Reissue Watches - Oris, Longines, Omega and Tag Heuer
November 19, 2019 - Authored By: Dale E. Malick
Now that we have established that I liked vintage watches, I thought that I would share a few of my favorite reissued watches. Before we get started, what exactly is a reissue watch?
As the name implies, a reissue watch is the release of a watch which has been released at least once before. Obviously with alterations or modifications.
In the past few years, vintage watches have been not only gaining momentum and popularity, but have increased in value. Look no further than the Rolex Daytona.
In the year 1955, Rolex launched Reference Number 6234. The watch was simply called the “Chronograph”. Reference Number 6234 was dubbed as the Pre-Daytona. The 6234 was extremely limited and at it's time, sold for around $200. Today, the watch sells in excess of $20,000 and is considered one of Rolex's most highly desirable vintage pieces. This is just one example how vintage watches have increased in value over the past few years.
With the recent popularity of vintage watches, it is easy to see why manufacturers are now releasing reissue watches. By keenly understanding both the demand and recognizing the fact that most individuals cannot afford a rare vintage watch, it only made sense for manufacturers to cease this opportunity. A reissue watch not only shares a similar style and design of its predecessor, but most importantly, they are usually much more economically affordable to purchase and service. It truly is the best of both worlds.
My first choice is the Oris Chronoris Date. Introduced in 1970, it was Oris' first chronograph watch and as the name implies, it is the combination of the words "chronograph and Oris".
The Chronoris has a brushed stainless steel 39mm barrel shaped case and comes with two different dial color variations; black or gray. The dial features several shades of silver, grey, and black with bright orange details on the superluminova hands and indices. It features a date window at the 3 o'clock position and covering this beautifully designed dial is a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
The Chronoris is not a typical chronograph, rather a time and date chronograph that uses an inner bezel for timing purposes and is set by the crown located at the 4 o'clock position.
It is powered by the Oris Calibre 733 automatic movement, which is based on the Sellita SW200-1. It contains 26 Jewels and has a power reserve of roughly 38 hours.
The next watch, is a true throwback and probably one of the most unrecognized vintage watches of its time. The Longines Heritage 1973 is the reissue of the Longines Conquest chronograph from 1973. Some may say that it is not a "true" reissue, but I humbly disagree.
The Longines Heritage 1973 has a well crafted panda dial, with a blue tachymeter, and is encased by a stainless steel cushion shaped case. A case shape that was made famous by the iconic Heuer Carrera.
Compared to its predecessor, the case size is 40mm, 3mm larger, and as such, much more desirable for the modern man.
It features Longines Calibre L688.2 automatic movement, which is based on the ETA A08.L01 movement. It has a healthy power reserve of 54 hours. The chronograph, column wheel automatic movement can be viewed through a sapphire protected exhibition caseback.
Unlike the 1973 Conquest, the Heritage features a date window that is sandwiched in between the 4 and 5 o'clock position. The date actuator is an embedded pusher located at the 10 o'clock position.
The Longines Heritage 1973 has 3 sub dials. There is a 30 minute counter at the 3 o'clock position, a non conspicuous 12 hour counter at the 6 o'clock position and an active seconds sub dial at the 9 o'clock position.
Moving on, there is the Omega Railmaster. In celebration of Omega's 60th anniversary of its most famous watches; the Seamaster 300, Railmaster and Speedmaster, Omega launched its 1957 Trilogy Limited Edition series of watches.
The Railmaster was originally designed for professionals working in the presence of strong electromagnetic field. At the time, the Railmaster's main competitors were the Rolex Milgauss, Reference Number 6541 and the IWC Ingenieur, Reference Number 666.
The impetus of Railmaster was in the year 1954 when the Royal Air Force (RAF) commissioned Omega to produce watches that were capable of resisting magnetic fields generated by the Spitfires’ radial engines. This was a natural fit for the Omega since they were already producing watches for the British Armed Services.
The original Railmaster, Reference Number CK 2914 had a magnetic resistance of 1,000 Gauss, due in part to its copper finish movement and a double case with an extra thick dial. It was truly revolutionary. However, in 1963 due to its unpopularity, it was discontinued. From time to time, the watch was relaunched in limited and short production runs.
The 1957 Trilogy Railmaster features the same case and design as the original Railmaster, but obviously with significant improvements to its anti-magnetic properties. The beautifully crafted faux tropical finish dial is complemented by the iconic broad-arrow handset. Like its predecessor, it features a 38 mm stainless steel case with Arabic numerals at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock positions with Omega's trademark luminous triangles at each hour. The Certified Master Chronometer is powered by Omega's Caliber 8806 self winding automatic movement with a Co-Axial escapement and has a power reserve of 55 hours. Not only is it water resistant up to 200 feet, but unlike its predecessor, it has magnetic resistance of 15,000 Gauss.
Finally, my personal favorite, the Heuer Carrera 1964 Re-Edition.
In 1996, Heuer launched the Carrera 1964 Re-Edition and as the name implies, it is the reissue of the famous and iconic Heuer Carrera.
As I wrote in a previous blog, the origins of the Carrera name dates back to the legendary car race through Mexico called the Carrera Panamericana. Coupled with Jack Heuer’s love for motorsports and his flare of modern architectural design, the design of Carrera dial’s configuration is quite transparent.
An angled steel tension ring would be used to hold the crystal in place against the case. This would improve water resistance and by painting the tension ring and using it to show the 1/5 second demarcations, it created a cleaner and simpler dial. Consequently, the dial's legibility was very pronounced and with the recessed chronograph registers, it added dimensionality to the watch.
The Heuer Carrera 1964 Re-Edition is a true example to the original Heuer Carrera, Reference Number 2447D. Both watches have a stainless steel 36mm case and the chronograph pushers, crown, dial and sub dials are virtually identical. The Re-Edition Carrera has the same minimalistic design as well as the same fifth of a second calibration (on the ring) around the dial. Although the most notable difference is the lack of the Carrera name on the dial; as it posed a conflict over branding rights with Porsche.
The Carrera Re-Edition has three different models. There is a gold Carrera, Reference Number CS3140, a black dial Carrera, Reference Number CS3111 and a white dial Carrera, Reference number CS3110.
Soon after, Tag Heuer launched other versions with a black and copper colored dial and even sub dials with Daytona style rings. My personal favorite, Reference Number CS3113.
Article Written By: Dale E. Malick Founder & CEO of Watch2Wear
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