16 Sep Vintage Watches Of Instagram: September 2018
So after I skipped a month to enjoy the summer sun, I thought it high time now that it’s September for another round of Vintage Watches of Instagram!
As usual below are a selection of four vintage watches whose sellers are all on Instagram. Quite by chance the theme this month seems to be military pieces, so if you read on you’ll find a great selection of four pieces that you might not be so familiar with. (Though any self-respecting vintage watch nerd should be aware of number 3). Anyway, let’s get started!
1. Zodiac Aerospace GMT from All Vintage Watches
GMT’s are all the rage right now, thanks to Rolex & Tudor’s new Pepsi GMT’s. With that in mind this Zodiac Aerospace is a good buy for those who want a slice of that retro jet-setter vibe without the very hefty price tag that comes with the Rolex. As you’d expect this Zodiac has a lot of the features you’d want from a GMT of the period, and the watch itself is in good condition for its age. That Bakelite bezel is stunning, and I really like the unusual blue/black colour combo. At 35mm the steel case is a perfect vintage size, and the original bracelet is an added plus. Crucially the movement looks to be in good condition, and whilst the site doesn’t say if it has been serviced, the watch comes with a 1 year warranty. What’s more, at the very modest price of £795 I think this GMT from a well-known brand is an absolute bargain. If you agree with my assessment, you can check out this neat little Zodiac here.
2. Seiko 1994 RAF Chronograph from Corr Vintage Watches
Continuing with our aeronautical theme next up is a watch with some great military heritage, but is modern enough that some wouldn’t consider it vintage. (Or maybe I’m just getting older and can’t believe that watches from the early Nineties are now vintage!) As some of you probably know, Seiko produced watches for the RAF from the 1980’s &1990’s. These watches differed from the previous generation in that they were quartz powered, not mechanical. This example, from 1994, is in superb condition and its design epitomises the practicality of Seiko’s design ethos. It’s a no-frills design that does what it was intended to. The sand-blasted steel case is in good condition, and has fixed spring bars, a tell-tale sign of a military watch. The dial is really crisp and easy to read, with large luminous hands and markers filled with promethium (hence the circled “P” on the dial). Whilst there are no movement shots I’m sure some could be provided upon request, and to give peace of mind the watch comes with a 12 month warranty. By pure coincidence, this watch is also priced at £795, and whilst some may call it steep for a quartz Seiko, the value here clearly lies in its military provenance and limited production run. For those in doubt of this value proposition, I’ve read on the forums of collectors lamenting not buying up Smith’s W10s when they were phased out. By all accounts they were available for a couple of hundred pounds, but have now shot up in value to £1500 plus. If you think that one day these Seiko chronographs might go the same way, you can check this one out here.
3. Smith’s W10 MOD Wristwatch c.1967 from Finest Hour Timepieces
Quite by chance our next watch on the list is actually a W10. (Seriously, I finished off the Seiko’s paragraph then realised that this was next on the list!) I also seem to be doing a good job with establishing themes as this is of course another British military watch. The W10 is probably one of the most collectable watches the Ministry Of Defence ever issued. Its simple 36mm steel case houses an equally simple, but gorgeous, dial which meets the MOD requirements of being extremely legible. With looks like these it really isn’t hard to see why these are so popular amongst collectors. From the sword hands, to the puffy yellow tritium lume, to the crisp white numerals, the layout of the W10 is perfectly balanced and looks just as good as a civvie accessory as it does on a soldier’s wrist. This particular example is in great condition, with no obvious signs of damage, and Finest Hour provide a good set of photos, including one of the movement – which appears to be in excellent condition. Furthermore, according to their “About” section, Finest hour service their watches and offer a 6 month warranty on all pieces. At £1,695 this watch is no longer the under-the-radar piece it was a couple of years ago, but it’s still a great chance to own a bit of Sixties horological militaria without needing to sacrifice an organ to purchase a Milsub or RN Seamaster 300. If you don’t have a kidney to spare for a vintage military Rolex (not that just one would raise enough cash) you can check out the W10 here.
4. Zenith S.58 from A Collected Man
To be honest, I was a bit stumped as to what to place in the last spot on the list. So much of what’s on offer from many of these “experts” is simply overpriced, junk, or both. Then I came across this listing for Zenith’s S.58 on A Collected Man, and was impressed by the wealth of photos and information provided. I won’t delve deep into the story of the S.58 as ACM does a great job of that on their site, but suffice to say that this is an uncommon model with some military history. (All 2500 Gen. 1 pieces were purchased for the Italian Navy.) Aesthetically this tick all the boxes for me. It’s got a nicely shaped steel case, Bakelite bezel, and a very striking minimalist dial – the likes of which you don’t see on the less prestigious vintage divers, whose dials tend to follow a certain pattern. The listing does mention that the crown is unsigned and a likely replacement, which is a shame, but kudos to them for mentioning it. The asking price for this rare diver is £5,950, which is not cheap by any means. However, given this watch’s condition, and the fact that A Collected Man have serviced this and guarantee it for 24 months, is very reassuring. All in all, the wealth of information provided on this piece, and its rarity, make it a very good choice for a vintage buy. If you’re lucky enough to have a few thousand burning a hole in your pocket, you can spend it on this Zenith here.
And with that we reach the end of another edition of Vintage Watches of Instagram. I hope you all enjoyed this month’s selection, and keep your eyes peeled for some new reviews that will be posted up in the next few weeks. There’s plenty in the pipeline at the moment so the next edition of this series might be a couple of months away.
Lastly, as always, credit to the respective sites for the photography, and for such great vintage pieces!