10 February 2012

The Vintage Watch: Another Example

For many years now I have had a passion for watches. At one point, I was into knock-off Rolexes and Breitlings and what have you. Then I got serious about authenticity. I owned a couple of genuine Rolex watches and then realized they really aren't all they're cracked up to be. I owned an Omega, which was less costly than a Rolex and had a better movement. An Ebel chronograph is currently part of my collection, but I've gotten to the point where big and sporty watches are not really my bag. Neither are high-end brands noted for their recognizable logos like a Rolex crown or an Omega... Ω.

What I look for in a watch today is versatility, quality, and beauty. A watchmaker friend of mine has owned and worked on every watch under the sun, from Rolex and Omega to Patek Philippe. Today, based on seeing the insides of every watch imaginable, his favorite time pieces are vintage Seiko mechanicals. His daily wear watch is a King Seiko automatic. King Seikos are *chronometer quality watches with mechanical movements on par with anything turned out by your high-end Swiss brands. They can get quite expensive, with the nicer specimens averaging around $1000 on ebay.

I love the way a lot of these vintage Seikos look, and wanted one for myself, but a King Seiko is not in my budget right now. I did a little looking, and then I found the watch for me. A Seiko Sportsman from the 1960's. This watch features a manual winding, 17 jewel movement. There are a great many Swiss movements that are quite similar. This watch looks beautiful, despite being some fifty years old, and has been recently serviced to run flawlessly. It keeps excellent time.

It also very closely resembles a Rolex DateJust, or a vintage Omega Seamaster (pictured at right), but it doesn't have to be one of those guys. It's allure is all its own, and with this watch I couldn't be happier. Seikos have exceptionally well-made movements, and I am just as proud to own this watch as anything else I've had in the past.

P.W.

*Chronometer quality watches must complete a series of tests to insure accuracy in all variances of temperature and pressure

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