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W2W/1-10 - Blog

Are Quartz Watches Worth Buying?

Are quartz watches worth buying? Personally, this is a question that I have struggled with over the past several years. Most watch enthusiasts and collectors believe that quartz watches are simply a circuit board with a battery and it is sacrilegious to even think about purchasing a quartz watch or even more so, a luxury quartz watch.

To better answer this dilemma, it only makes sense to list some of the pros and cons of purchasing a quartz watch and provide a brief insight with the evolution of the quartz watch.

In 1969, Seiko introduced its Astron wristwatch. It was the first of its kind to feature a battery-powered movement. Soon after, the quartz revolution took flight and during the 1970s and 1980s, the quartz crisis was at full throttle. This forced such renowned watchmakers, such as Rolex, Omega, Audemars Piguet, Longines, Hamilton and others to join the party.

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Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono

Much has been written about the Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono. The first version came in a 42mm case size with a reverse panda dial. It was limited to only 1,968 examples and was known as the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Auto Chrono.

Before we review the Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono, let's briefly discuss its predecessor, the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Auto Chrono, Reference Number H38716731.

The Hamilton 68 Auto Chrono was inspired by the Chronograph B of 1968 (thus the limited examples of 1,968). The Chronograph B of 1968 was also available in a traditional panda dial, known as the Hamilton 1968 Chronograph A. Both variants were introduced in the year 1968. The Chronograph B was made until 1971 and the “A” model was only available until the year 1969. Both models came with a stainless steel bracelet and the case size was a modest 36mm.

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Overlooked and Undervalued Vintage Watch Brands - Hamilton, Zenith, Zodiac & Vulcain

When people think of vintage watches, the brands that usually come to mind are Rolex, Omega, Breitling, and Heuer. However, there are several vintage watch brands that not only represent a tremendous value, but are extremely well crafted and often overlooked.

Okay, some of these overlooked brands may not appreciate in value over time like a Rolex Daytona, or the Heuer Carrera, but like their contemporaries, they share the same movements and components. It was not unusual for watch brands in the 1960s to share components with multiple watch brands.

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Reissue Watches - Oris, Longines, Omega and Tag Heuer

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.

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Breitling Navitimer Reference 806

So, who does not like vintage watches?

Okay, several vintage watches are very small and are not necessarily suitable for a man's wrist. And then there is the patina that progressively gets worse over time.

I actually prefer a vintage watch. Especially a vintage dress watch. My wrist is somewhat small compared to most men's wrists, so a nice vintage dress watch actually wears more appropriately on my 6.75 inch wrist. The patina that a watch accumulates over time, gives the watch a natural and organic charm that can not be duplicated.

Like a classic automobile, vintage watches set the tone and shaped the future design for their contemporary counterparts. Take for example the Heuer Carrera. It was under Jack Heuer's leadership that the Carrera was developed and eventually launched in the year 1963. It was Jack Heuer's love for motorsports that propelled the development of the Heuer Carrera. As the name implies, the Carrera name dates back to the legendary car race through Mexico called, the Carrera Panamericana.

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TAG Heuer Steve McQueen Monaco Reference CW2113-0

So, who does not like Steve McQueen?

McQueen, aka, "The King of Cool", not only was an iconic actor, but also a world class motorsport enthusiast.

His legendary movies, such as Bullitt and subsequently Le Mans, made the “King of Cool” a permanent fixture in hollywood and motorsports.

McQueen, who was an avid collector of fine automobile sports cars, was always spotted driving his Porsche 911s or Jaguar XKSS around the California scenic roadways. Steve McQueen exhibited masculinity and his "cool factor" was the envy of all men.

It was during the 1971 movie, Le Mans, that McQueen showcased one of the world's most iconic watches, the Heuer Monaco. McQueen wore the watch to accessorize his character’s persona, Michael Delaney.

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Rolex Submariner No Date Reference 14060M

So, if you could have one watch, what would it be?

For many people, it is either the Rolex GMT Master II Batman or Pepsi, Rolex Paul Newman Daytona, or maybe the Rolex Submariner?

Since its appearance in the first James Bond movie Dr. No (reference number 6538) and then subsequently in the movie GoldFinger, the Rolex Submariner has been one of the most iconic sports watches of its time. As we know, in the movie GoldFinger, 007 wore his Submariner on a NATO strap rather than the usual Oyster bracelet. Nevertheless, it made a lasting impression. Was it “Shocking ...Positively Shocking”?

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Breitling Transocean 38 Chronograph Reference A41310

So, the Breitling Transocean...

The Transocean was first introduced in the year 1958 as it was the perfect accessory for the international traveler.

It was powered by the Breitling caliber B126 automatic movement. It sported a polished 34mm stainless steel case with twisted lugs. The dial was available in either black or silver sunburst with applied steel baton hour markers, dauphine hands and probably the most distinctive feature is the crosshair dial. My personal favorite.

At the time, the watch in itself was extremely unpopular among Breitling enthusiasts since it was not a chronograph. However, for collectors today, it is considered quite rare and extremely sought-after.

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