Source: Lunar Oyster
Vintage Watches

Four Incredible Vintage Chronographs to Kick Off Your Collection

Make 2016 the year of the old.

Is 2016 the year you finally become a vintage watch collector?  No time like the present to begin this beautiful addiction. (And if you play your cards right and forward this article to a time-pressed, procrastinating loved one, perhaps these could, uh, be your present, too.)

To kick off your habit, here are four incredible chronographs from the 1960s and '70s that caught my eye. No two are alike, the creds are solid, and you’ll be owning a piece of history as much as a wrist-borne fashion statement. 

 

Omega Speedmaster "Pre-Moon"

A little Speedy action never hurt anybody.
A little Speedy action never hurt anybody.
Source: Lunar Oyster

I've never met a watch collector who doesn't like the Omega Speedmaster. It took man to the moon and back, even if it was originally designed for racecar drivers. Christie's recent commemorative Speedmaster sale saw a few Speedies fetch six-figure prices, but this one from 1967 sits at a much more reasonable $3,550. Notice that year means it dates to before the moon landing, back when this was a humble, little-known chrono.

 

Heuer Viceroy Autavia

A true racer's watch.
A true racer's watch.
Source: Lunar Oyster

Let's forgive the Viceroy Autavia for originally being used as a promotional item to sell cigarettes—it's a legit racing chronograph whose merits let it transcend its sktechy past. This one from 1973 is in crispy mint condition, with the bezel and dial still inky black, the seconds hand and accents bright red, and the beads-of-rice-style bracelet still tight and shiny. This is a whole lot of watch for $3,750.

 

Zenith Red Vignette El Primero 

This Zenith El Primero has a great movement and strange looks.
This Zenith El Primero has a great movement and strange looks.
Source: Lunar Oyster

Love it? Hate it? Wait overnight in line to see the new Star Wars? You'll know immediately if this watch is the right addition for your collection, and if it is, oh boy, it is. This strange 1970 chronograph houses the legendary El Primero chronograph movement inside a funky case with a bright red sunburst dial and wide-link bracelet. Disco fever anyone?

 

Rolex Daytona Ref. 6263

There's no question that the Rolex Daytona is the most legendary chronograph ever. No question at all.
There's no question that the Rolex Daytona is the most legendary chronograph ever. No question at all.
Souce: Lunar Oyster

The gold standard. There's no chronograph better known or more well-respected than the Rolex Daytona. This ref. 6232 example has the big red signature at 6 o'clock, a lightly faded dial, and a glossy black bezel. Sure, at $40,000, this is by far the most expensive watch of the bunch, but we're talking serious heirloom-quality wristwear here. 

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