7 Vintage-Inspired and Retro-Look Watches from Baselworld 2017

This week, just in time for last-minute Father’s Day gift ideas for the dads in your life, we showcase notable watches in five categories that debuted at Baselworld 2017. Today, we look at seven new watches whose designs are inspired by historical and vintage models.

Blancpain resurrects a 1950s-era timepiece designed to meet the strict standards for U.S. military use with the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC, its latest vintage-inspired take on its Fifty Fathoms dive watch collection. The original watch — engineered specifically to pass a battery of tests conducted by the United States Navy, which was seeking a timepiece for use on underwater missions — was notable for the water-tightness indicator on its dial, specifically a large disk at 6 o’clock that changed its color from white to red if liquid leaked into the case. In addition to this vintage-inspired indicator, the watch exhibits other hallmark features of Fifty Fathoms watches, including a black dial with large, luminous indices for legibility deep underwater, a unidirectional rotating bezel covered in scratch-resistant sapphire, and a water resistance of 300 meters. Its movement is the Blancpain manufacture Caliber 1151, with a four-day power reserve. Available on a NATO or sailcloth strap or a steel bracelet, the MIL-SPEC is priced from $14,000 to $16,200. For more on the watch and its history, click here.

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec - reclining
Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC

Bulova follows up last year’s very successful Moon Watch revival with the second piece in its so-called Archive series, the Bulova Chronograph “C,” which resurrects one of the world’s most collectible Bulova watches — nicknamed the “Stars and Stripes” and discontinued just about a year after its debut in 1970. Despite its brief time in the spotlight, the Chronograph “C” appeals to many for its “patriotic” theme, representing a touchstone to the United States bicentennial year of 1976, even though the watch was long off the market by then. The modern version maintains the bold red-white-and-blue dial design, with unusually shaped hands, and thick steel case with notched “coin edge” bezel. Unlike the original model, which was powered by a mechanical Valjoux 7736 chronograph caliber, the contemporary watch contains a high-performance quartz chronograph movement. The Chronograph “C” is presented in a special box that includes two bracelets: the mesh-metal bracelet that echoes the original, and a navy-blue leather strap.

Bulova Chronograph "C"
Bulova Chronograph “C”

Based on the original Hamilton Chrono-Matic — one of the watch world’s first self-winding chronographs, first released in 1968 — the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Autochrono has a 42-mm steel case with elongated lugs, simple pump pushers, and a large, right-side-mounted crown. Its black “reverse Panda” dial has an outer white tachymeter scale, applied hour markers with luminescent inserts, two oversized white subdials for running seconds and a 30-minute counter, and an enlarged date window at 6 o’clock. A vintage-style Hamilton logo appears at 12 o’clock. The movement is the automatic Hamilton Caliber H-31, based on the ETA 7753, which stores a 60-hour power reserve. The watch comes on a sporty, black leather, perforated “racing” strap. Limited to 1,968 pieces, the watch is priced at $2,195. For a comparison of the Intra-Matic 68 Autochrono with its historical predecessor, click here.

Hamilton Intra-matic 68 - soldier
Hamilton Intra-matic 68 Autochrono
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