1960s Seiko 6106-8100 70m Sport Diver
“The 6106-8100, released in 1968, is a classic example of Seiko’s early success in the light diver market. I think it is one of the best watches out there for its minimalist tool design.
The dial is a deep sunburst of charcoal, making the polished hands stand out clearly. The coin-edged bezel is intuitive to turn, and the insert is a stunning combination of silver and black matte. It has a tonneau shape that fits snugly on the wrist.”
1960s Seiko 5740-8000 Hi-Beat 36000
Roberts remarked on how captivating it was to watch a secondhand move around the dial at 36,000 beats per hour. “The Lord Marvel brand is one of the few places to find reasonably priced vintage alternatives to modern hi-beat movements.
The third version of this watch, which debuted in 1959 [as] a combination of the ‘Crown’ and ‘Marvel’ subsets, was Seiko’s first genuine hi-beat in 1967. The 5740C is a hand-wound caliber that looks great and is packaged in a mid-century design classic.”
1970s Seiko 6139-6022 “Pulsations” Automatic Chronograph
“This model was created with the healthcare professional in mind; it features a 60-second/30-minute timer and a heart rate monitor accessible by rotating the inner bezel (labeled “Base 10 Pulsations”) with the crown.
And just like the hip doctors of the ’70s who favored it, this Chrono can be worn with anything from a suit to a T-shirt and jeans.”
Eric Wind, Founder, Wind Vintage
After working for Christie’s and contributing to Hodinkee for a while, Wind started his own vintage watch business in Florida, specializing in high-end pieces that typically sell for $10,000 or more.
Nonetheless, he has an extensive collection of more reasonably priced items and can find anything. It’s also worth your time to follow him on Instagram, where many of the items he showcases are sold before they are listed on his website. The place to go is Wind Vintage.
Certina Argonaut 280
“The Certina Argonaut 280 is, in my opinion, one of the most reasonably priced vintage timepieces available. On eBay, I’ve spent as little as fifty dollars on a cool one, and I’ve never spent more than four hundred on a truly remarkable one. The Argonaut 280 comes in an array of unique dial colors and designs, from blue and silver to red.
Some of the variants feature a cool orange Certina logo on the dial and orange hands. Some are self-winding while others require manual adjustment of the winding mechanism; some display the date while others do not. The late Fred Savage, a good friend of mine, was also a huge fan of these. I bought one and gave it to my wife, and she enjoys it too.”
“After its launch in 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, the Vulcain Cricket became one of the most popular watches in the world, worn by everyone from CEOs to presidents.
The Cricket was the first wristwatch to feature an alarm complication audible enough to wake a sleeping person, making it a viable alternative to bulky and inconvenient analog alarm clocks that were previously required for some business trips.
The larger “Jumbo” Crickets can cost more than $3,000, but even those are well worth it in my opinion.”
Benrus Type 2
“As a result of their widespread popularity, the Benrus Type 1 and Type 2 series has become a design classic. One of the cool things about these watches is that they were originally produced in the United States specifically for use by the United States military; however, due to restrictions on their sale to the general public, they eventually made their way to Army surplus stores and were passed down through families.
They are straightforward tool watches, as evidenced by their dials, which are devoid of any unnecessary Benrus branding. Today, a high-quality Type 2 may set you back up to about $5,000, while a Type 1 may cost twice as much. Although their value has increased significantly over the past 12 months, I believe there is still room for growth given the scarcity of available examples and the growing demand from collectors.”
James Lamdin, Founder, Analog/Shift
“For nearly twenty years, I’ve been a collector and dealer of vintage watches, and in that time I’ve seen the value of some of the most iconic watches of our time soar by incredible amounts.
Any true enthusiast, however, will tell you that it’s not all about the “hot stuff,” and that there is a lot of fun to be had (not to mention the money saved) in discovering hidden gems.” Look at this link to Analog/Shift.
“American watchmaking is in Bulova’s blood. To compete with more well-known brands like Heuer and Universal Geneve, however, they started purchasing private-label Swiss-made chronographs in the 1960s. The result is a line of affordable, high-quality mechanical sports watches that compete head-to-head with their Swiss-brand counterparts in terms of design and construction.
The Chronograph “D” is reminiscent of the Heuer Autavia in many ways, and the Chronograph “C,” also known as the “Stars And Stripes,” is a masterpiece of irreverent fun and brilliant color.”
“Dress watches from Omega’s mid-century “Geneve,” “Seamaster,” “DeVille,” and “Constellation” collections are simply stunning, even if modern collectors are more likely to recognize the brand for its Professional line (Speedmasters, Seamasters, and the like).
They are as tough as nails and feature some of the best mechanisms on the market at the time. Thus, if you’re not into Datejusts but are interested in something a little slimmer and more luxurious, you should take a close look at Omega’s offerings from the 1940s through the 1970s.”
Best Automatic Watches Under $200 / Best Budget Watches Under $100 / Best Mechanical Watches Under $100 / Best Sport Watches Under $100 / Best Vintage Watches Under $100
Best Men Leather Watches Under $200 / Best Watches Under $300 / Best Men Watches Under $300 / Best Watches For Men Under $300 / Best Leather Watches Under $300