It is not tapered and due to the thickness I’d merely suggest using it on relatively large watches. I set several rules for this article and essentially boiled it down to five seminal pieces that could create one hell of a collection. If one owned these five, they could essentially close the door on buying more pieces (yeah, right) and feel good about the state of their collection. Realistically, though, unless you have a big bucket of funds waiting to be spent, most of these five have become out of reach price-wise and are now incredibly difficult to locate.
When I was thinking about my candidates for the top five vintage sports chronographs, the answers came like – well, clockwork. Ultimately, this should be good news for all those into reps, who are afraid they will be called out wearing one. There weren’t four and there weren’t six. No, five jumped to mind and I started thinking about what they have in common. The fab 5 feature bold styling, often bold size and generally pronounce their model name fairly loudly. Thus, after giving a brief review of the five, I’ll present five more pieces that should be no less interesting to bring to a luxury replica watches get-together, but are less expensive. They speak of the golden age of speed, whether it be from flight, on land or wherever via the typical addition of a tachymeter scale and the ability to measure time in hours and seconds. Today, several seem small, but their impressions have lasted as most are still in production today in one form or another. This baby is a diving watch at its core and as the name suggests, the original has a built in depth gauge. If you were to sink your money down on any five sports chronographs, these are the big names. The “Navi” comes in at roughly 41mm depending on its bezel configuration and sports wide 22mm lugs. Surprises likely won’t exist, but you never know! Thus, drum-roll please, and in no prioritized order – in fact, they’re alphabetized, here they are:
You possibly knew that in any top five vintage sports chronograph list, the Carrera should make the cut. Introduced in 1954, the Navitimer brought a triple-register chronograph to the market that featured enhanced, slide rule capabilities versus its predecessor and contemporary – the two were sold side by side for many years – the Chronomat. It’s a “big dog” of a watch that likely matched the hotshot fighter jock egos of many of its wearers. The watch was designed for pilots and navigators and must have come as a shock for the time due its size.
Moving into the mid 1960’s, reverse panda pieces like those worn by racer Jim Clark and jazz legend Miles Davis can still be found for under $4,000. Budget over $25,000 for early Valjoux 72 pieces and possibly well over $10,000 for very early “all-black” Venus 178’s. Head to the Breitling forum for advice as pieces like hands and slide rule inserts are often changed to repair damage due to time and moisture.
During their production run, beginning in 1963, the 36mm diameter Heuers with 18mm lug widths, were made in a variety of dial configurations and the design of things like hour markers changed as well. Sure, the Autavia has possibly garnered slightly more fame recently than its understated stable mate, but the original Carrera defines the essence of clean, legible chronograph design. You’ll see that I listed the ref.2447 specifically instead of the 2-register 3647. Well, it’s for a reason. I like 2-reigster chronographs swiss replica watches, but I find triple register pieces far more deserving of attention. The color is very dark brown, almost black and the gray stitching with the brushed buckle and holders pair up nicely with the leather. The fact that the Carrera pulls off a lot of detail so cleanly makes it worth the added complexity on the dial.
Today, I’d budget at least $7,000 for a decent 2447. If you go exotic, prepare to start conservatively at $10,000 and do a lot of homework. I highly recommend “OnTheDash” and its accompanying forum for help.For me, the earlier simple pieces such as the white/silver dials are best. Sure, I love the pandas, reverse pandas and exotic dials too, but the basic, single-colored dial is the quintessential Carrera. Up until a couple years ago, finding a good, cheap Carrera was easy.