The best vintage reissue watches of 2021

There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, when if you wanted a vintage style watch, well… you had to buy a real vintage watch. Now, that scenario is almost hard to imagine: in 2021, many modern watches are going beyond mere vintage “influence” or “inspiration” and are often closer than ever to almost exact remakes.

In this watchmaking renaissance, it’s great to be able to enjoy a proven design with all the advantages of modern technology and materials – or is it?

With so many recent vintage tributes, some watch enthusiasts worry about a lack of creativity in the industry: “What will a watch from the 2020s look like for subsequent generations other than a watch from the 60s or 70s?” Hopefully the future will offer new visions of watchmaking as well as a healthy appreciation of the proven designs of the past – but in the meantime, there are just a lot of really cool neo-vintage watches to enjoy.

Given the lack of hassle and uncertainty associated with buying and maintaining vintage watches, it’s hard to complain that these vintage models are becoming more accessible: in many cases, modern equivalents will be better made than the originals and the shopping experience much simpler. Despite all the criticism of originality in the watch industry, we can’t help but love and want many of the remakes that are coming out these days. Faithful vintage reissues are the dominant watch trend of 2021 – here are some of the best.

Q Timex 1978 Day-Date Reissue

Many of the most iconic watches of the last century have returned as modern, high-end watches in recent years, but they’re not your only choice for cool retro style and history: affordable as always, Timex has continued to develop its beloved Q collection of classic watches from the era when quartz was actually celebrated. They offer a refreshing break from the snobbery of expensive mechanical watches, but also excellent vintage styling taken straight from the brand’s archives – the new and elegant Q Timex Reissue Day Date from 1978 is a perfect example.

Diameter: 35mm
Movement: Quartz
Water resistance: 50m

Tissot PRX

$ 500.00

Part of the neo-vintage trend has seen watchmakers also turn to nostalgia for decades other than the ’60s and’ 70s. Tissot’s PRX design was technically born in the late ’70s, but it looks very 80 years, If you ask me. It has the features of other quartz watches of the time, such as its angled lugs and integrated strap design, which makes its character stand out from many other reissues. Modern versions are available in quartz, just like the originals, but for a few hundred dollars more you can also get an automatic movement and even a dial with an embossed texture.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: ETA C07.111 automatic
Water resistance: 100m

Nivada Antarctic Spider

$ 773.00

Nivada is one of a number of entire brands that have been resurrected to once again offer watches produced in the heyday of its namesake (mainly the 60s and 70s, of course). The modern enterprise is entirely dedicated to such tributes, and among them is the relatively dressy Antarctic collection. The Spider model is a recent addition that features radial lines and vertical indexes which together make the reason for its nickname clearly apparent.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Soprod P024 automatic
Water resistance: 100m

Among its many contemporary collections, Bulova selectively found the odd vintage watch to recreate. With all of its history, the brand also has several good options, and affordable examples like its Lunar Pilot (“Moonwatch”) and Oceanographer (“Devil Diver”) have proven to be very successful. For 2021, the company recreated a diver’s watch that it had never mass-produced before, but which only existed as a prototype. Fans of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms will find a lot of familiarity there and appreciate a much more affordable alternative.

Diameter: 41mm
Movement: Miyota 82S0 automatic
Water resistance: 200m

Like a few other brands mentioned here, Timor as a modern company largely exists to recreate its most famous watches of the past. You can hardly blame them, as they were among the 12 companies that produced one of the most legendary military watches of all time, the “WWW” for the British Army during WWII. They are not the only brand to pay homage to this watch, but they seem to have really given it a makeover and created a modern and refined product based on a decidedly pragmatic field watch.

Diameter: 36.5 mm
Movement: Sellita SW260 automatic or SW216 with manual winding
Water resistance: 40m

Accutron heritage

$ 1,490.00

If you like the funky side of mid-century watch design, Accutron has a whole collection that is sure to grab your attention. The “TV” watch is just one example (and not the most original), but it represents a decades-long period in which designers turned to a “space age” and designs became experimental and sometimes a little eccentric. It’s a brave move for a brand to reissue these obscurities, as they don’t have to enjoy the same popularity as the sports watches that most other brands focus on, but it shows that there is a real passion behind the products.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Swiss automatic not disclosed
Water resistance: 30m

Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H

$ 2,095.00

One of Hamilton’s strongest collections is its line of beautiful ’60s-inspired watches that seem straight out of the box. Mad Men. This year, the brand announced new chronographs with hand-wound movements and accessible 40mm cases, much like the 1968 Chronograph A and B watches on which they are based. Even more interesting, the movement inside was developed especially for these watches and exclusively for Hamilton by the sister company of the Swatch Group brand, ETA.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: ETA H-51 with manual winding
Water resistance: 100m

Seiko Prospex 1959 Leisure Alpinist SJE085

The most famous Seiko Alpinist (and which the brand brought back in 2020) is actually not the original Alpinist, but a version from the ’90s. The original Alpinist – Seiko’s first sports watch – is born in 1959, and it is this version that Seiko has reissued this year. Like almost all watches of its time, it looked somewhat dressy from a modern point of view, but was renowned for the Japanese “mountain men”. In its modern limited-edition incarnation, however, it is no cheap drummer and lives among the luxury watches in the brand’s Prospex collection.

Diameter: 36.6 mm
Movement: Seiko 6L35 automatic
Water resistance: 200m

Airain Type 20 reissue

Airain is one of the brands known for its Type 20 chronograph watches designed for French military pilots from the 1950s onwards. Much like Nivada above, the company has been resurrected today to manufacture these vintage watches again, and the combination of design, size (approx 1.5mm larger than the original at 38mm) and history makes this a stunning modern watch. Here and there you can find remakes of iconic chronographs from bigger brands, but Airain also offers a pretty strong value proposition – and it even includes the now exotic flyback feature, which lets you restart the chronograph from zero without having to. stop first and reset it.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: La Joux-Perret AM1 automatic
Water resistance: 50m

Zenith Chronomaster Original

$ 9,000.00

Zenith’s modern Chronomaster collection is where the legacy of its famous El Primero – the movements and watches of the same name – lives. In recent years, the brand has offered historically faithful versions of its first El Primero watches from 1969 and precise down to the smallest detail, including size. If the brand has also given these designs modern interpretations (with excellent effect), there are examples like the Chronomaster Original, which recreates the watches of the famous reference A386. This is essentially what comes closest to the iconic El Primero look without actually buying vintage.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Caliber Zenith 3600 automatic
Water resistance: 50m

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