Brown & Beautiful
August 5, 2020
Affordable Luxury
August 5, 2020

Retrospective Appeal

Retrospective Appeal

What was once old is new again. A look at how some watch brands are injecting old-fashioned charm into their modern timepieces

Some say to move forward, you may have to occasionally look back at the past. This holds true in the world of watchmaking with many brands taking a peek back at their archives to borrow design elements to incorporate them into their modern timepieces.  This new wave of nostalgia appeal is not merely a passing fad but an element that is surely to stay.

Retro and vintage watches not only exude an old world charm but also design components that are timeless and classic. As such it is not surprising to see many major watch brands mining their archives in order to reissue heritage or vintage models to entice modern collectors. If you are in the market to add a few timeless classics into your collection you’ll find the following as excellent examples of timepieces that have truly mastered vintage style in the truest sense.

Suited Up

Longines turned back time for almost 80 years to produce its Heritage Classic Tuxedo Collection, which features stylish two-tone sector dials in black and white. The models are inspired by timepieces from the 1940s and feature classic proportions along with military design cues and art deco Arabic numerals. There are two pieces in the collection – a Heritage Classic Tuxedo Small Seconds powered by a Calibre L893 automatic movement and a Tuxedo Chronograph featuring a Calibre L888 chronograph module. The former boasts a 38.50mm stainless steel case with the latter in a slightly larger case measuring 40mm along with a bi-compax layout. Elegant as well as functional, the two pieces that form the Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo Collection are undoubtedly the perfect embodiment of 1940s style in both shape and form.

Montreal Magic

The original Heuer Montreal was released in the early 70s but for 2020, Tag Heuer has unleashed a new version of the timepiece as part of its 160-year anniversary. The Tag Heuer Carrera 160 Years Montreal Limited Edition takes the guise of a modern Carrera watch but with elements that are heavily inspired by the original vintage piece such as its use of bold colours. The dial is presented in white with three subdials in blue at six o’clock (running seconds), nine o’clock (chronograph hours) and three o’clock (minute counter). Housed within the 39mm stainless steel case is a Heuer Calibre Heuer 02 manufacture movement which works all functions of the watch whilst gifting it an 80-hour power reserve. The watch is fitted with a blue alligator leather strap with folding clasp and double safety push-buttons.

Vintage Charm

Since 2004, Frederique Constant Manufacture and the Austin Healey car brand have produced a number of timepieces that celebrate the iconic Austin Healey automobile. After a two-year break, the watch maker has produced a new Vintage Rally Healey Automatic model featuring a 40mm stainless steel case with a British Racing Green dial contrast against a silver colour ring. The timepiece boasts a straightforward three hand design with a date window nestled at three o’clock. The model features an automatic FC-303 calibre equipped with a power reserve of 38 hours. The entire ensemble is tied together with a beautifully rugged perforated calfskin strap.

Classic Styling

Since the 1930s, the IWC Portugieser has always retained its classic and highly-elegant design but this year, IWC has taken that base concept and fitted into a compact 40mm case with different coloured dial choices. The end result makes the IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 one of the most wearable Portugieser models around. But its smaller stature is just one aspect of the new timepiece; it also arrives with a Caliber 82200 manufacture automatic movement, which delivers a respectable 60-hour power reserve. Nevertheless this is a Portugieser through and through, evident by the signature round case shape and a dial designed with Arabic numerals, a railroad chapter ring and a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

Vintage Appeal

Montblanc is one of the few watch brands that has celebrated its past on a number of occasions, much to the benefit of modern day collectors. The Montblanc Heritage GMT is proof of that as it features a classic and vintage-inspired design housed within a 40mm polished steel case. The dial – available in white or salmon – arrives with a multi-textured look, which delivers an intriguing contrast. The dial itself uses a mixture of Arabic numerals for the quarter hours and dots for the remaining markers with a small minute ring and GMT analog ring running on the outer edges. A pair of dauphine-styled hands runs the hour and minutes with a thin black pointer tasked with counting down the seconds.  The watch is powered by the Montblanc Caliber MB 24.05, which has a 42-hour power reserve.

Some say to move forward, you may have to occasionally look back at the past. This holds true in the world of watchmaking with many brands taking a peek back at their archives to borrow design elements to incorporate them into their modern timepieces.  This new wave of nostalgia appeal is not merely a passing fad but an element that is surely to stay.

Retro and vintage watches not only exude an old world charm but also design components that are timeless and classic. As such it is not surprising to see many major watch brands mining their archives in order to reissue heritage or vintage models to entice modern collectors. If you are in the market to add a few timeless classics into your collection you’ll find the following as excellent examples of timepieces that have truly mastered vintage style in the truest sense.

Suited Up

Longines turned back time for almost 80 years to produce its Heritage Classic Tuxedo Collection, which features stylish two-tone sector dials in black and white. The models are inspired by timepieces from the 1940s and feature classic proportions along with military design cues and art deco Arabic numerals. There are two pieces in the collection – a Heritage Classic Tuxedo Small Seconds powered by a Calibre L893 automatic movement and a Tuxedo Chronograph featuring a Calibre L888 chronograph module. The former boasts a 38.50mm stainless steel case with the latter in a slightly larger case measuring 40mm along with a bi-compax layout. Elegant as well as functional, the two pieces that form the Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo Collection are undoubtedly the perfect embodiment of 1940s style in both shape and form.

Montreal Magic

The original Heuer Montreal was released in the early 70s but for 2020, Tag Heuer has unleashed a new version of the timepiece as part of its 160-year anniversary. The Tag Heuer Carrera 160 Years Montreal Limited Edition takes the guise of a modern Carrera watch but with elements that are heavily inspired by the original vintage piece such as its use of bold colours. The dial is presented in white with three subdials in blue at six o’clock (running seconds), nine o’clock (chronograph hours) and three o’clock (minute counter). Housed within the 39mm stainless steel case is a Heuer Calibre Heuer 02 manufacture movement which works all functions of the watch whilst gifting it an 80-hour power reserve. The watch is fitted with a blue alligator leather strap with folding clasp and double safety push-buttons.

Vintage Charm

Since 2004, Frederique Constant Manufacture and the Austin Healey car brand have produced a number of timepieces that celebrate the iconic Austin Healey automobile. After a two-year break, the watch maker has produced a new Vintage Rally Healey Automatic model featuring a 40mm stainless steel case with a British Racing Green dial contrast against a silver colour ring. The timepiece boasts a straightforward three hand design with a date window nestled at three o’clock. The model features an automatic FC-303 calibre equipped with a power reserve of 38 hours. The entire ensemble is tied together with a beautifully rugged perforated calfskin strap.

Classic Styling

Since the 1930s, the IWC Portugieser has always retained its classic and highly-elegant design but this year, IWC has taken that base concept and fitted into a compact 40mm case with different coloured dial choices. The end result makes the IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 one of the most wearable Portugieser models around. But its smaller stature is just one aspect of the new timepiece; it also arrives with a Caliber 82200 manufacture automatic movement, which delivers a respectable 60-hour power reserve. Nevertheless this is a Portugieser through and through, evident by the signature round case shape and a dial designed with Arabic numerals, a railroad chapter ring and a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

Vintage Appeal

Montblanc is one of the few watch brands that has celebrated its past on a number of occasions, much to the benefit of modern day collectors. The Montblanc Heritage GMT is proof of that as it features a classic and vintage-inspired design housed within a 40mm polished steel case. The dial – available in white or salmon – arrives with a multi-textured look, which delivers an intriguing contrast. The dial itself uses a mixture of Arabic numerals for the quarter hours and dots for the remaining markers with a small minute ring and GMT analog ring running on the outer edges. A pair of dauphine-styled hands runs the hour and minutes with a thin black pointer tasked with counting down the seconds.  The watch is powered by the Montblanc Caliber MB 24.05, which has a 42-hour power reserve.