An “in the metal” look at the newest vintage watches hitting the Theo & Harris vintage watch shop!

The Air King doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It’s a historically rich cornerstone to the Rolex name and frankly, hardly anyone knows. Conceived in the 1930’s to specifically serve the British Royal Air Force, the Air King has been synonymous with heroism (by the Rolex community) since.

Two years ago, the idea that I might one day own a thin gold watch by Vacheron Constantin wasn’t even in my realm of possibility. I was under the impression, like so many, that these watches were entirely unattainable. But when I began to explore the world of vintage ultra-fine dress watches, I found a mecca of undervalued watches by Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and, more than all, Vacheron Constantin. Now, they’re not easy to come by, but the almost absurd amount of punch they pack per dollar makes them well worth hunting for. And this example, with its two tone (yellow and white gold) case, white dial and beautifully broad lugs is my most recent “oh my god I can’t believe I found this” watch, and very rightfully so. It’s the epitome of classic Swiss watchmaking and its my pleasure to be offering it here!

1952 was a turning point for Omega, it was the year they released their first ultra-accurate timepiece – the Constellation. This watch, which turned into a line of watches that lives on today, quickly became one of the worlds renowned chronometers. This watch, a Constellation from 1960, represents the opportunity to own one of Omegas best production models, well, ever.

Vintage manual wind chronographs are just about the most desirable watches on the market today. These are the kinds of watches, if you can find them, that will steadily appreciate in the coming years; even after the mild wear of baseball games, bike riding and beer shotgunning. And this example, a Marcel et Cie, is at the top of its class. Not only is it powered by the venerable Valjoux 7733 caliber but it features a flawless matte black dial signed “Champion.” You see, the Champion auto parts company commissioned Marcel et Cie to manufacture a few chronographs like this to reward employees in the 1970’s.

Value excites me. When I can find a $12 bottle of wine that drinks like a $24 bottle, I get giddy (and a little tipsy,) and the same principle is held when I hunt for vintage watches. It’s that principle that has brought me to Girard Perregaux – a brand that, since their foundation in the 18th century, has delivered quality wristwatches that have remained extremely under recognized. This Gyromatic, for example, is one of those uber quality, underappreciated watches – notice compliment between the straight lugs and incredibly gothic hands and numerals – one gives room for the other to stand out, that’s balance. And the movement within, the Gyromatic, was the first high-frequency movement in the world – incredible, right? I’m amazed by this watch, particularly at its price point.

I’m partial to vintage watches, there’s no doubt. I find that the vintage market, by and large, represents more value per dollar than the modern market. But there are exceptions; in fact, you’re looking at one. This is the Omega Seamaster GMT, the funky, more intricate brother to the classic Seamaster, with its thick steel case, beautiful wave dial, GMT complication and original bracelet, packs punch far above its bracket. Originally sold in 1999, it has been wonderfully preserved for the last 18 years, making all the more enjoyable for its next owner. It comes complete with its original box and paperwork.

 Check them out in the vintage watch shop before they go!