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A 1976 Audemars Piguet Automatic Dress Watch, A 1978 Rolex Replica Watches Submariner, And A 1940s Universal Genève Climate-Proof

This Week’s Vintage Watches

We would like to think that the selection of Replica Watches that hit the HODINKEE Shop every Wednesday morning say something about our brand. We’re not like all the other online retailers – or so we think! Last week we went with three under-the-radar picks while this week we have three watches that sit more down-the-middle, coming from brands that we have been covering for over a decade now: Rolex, AP, and Universal Genève. We are going for a bit of high-low – or low-high in this case.

As is custom, the Vintage Team takes their pick from the bunch with Saori choosing an unexpected gem of an AP, Sean extolling on the icon that is the Rolex Submariner ref. 1680, and, finally, Rich brings a UG that exudes mid-century charm in every corner. Check out the slideshow above for a selection of other vintage Replica Watches still available in the Shop, or read on for the full story on these three.

1976 Audemars Piguet Ref. 5418BA Automatic Dress Watch In 18k White Gold

Perhaps the phrase “dress watches” in itself should be left in the past. Our mind is a powerful force, and sometimes we unknowingly get tripped up by some

preconceived notions and limiting beliefs of what something ought to be. I think it’s time to shake things up a little bit. It’s fair to say we can’t go diving with this AP white gold watch, but there is no need to leave this watch in the safe for months on end,

or even for years, just because there aren’t too many situations that require proper attire to go to these days. Dressy occasions or not, life needs a little pleasure here and there,

and for a watch person like me, I love a nice watch that makes me feel good any day.

This AP white gold watch actually feels precious in the hand in the best way possible, and you will immediately recognize this when you have it in your own hands. You feel the smooth finish on the corners and the properly finished varying surfaces on the case. And I enjoy the subtlety of the white gold case because most people would not realize that it’s actually gold. The case size is something to point out here, as well. Measuring approximately 33mm x 35mm, and with the narrow bezel, it wears fairly on the large side for a vintage piece. The silver dial retains the clean overall look with svelte baton hands and an equally elegant date window. And for me, who still writes in cursive by choice, the “Automatic” printed in a script style is a charming accent that I appreciate fondly.

While this watch may look like it has nothing to do with AP’s famous Royal Oak

While this watch may look like it has nothing to do with AP’s famous Royal Oak, it actually shares the same movement in the original creation, the ref. 5402 which started in 1972. The self-winding movement, caliber 2121, debuted in 1970 as the date version of the famed caliber 2120 which was introduced in 1967. It was also shown off for its “Jubilee” model in 1992 as

the first Royal Oak with a display caseback for its 20th anniversary. This technical feat came through historical ties between the three big Swiss watchmakers, Audemars Piguet, LeCoultre & Cie, and Vacheron Constantin. The self-winding ultra-thin movement with a date function measuring 2.45mm was touted as the world’s thinnest self-winding movement with a center rotor at the time. For more insight, I recommend further reading on the movement history.

AP might get upset with me saying that this watch may look fairly nondescript, but please hear me out. That’s exactly the reason why I appreciate the watch even more, for its quality, because I recognize that the most unassuming details were not just accidental. These days, dress Replica Watches tend to get a pass because they can come across as borderline boring for most. But if you change your mindset about what a dress watch is and isn’t, this watch clearly has the versatility of wear and runs like a Royal Oak. And most importantly, it feels great on the wrist, and with a tiny bit of extra attention and care, this watch can surely tag along with you beyond a fancy party.

1978 Rolex Submariner Ref. 1680 With Box And Papers

If comments sections are to be believed, the worst thing

one could do to a watch is add a date window, but no one really seems to mind this addition to the Submariner. I’ve always wondered why this most maligned feature in most other makes gets a pass from enthusiasts with Rolex. Is it because the Crown can do no wrong? Is it because of the brand’s history with the date window and the Datejust in the 40’s? Or have we simply been Stockholm-syndromed by

Rolex into being okay with an asymmetrical dial? I’m not sure, but what I can say is that this reference has an abundance of fans such as early Talking Replica Watches alum and writer of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld, Spike Feresten.

In any case

In any case, my best guess as to why the 1680 holds such a grip over collectors,

is that they fulfill almost anyone’s checklist for “desert island watch.”

This debate has caused much digital ink to be spilled across message boards new and old,

but if I were picking a vintage watch for my own Castaway test a sharp Rolex Submariner Date from the ’70s would be at the top of my list. First and foremost, you get the durability and reliability of a Rolex, easy.

Also, these can still be made pretty water-resistant if you check in with your watchmaker regularly,

so we’re good there. While the date may not be the most important thing if you don’t have any presentations due,

it will do really well in letting me know how long I’ve been stuck without company. Lastly, and this may be a little idiosyncratic, but I’d love to see how the watch ages as it spends time out in the (hopefully) tropic sun. In any case, pick up your own island companion right here.

1940s Universal Genève Climate-Proof

The last handful of years in the world of Universal Genève have been really interesting to watch. Once near the center of the vintage collector universe, interest in UG has sunk back into the outskirts of the watch zeitgeist. This is not to say that buying and selling of great Universal Genève Replica Watches has slowed down – that really is not the case. In fact,

Phillips auctioned off three top examples during this Spring’s auction season, all of which brought impressive sums, far over estimate.

Once the Polerouter hit its fever pitch, the watch world began to look past the great UGs of the 1940s and 1950s even more. There is nothing better than a good Compax or time-only piece from this era – these truly represent a brand in its golden era,

producing the best product possible.

This Universal Genève Climate-Proof brings me back to a time when one of my favorite vintage brands was much more involved in the watch collecting discourse than we know it today. In roughly 2014,

wearing a clean mid-century UG on a snuff suede strap was one of the most in-vogue things a watch collector could do.

There is more on this in the product description but it is worth noting

that Climate-Proof is not a common distinction within the world of Universal. Found on very few watches throughout the 1940s and 50s,

this hyphenated word carries a lot of weight within the strong contingent of UG collectors around the world. This dial design is so good as well, the classic Climate-Proof execution. It encapsulates golden-era Universal perfectly; I am excited to get this one to a new wrist – check it out right here.

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