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Luxury & Brands
July 04, 2016

11 Vintage Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time

Text by Simone Louis

We delve into the world of classic horology to pick out time-honoured watches that continue to stand out in the contemporary world

“You don’t stumble upon your heritage. It’s there, just waiting to be explored and shared.”
-Robbie Robertson

BAUME ET MERCIER
The 18K Red Gold Clifton 1830 Pocket Watch echoes a treasury of historic timepieces created by the company in the 19th century, standing as a symbol of craftsmanship and watchmaking expertise. Reminiscent of Asian culture, the timepiece also represents a major milestone in a triumphant career and also commemorates the company’s 185-year anniversary.

HERMÈS
The In The Pocket watch revives a family history mingling leather-making expertise and an inventiveness in creating beautiful objects that meet practical needs. A pocket watch that may be transformed at will into a wristwatch, it embodies the brand’s expertise in the field of saddle and harness-making and is distinguished by its sobriety.

FREDERIQUE CONSTANT
Celebrating the refined elegance of the legendary Austin Healey car, the Healey Chronograph Automatic from the Vintage Rally collection is a timepiece with a true motorsports heritage. Driven by the FC-397 automatic chronograph calibre, it features a rose gold-plated stainless steel case, classically sized at 42 mm, and a convex sapphire crystal that offers protection from the elements.

VACHERON CONSTANTIN
Inspired by the Belle Époque period of Western European history, the Heures Créatives Heure Romantique is part of a collection that exemplifies three artistic periods: Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the 1970s. The timepiece is crafted in 18-carat white gold and adorned with 104 round-cut diamonds, while its bezel undulates around a mother-of-pearl dial.

JAEGER-LECOULTRE
Vibrant, graceful and intricate, the 1936 – Reverso with an enamelled portrait of an Indian beauty incorporates the dying art of miniature painting and is a testament to the intrinsic beauty and durability of enamel. The portrait — which appears as fresh as ever — explores the details of the face, hair and fabric of the dress with vivid colours that are an ode to Indian culture. The dial, too, is crafted in Grand Feu enamel.

OMEGA
The first ever Ladymatic, the brand’s first automatic wristwatch for women, was a sensational success right from its launch in 1955. Constructed in 1953 by Marc Colomb and accented by a gorgeous rembordé bracelet from bracelet maker Reinhor of Geneva, the model was the smallest rotor-equipped automatic calibre in the world.

IWC
This Calibre 53 14-Carat Pocket Watch with a yellow gold case was sold on 11 December 1896 to a retailer from Leipzig. Later, in 1916, it was inherited by Albert Lotter, thus making its way into the Lotter family of German printers which was intimately connected with the Reformation. The watch, having witnessed, with its owner, the historical milestones of the 20th century in Saxony and Berlin, still hasn’t lost its legendary precision.

SEIKO
The latest addition to the Grand Seiko Historical Collection is the re-born 62GS, the brand’s first ever automatic watch from 1967. Not only was it automatic, it was supremely accurate and established a style that has been passed down the years to today’s Grand Seiko. The faithful recreation is driven by the calibre 9S65 and features elements inherited from the original 62GS like the lion emblem on the case back, the dial layout, the distinctive hour markers and the dial.

PIAGET
Firm in their belief that there is something particularly special about returning to one’s roots, the brand pays tribute to femininity by creating hedonistic, precious models featuring innovative designs. And nothing embodies this better than the Ring Watch in Yellow Gold Set with 16 Diamonds dating back to 1963.

OFFICINE PANERAI
Christened the Egiziano, this was the Radiomir watch created for the Egyptian Navy in 1956. It was characterised by its strength and exceptional size (case diameter of 60 mm), and had a marked bezel for calculating immersion time. The patent for the crown-protecting bridge was filed in the same year, thereby becoming the distinguishing mark of the Radiomir model.

ZENITH
The Elite 6150 features a mechanical movement that is the contemporary version of the Elite base movement developed in the early 1990s — an ultra-thin calibre that earned the title ‘Best Movement of the Year’ at Baselworld in 1994. Distinguished by its classicism, the watch’s slim 42-mm case frames a pure, cambered dial punctuated by sleek hands.

Haute wrists:

(Click on the gallery to view larger images)

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