Old tool watches seem to get all the love in the vintage watch industry (see our picks for the upcoming Geneva auctions and you’ll understand why) but there are some truly fantastic dress watches you can find out there for a (relative) bargain, packing high-end mechanical movements, lithe case designs and clean, handsome dials. If you’re looking for a way to add some character and class to your formal attire, these three watches are a great way to do it.
Seiko Grand Seiko Hi-Beat
What we like: For starters, vintage Grand Seikos are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get your hands on a mesmerizing high-beat movement. That’d be reason enough, but the sculpted 36.5mm case and beautiful white dial are further proof that you’re getting a lot of watch for your money here.
From the seller: Beautifully restored white Grand Seiko dial. Original crystal. This watch is in excellent condition without any damage and the movement functions precisely.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
What we like: Similarly, a vintage Oyster Perpetual is an accessible way into Rolex ownership. You get Rolex’s waterproof “Oyster” case design and its “Perpetual” automatic movement, matched with an overall clean design that will dress both up and down.
From the seller: The watch is in excellent condition throughout, showing slight signs of wear and use in keeping with its age. Gold bezel is likewise showing slight signs of age and use, particularly near the crown. Sunburst silver dial with stick markers and matching luminous baton hands are in pristine condition.
Vacheron Constantin Vintage 4195
What we like: Hey, while we’re on this thread of “entry-level for awesome brands,” you can get a Vacheron Constantin for under $5,000! And that’s to say nothing of the fact that it’s rocking an 18k pink gold case and a thin manually wound movement from one of Switzerland’s most storied watchmakers.
From the seller: Watch is in very good vintage condition with only a few faint scuffs and some light patina on the dial. However, dial has been professionally refinished to eliminate most visible wear. Leather strap, tang buckle, crown, and crystal are all aftermarket replacements.