Some may think of it as a “Hallmark holiday,” but it’s still a holiday, which means it’s still appropriate to show some love to that special someone. Many of this week’s vintage watches would fit that bill, such as the extremely special gold Rolex replica from the 1950s or even Girard-Perregaux’s “Moon Watch”. We’re not here to tell you which models dropped are “women’s (vintage) watches” and which are not. Ask Carla Barrett and she will explain that all watches should be unisex, and this selection is a perfect testament to that.
Relying on case diameters, vintage watches are the perfect jumping-off point for those seeking a unisex watch. The Universal Geneva Big Eye, the Speedmaster with its tropical brown dial, or the Patek Philippe Ref. 2562 is all must-haves for wrists large and small.
When we first saw this Rolex Oyster Perpetual, we were immediately drawn to the depth rating “50 meters = 165 feet” below the Rolex signature at 12 o’clock. This must be a novel design element, as we usually see the depth rating above six o’clock. Not only that, but it features meters followed by feet, a style typically used by fake Rolex watches in the early days of its depth ratings, such as on the early Submariners models. Also, the Arabic numerals 3-6-9 are very reminiscent of the Explorer-style dial configuration, which gives this watch a sporty vibe as well.
We can’t talk about this watch without mentioning the auxiliary elements that make it even better. The patina on the dial is another desirable feature that is simply unprecedented. The pale burnt orange background of the patina is set against the gold hour markers and hands, which are even more impressive in person. The yellow gold Oyster case has taken on a slightly warm patina. Coupled with the iconic fluted bezel, this watch has all of Rolex’s signature design in one piece.
For my watches, I like chronographs less for the added functionality and more because of the structural changes the subdials bring to the design, which is inherently fun for me. The “Big Eye” obviously doesn’t fit that bill, but I like the watch despite its lack of symmetry or structure and the fact that its design was inspired by practicality. This design process, I think, has been somewhat lost in the fake watch world since the 1960s, and practicality no longer seems to dominate as it did with the “Big Eye. Wearing this watch when we put it in the store is a good reminder of the kind of purposefulness and tool watch focus that vintage watches often exude.