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That 1940 Rolex is still running. The test will be if the Invicta is still running 75 years from now.
Only FEW of the 1940 Rolex is still running. I am SURE if the said Invicta is treated like the 1940 Rolex which is still running, then law of the sheer numbers dictate that few will survive.
 

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I think it all depends on how low you go. Some automatics that people seem to rave about can't even be hand wound, so in that case I'd say no.
Right, but then some vintage Rolex watches (for example) didn't have things ike a quick-set date, solid link bracelet, etc. And you don't even need to go back to the 1940s, just 1970s or so.

Anyway, this topic is a bit difficult because a lot depends on definitions:

* Compare a watch bought today with an actual aged vintage one, or compare a watch bought today with a watch bought in the 1960s/70s *as it was when purchased new, at the time.*.

* What does 'better' mean. (It means "functionality and quality". Not the joy of owning a vintage anything)

* What is lower tier: do we have to go down to the most horrific crap out of China, or does a Seiko SARB or Hamilton Khaki get to play.

Overall though to answer the OP's question: hell yes.
 

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From memory, pics very much say otherwise, though admittedly I've never handled a vintage "Trinity" watch.

Everything is on display today, and the competition has arguably never been steeper. While I think it's more difficult to ascertain the question posed in the OP, I do believe that the best Pateks, Vacherons, Rolexes, etc in terms of average level of finish, accuracy, durability, etc. are made today.
I guess it depends on what one means by yesterday's watches, but this is a Patek 28-255, which is based on the JLC 920. It was used in the first Nautilus, which was introduced in 1976.



This is a photo of the movement from a Calatrava 1513.



It's hard to directly compare, since some of these movements seem to have picked up blemishes over the years, but there is definitely a high degree of attention to detail, and since these were produced without the benefit of modern CNC machines, they are perhaps closer to traditional watchmaking which one would only see in ultra high-end watches from the likes of Philippe Dufour.
 

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Very interesting thread to read. Especially, for this relatively watch newb.....

Know it's been some years since last post....time flies!

Any new thoughts on the subject or do we need to revisit this thread in another 45 years to see how this all turned out?

:)
 

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I think the quality of the engineering is overall better. However given the increased cost of startup, the need for economies of sale as one must increase profits quarter by quarter, I think the innovation is less. More and more brands are sticking to a few basic designs since volume of sales is the be all end all. And because economies of scale, there are less unique designs. The focus on big watches also means large movements, which limits watch size variability.
 
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