and the large crown, and this one is pure vintage tool watch charm. Asking $850 shipped with the continental US on WatchUseek forums here.
Caravelle was a lower tier brand to Bulova, and the SeaHunter has become a popular vintage watch from them, with a simple manually wound Japanese movement and an “explorer” type dial without date, and the trademark 666 FT depth rating on the dial, hence the nickname “devil diver”. This fully Swiss Made automatic version of that watch has more in common with the higher tiered Bulova divers of the time, and is far less common than either the Bulova or Caravelle Devil Divers. I love that it retains the “explorer” dial, save for the date at 3, with plentiful lume throughout, the 666 FT depth rating at 6 o’clock, and those fantastic hands, with the Tudor Ranger like serpent or shovel hand hour, and the flared minutes hand. Toss in the great bezel, big crown, and a proper period correct Tropic Star strap (which it’s shown on, but doesn’t appear to be included, unfortunately) and this is a proper vintage diver. The hands are said to be relumed, and had I not read that, I’m not sure I would have even known since they’re not perfectly uniform, somewhat of a bonus in my opinion. Lume loss on the hands was common with these watches that presumably lead a hard life as true tool divers. I would love to see this one at less than $1000, but they are somewhat uncommon, and this one is reported to be recently serviced. Asking price is $1350 USD on ChronoTrader here.
Back when Movado was more than a mall department store fashion brand, they made some nice watches, typically known for their movements. The Sub-Sea line was their screw back more waterproof line, this one presumably rated to 50 meters, and styled to be squarely in the Omega Seamaster category of options. This one is particularly striking with it’s textured sliver/gray dial, applied logo and indices, sword hands, and very stern text at 12 and the more vintage vibe-y Sub-Sea 50 at 6. This watch has those classically perfect vintage proportions with the added bonus of it’s original beads of rice bracelet. The watch shows (what feels like to me) honest wear, commensurate with age, and the type I typically seek out. The Japanese engraving on the caseback kind of adds a bit of mystery to me, it would be really interesting to find out what it means, plus just look at that bad-ass chariot logo on the back. This one has an $850 asking price on WatchUseek forums.
And for this month’s installment of patina, comes this presumably radium burned dial that has aged to a stunning hue for the patina enthusiast in the crowd. Vintage Eterna has a nice cult following for their sometimes quirky designs, the Kontiki history, and early automatic movements. I like this one for the loads of character, charm, and warmth for the dollar, featuring applied 12, 6, and arrowhead indices, lume filled sword hands, minimal text, and no date to let that dial sing. The case appears to be in pretty good condition to boot, with an asking price of just $350 on ChronoTrader here.
And for the self-gratuitous plug, I have my early Enicar Sherpa Jet 33 for sale on OmegaForums here. This watch also fits in the vintage diver/water theme with its EPSA super compressor case, with a function (24 hour hand) that is more geared towards air travel than sea, it’s been a great watch that I feel I might have featured this week even if it wasn’t my own, because it’s obviously exactly what I look for. It’s honest, original, charming, and pretty under the radar. I’ve had this watch for about 2.5 years now, and I actually kind of assumed it would always stay in the collection, but in the past few months I just kind of feel like it’s time for someone else to enjoy this watch; and I feel quite confident that the eventual buyer will do just that. All of the nitty gritty details can be found in the listing here. I am asking $2,600 USD net to me, with shipping to be discussed with the buyer. I think most will find this watch is priced pretty fairly, and it’s a great example of a quirky and uncommon watch with loads of charm.
As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any questions or come across anything in the wild, please feel free to reach out or tag me on Instagram to discuss and/or feature. Also, please be sure to reach out and/or comment if there is more of a particularly category you’d like to see, if you have any feedback, or just want to chat. Happy Hunting.