Welcome to the third edition of our Watch Appreciation Series where we take a moment to spotlight timepieces that not only look nice on the wrist, but also perform well on the secondary market.
At the $1k-2kUSD price point we’re starting to get into considered investment territory, and while this isn’t going to get you a Rolex, it is going to hold, if not increase in value.
This time around, we’ve enlisted the help of the knowledgable Zayyar Win Thein to curate the selection of watches you see before you. Zayyar is the founder of Wynn & Thayne, a bespoke watch dealership specialising in the curation, collection and dealing of watches that stand the test of time in addition to telling it. Zayyar and his team have decades of experience with vintage timepieces so as we move up the price brackets, it makes sense to get the rundown from the expert himself. We’re stoked to have Wynn & Thayne join us for the Watch Appreciation series going forward.
At this price point, we see more chronograph watches, which differ from their analogue counterparts in their ability to be used as a stopwatch without interference with its time-telling duties. Since the Chronograph’s invention in 1816, they were used for measuring events, as they could do so with far more accuracy. This made them hugely popular among those in aircraft piloting, auto racing, diving, and submarine manoeuvring - embodying the adventurous spirit of their wearers.
Eterna Matic Kontiki
Perhaps one of the more underappreciated timepieces in this price bracket is the Eterna Matic Kontiki, named after an exploratory expedition by Norwegian adventurer and ethnologist, Thor Heyerdahl back in 1947. This expedition took place upon a raft called the Kon-tiki, sailing from South America to Polynesia, to establish the possibility of contact between the ancient civilisations of both regions. Heyerdahl and his crew of 5 kept track of time, tides, and destination, all thanks to an Eterna Matic on each of their wrists.
Proportioned well, this watch is great for everyday wear, has a 200 meter water resistance, and can be worn with a leather strap, a steel Milanese bracelet or a sporty rubber strap.
Seiko Panda Chronograph 6138-8020
As one of Seiko’s most well-known mechanical chronographs, the Seiko Panda introduces both form and function encased in an admirable retro design which gives it a similar silhouette to that of the Omega Speedmaster.
A complex chronograph, the Seiko Panda has an orange-tipped chrono second hand and features quickset date/day functions, and has held its value through the years since its launch in 1969.
What did Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and, Lyndon B. Johnson all have in common? Aside from being US Presidents, they all wore a Vulcain Cricket, earning the watch an unofficial moniker; The Watch of Presidents.
Before its brush with fame, the Vulcain Cricket was already attracting huge demand before the presidential endorsements, launching in 1947 to a huge waiting list. Produced in various iterations, this watch made horological history as the first mass-produced wristwatch with an in-built alarm.
Grand Seiko 62GS
Since we’re on the topic of ‘firsts’, we introduce a milestone for Japanese watchmaker, Seiko, as they debuted their first watch with automatic movement - the Grand Seiko 62GS back in 1967.
Less is more with this piece, and that is confirmed by a simple stainless steel finish, with the option of Kanji or English day options, and a date function. In 2015, Seiko launched a reissue version of this watch which, albeit costing more, serves as an alternative to the vintage. You may need to do some hunting to find one of these within the $1-2k USD bracket, but they are out there, and should be considered bargains at under $2k USD
Nomos Orion 301
Our final piece in this collection is one that sits a little more consistently in its price bracket. Hailing from Germany, the Nomos brand was founded in 1990, and sits in the sweet spot where modern and vintage design meet which, for Nomos, looks like a homage to the Bauhaus movement.
The devil is in the detail with The Orion 301, resulting in a nicely proportioned chronograph dress watch that uses in-house movements, sports blue hands (achieved by heating them to 190°) with sleek golden indexes that lie against a silver-plated dial.