Vintage or just Old

Vintage or Just Old?

In my opinion you have to accept in which time you are living.


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Yes of course the 1016 Explorer from 1988 is a total beauty. And the 1972 1655 Orange Hand Explorer II in my book, is clearly more beautiful than any of its successors. And the 1965 6265 Daytona is a true classic. And the 1960 James Bond 6538 Sub is just brillant. All that is true, but…

Keep in mind what these watches are – besides being highly collectible and sought after like hell: they are old, sometimes really heavily worn and - and - often not a very good watch in the first place by today’s standards. Even when they were new, they were tool watches meant to be worn, used, busted and replaced by the next one.

Compared to what newer models from the modern era have to offer, they often lack certain technological enhancements. They weren’t exactly cheap in their times but they were not luxury watches. A luxury watch in that era was made of gold. These steel pieces plainly were only tool watches.

And even if the tool watch today got something like an advancement and is considered a respectable class of watches, back in the day, a tool watch was something like a screwdriver. Use it and when it’s broken thow it away and buy a new one.

And some, like the Daytonas didn’t even have an inhouse Rolex movement as Rolex back then sourced a ETA chronograph movement for their only chronograph. The Daytona, the only chronograph they made then, they designed to compete at NASA for the space missions (why it was called ‘Cosmograph’ in the first place)… but they lost that to Omega. And the better Omega Speedmaster with the famous Lemania movement became the one and only original NASA space and finally Moon watch. And so the ‘Rolex Cosmograph’ lay in the shops like lead and they changed its name and its purpose to race driving and so it was called the ‘Daytona’ after the famous American race track. It really did not do so well: I just saw a beautiful, nowadays $30,000 Daytona that was actually produced in 1971 and sold by the dealer in 1978!

That kind of a lesser demand back in these days is of course part of the scarcity of these models today: as nobody wanted them back then, Rolex did not make a lot and today there are not very many around what makes them…


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