Earlier this week we rounded up three beautiful dress watches for around $1,000. That’s great if you want a new watch, but if vintage is more your speed, there are seemingly endless options for you. Interestingly, since dress watches don’t seem to have the same devout followings as many vintage tool watches do, you can score a historic piece of watchmaking — from the ever-so-acclaimed Swiss manufacturers, no less — for not a ton of money. Here are three great examples.
What we like: Eterna is an unsung hero when it comes to developments in watchmaking. The brand founded influential movement supplier ETA and in the late ’40s debuted the Eterna-Matic automatic movement. This utilized five ball bearings, which cut down on friction, making the self-winding mechanism more efficient, more accurate and more reliable.
From the seller: “Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and very little signs of polishing. Dial is in very good condition with signs of age. Luminescent elements…show signs of patina. Case back has some faint scratches and tool marks.”
Mido Multifort Superautomatic Powerwind
What we like: For one, the super-long, super-hyperbolic name is great, but more importantly, this Mido had some pretty impressive innovations in its time. The Multifort line, launched first in the ’30s, was the first self-winding, antimagnetic watch (it was also shock- and water-resistant), while Powerwind was Mido’s automatic winding system launched in the ’50s, which cut down the amount of components in the winding system by half, making it more reliable.
From the seller: “Gently polished to remove any scratches. In excellent working order.”
Omega 2603-12 ‘Oversized’
What we like: Though a 37mm case diameter may have been oversized back in the ’50s, today it really hits a sweet spot for dress watches. Further this Omega has “spider lugs,” so named because their aggressive angle gives them the look of a spider’s spindly legs when viewed from the side. The waffle-textured dial and gold indicies and hands are great details, too.
From the seller: “Powered by Omega’s caliber 266 manual-wind movement with subsidiary seconds. Leather strap is a brand new aftermarket replacement. Has undergone any necessary service, and comes backed by our one-year warranty”
The Affordable Dress Watch, in Gold
When you skip the solid gold for PVD coating, you can still have a beautiful thin dress watch and save a ton of money. Read the Story