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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear forum members,

what lies behind the fascination for vintage themed watches?

There are countless brands, both micros and major, that borrow heavily from old catalogues, apply generous amounts of yellowish lume, instal faded dials (sorry, tropic!) and bezels and then see their sales figures skyrocket.

I mean, even the craze for bronze/brass divers, with their quickly-forming patina, leads back to wanting a watch which could have been found in a 50's shipwreck.

I readily admit that I am a huge fan myself, owning or lusting after several watches which could belong on my grandad's wrist. I still struggle to understand exactly why, though.

Several explanations have been given mainly centering on the fact that vintage is all about ownership, solidity and lastingness, of having some concrete possessions in an increasingly virtual world. I could understand this for the world of, say, music with LPs having turned into mp3, but watches are pretty concrete and a relic of the past by themselves, so why do feel the need to enhance this aspect even more?

Any feedback is welcome!
 

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I think we do some editing here of what's "vintage" and what's not.

By this I mean that there are MANY forgettable, nauseous looking watches that were made in the 50s and 60s. But we don't bring them up, or don't think about them---if we ever even knew or saw them in the first place.

The end result? It is this: the CLASSICS endure! We keep the good, generally, and toss the bad.


(2) I think another motivator is, like you say, a grasp for PLACE in the world. A vintage watch makes you look like you "bin around", or perhaps had a real father, attached father, who loved you and passed his watch on to you. It gives you the "older and wiser" look. It also may make one feel that he has experience beyond his years.

Me, I'm not at all keen on fake old patina on the lume. I DO respect the old, enduring designs.
 

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I don't honestly think they are done well most of the time. Brown lume just looks brown, not old.

I think it works best when the color is part of the overall design, not an attempt to make a brand new watch look old.

I agree with watches being a fun relic-- my automatic watches are the only technology I own that's not a computer or at least electronic in nature. Vintage design, I understand but the pre-aging? I've seen it done well and it is popular with other stuff, but most affordables aren't quite authentic looking.

I would say two things-- the 'tropic' lume is the only one being copied-- I actually connect to the bright green tritium/early non-radioactive lumes from the 60's and 70's more than the radium ones. Nobody is making that lume or watches with that particular color of "toothpaste" and "fluffy" lume. I can buy stuff like a Vostok that looks now what those lume plots looked like 40 years ago, but nobody has a pre-aged version.

And back to my usual rant-- if you want vintage style in modern sizing there is almost nothing out there and the few vintage watches at 40mm+ have skyrocketed in price much faster than vintage watches under 36mm or even in the 36-38mm size class. A modern design might be your only option.
 

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Love the look, simple as that. The lack of having to worry about the reliability of an actual vintage watch (and the expense) is another thing......
 

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Smaller size watches with traditional dial designs appeal to me hence I'm a fan of vintage style watches. On the other hand, I also appreciate watches with unusual dial colors and I'm willing to go up to 42mm in case diameter so some modern style watches appeal to me as well.

I'm in my mid sixties so that might also be a factor.
 

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I have a vintage Smiths Deluxe that I adore, but very, very rarely wear it because I’m terrified of damaging it. I love the English heritage and history, and sometimes wonder about the person who first purchased if new in the 50s - but it just sits in my watch box...


On the other hand, my Tissot Heritage Visodate has that vintage style, along with modern adaptations that actually make it wearable! It might not have quite the same history as the Smiths, but the brand sure does


I think that watches, above all, are meant to be worn to be appreciated, so that’s why I prefer vintage styled to vintage (not to say I wouldn’t love a vintage Tudor Oyster Prince like the one posted the other day!)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Lovely Smiths!


......I've got my grandfathers retirement watch, which is beauty, but I hardly ever wear it as I fear damaging it or wearing it out (considering it's age already) and so it is also a box queen.


Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, to sum up: we love vintage watches because they have a history to tell (in case someone asks) and because they give us a cultured look. We like modern vintage themed watches because they give us the same feeling while being actually wearable in everyday life and enjoying stylistical or technological improvements. Makes sense.
 

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Any a-hole with enough money can buy a luxury watch to impress others.

People who wear vintage or vintage styles are more likely to be enthusiasts with an appreciation for the design of what they're wearing.

Reminds me of this:

 
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