This has been a really big year for retro-inspired timepieces and the trend doesn’t seem to be dying out any time soon. It’s almost as if some brands rely on vintage reissues to maintain that “spark” within watch enthusiast culture. As a result, some are hashed together a little to quickly and miss the mark from time to time. Others, however, just nail it and we thought we’d share a handful of our favorites (so far).
Blancpain Tribute To Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec
Ok, I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve become slightly obsessed with this recent Blancpain release. But, after revisiting the history of this diving legend, I thought it would be a great idea to reiterate the fact that Blancpain may hold the title for this year’s most faithful reissue. Date window aside, the watch delivers one of the most accurate, modern representations of a military diver and does so with incredibly appropriate proportions. This is big for Blancpain, as keeping the size down to 40mm is a step in the right direction even if it’ll rub some collectors the wrong way. Additionally, due to its limited nature, it’s possible that this will eventually become one of the most collectible watches in recent history.
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo
It may not be widely known, but Panerai actually introduced the first Submersible back in 1956. While the mainstream Luminor and Radiomir lines seem to get most of the attention, Panerai pleasantly refreshed the Submersible family for 2017. And, while the Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo is quite large at 47mm, it still retains that unmistakably vintage DNA even with its modern refinements. Put it all together in a bronze case, and you’ve got yourself a watch that will patina beautifully, resulting in one of the most vintage/modern looks you can imagine.
Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 126600
This one was, unavoidable to say the least – not just because of what the watch represents but also for the transition that it starts. The release of the Sea-Dweller 126600 captured the hearts of collectors everywhere and the big sell here was the ever-elusive “red text.” Sure there was the larger size and the cyclops integration, but the dial design could be a sign of Rolex eventually becoming self-aware while considering the vintage enthusiast market. Ironically though, this Sea-Dweller eliminates the previous 40mm reference. So, some people have even started speculating a potential spike in street prices for the 5-digit ’90s references and the recently discontinued ref. 116600.