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Five Affordable Vintage Inspired Watches

Posted on July 03 2017

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Northwind Watches


Junghans Max Bill Bauhaus Watch

It's one of the biggest days of your life. Every minute of the day will have been planned with precision. The bride will have spent a small fortune on her dress and the bridesmaids outfits will have cost you an eye watering amount too. The venue, the music, the catering. It's all co-ordinated to seamlessly blend in with the days theme. Every decision and every purchase has been made with the goal of making this special day perfect in every way.

You prepare yourself on the morning. Hair neatly trimmed, clean shaven, you step into the bespoke suit you've had tailored for the occasion. Then you pick up the tired old watch that you've been meaning to replace since the day after you bought it in a cheap high street jewellers.

Something about the watch bothers you. You were focused when you regularly hit the gym to get in shape for this day. You had a critical eye when you looked at yourself in the mirror in the tailors. Every cut of the suit had to be perfect. You spent hours choosing the song for your first dance. Hours more ensuring that every word in your vows would be the correct word. Now you're going to wear a watch that started life cheap and new and is now just cheap.

With a little forethought you can make sure that the watch you wear is worthy of the occasion and feel confident that you won't have to put your hands behind your back when the photographs are taken. Here's five interesting and affordable watches suitable for a groom with taste and an eye for vintage.


Seiko Alpinist SARB017

Although Seiko is a well known high street brand they do produce some very interesting and unique watches. The problem is you might not be able to buy them easily in your country. The Seiko Alpinist is one such watch.

The first range of Alpinist watches were released in 1961. Designed as a Japanese Domestic Market only model this current watch wasn't meant to be worn in the West. Specifically, it was aimed at the 'Yamaotoko', or Japanese 'Mountain Man'. The kind of man who spends his weekdays in the office and the weekends climbing mountains.

The result is a beautifully constructed automatic watch, with a deep green dial and a quality leather strap. With 200M water resistance it's a rugged timepiece, but with the aesthetics that make it ideal to wear with a suit.


Sturmanskie Gagarin Heritage Titanium

The Russians didn't just put the first man in space. When Yuri Gagarin took to orbit in 1961 he also took the first watch into space – a piece specially created for the Cosmonaut. Omega may have had the first watch on the Moon, but Sturmanskie had the first 'Space watch'.

Built just around the corner from the Kremlin Sturmanskie have recently released an upgraded Titanium version of their most famous watch. With a handwinding Russian movement this is a design classic, sympathetically recreated. Ideal for a vintage or retro inspired groom.


Junghans Max Bill From

German watch manufacturers Junghans took the bold step of having renowned Swiss artist Max Bill turn his attention to watch and clock design. The result was a series of Bauhaus inspired watches, designed with both form and function in mind. With a nod to history there's a vintage feel to the watches, but it's certainly more towards a classic look rather than a throw back to a previous era.

The Max Bill collection is dominated by bold black and white minimalist designs with the top of the range Chronoscopes being the only models with a busier dial. For fans of German engineering and design.

Glycine Combat Sub

No list of inspiring watches would be complete without a Swiss representative. Although primarily known for their luxury watch brands there are still some very affordable Swiss manufacturers. One such, Glycine, made their name in the watch world when they supplied US Air Force pilots with their Airman watch during the Vietnam War.

The Combat Sub range are classically designed Divers watches very much in the Rolex Submariner heritage. Heavier and chunkier than some of the other watches on the list they are still very much 'desk divers' – high performance divers watches that will most likely be worn in the office. With a 200M water resistance, an automatic movement and Sapphire Crystal these are legitimate divers watches. At less than 13mm thick and with a diameter of 42mm they are rugged but sit well with a suit and shirt. What's more, the collection has enough variety that there should be at least one to suit every grooms attire.

Steinhart Ocean Vintage One Divers Watch

Steinhart Ocean Vintage One

Another classically styled diver. This time from relative new comers Steinhart.

Very much a 'homage' this watch is heavily inspired by 1950's Rolex's. With it's domed glass and thick case you may struggle to fit this comfortably under a shirt. The size and the bold design will best suit a groom dressed less formally or who specifically wants his watch on show. Having said that, if you want your guests to see your watch then this is a beauty.

The domed crystal gives the impression that you're wearing an antique, and the lume used on the dial and hands may appear a little dull. It's meant to. It's the same colour lume manufacturers used in the 1950s. Quite a bold choice for your wedding day, but certainly a watch of strong character. Like the Glycine, it's a functional dive watch, this time with a water rating of 300M.

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