From the Archives: Vintage You Can Afford

With reports of overproduction, lagging exports and layoffs, there’s no denying that the Swiss watch industry isn’t doing too hot right now. But while the market for new watches is certainly taking a hit, the vintage market is booming, with auction houses reporting record sales numbers in 2015 and 2016. But what may be great for auction houses and affluent collectors isn’t that great for the rest of us, with some of the hottest vintage pieces climbing past the scope of attainability.  Naturally, we’ve always operated under the impression that those seeking great vintage watches need not drop tens of thousands of dollars. To that end, our very own Christoph McNeill (known to some of you as vintagediver) and a handful of other knowledgeable contributors have highlighted great vintage bargains over the years right here on worn&wound. (If you’re just getting into vintage watches, take a look at our ongoing Affordable Vintage series; it’s an excellent resource for the uninitiated.)

To get you started, we pulled together a handful of articles covering some of our favorite vintage watches. From Seiko to Universal Genève, there’s something here for everyone.

Universal Genève Polerouter Super

We’ve covered this storied Swiss firm numerous times here on w&w, with a specific focus on the delightful Polerouter range (for a brief historical rundown of the line, click here). The Polerouter Super (seen below) is a late-entry model within the Polerouter collection and a highly underrated one at that. Though one of the pricier watches on today’s list, it remains an excellent buy.



1970 Grand Seiko 61GS 6145-8000

Seiko’s vintage catalog is as impressive as it gets, and Grand Seiko, the firm’s high-end line that first debuted in 1960, really needs no introduction. A later model within the GS range, the 6145-8000 was the creation of Taro Tanaka, Seiko’s brilliant designer responsible for the “Grammar of Design.” The aesthetic of the 6145-8000 coupled with the superlative mechanical pedigree make this watch a great choice for any discerning collector.


Seiko 6139-6002 “Pogue”

Within the history of watchmaking, the significance of Seiko’s 6139 chronograph caliber is undeniable, with it being one of the first automatic chronograph movements to hit the market. The 6139 came housed in many different models and as our Executive Editor Zach Weiss notes, “with starting prices coming in at only a few hundred bucks, they are perhaps the best entry point into vintage collecting.” One of the most important watches in the collection is the one featured below–the golden-dialed 6139-6002 variant, or what collectors now commonly refer to as the “Pogue.”SEIKO_POGUE_6139-6002_16

1969 Bulova Accutron Deep Sea

Vintage Bulova has a solid track record of producing killer dive watches, but the Accutron Deep Sea is no doubt one of their coolest. Though it doesn’t boast a true Super Compressor case (it just borrows the aesthetics), the Deep Sea makes up for it in pure style. Even better, the Deep Sea is powered by an old Accutron 2182 tuning fork movement, technology pioneered by Bulova and a precursor to later quartz watches.



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