Of all the rad things you could be doing in your spare time this summer, I’m going to go out on a limb and say driving is the raddest of them all. Warm weather is particularly conducive to clear roads and top-down driving, and if your ride is vintage, well, that’s all the better. A vintage chronograph watch is a perfect accouterment to that, because even if you don’t use the chronograph feature to time yourself (because, come on, is that really necessary?) at the very least it’s going to mesh particularly well with those slick shades and your driving mocs.
Le Jour ‘Fat Arrow’ Chronograph
What we like: Le Jour was a French distributor that essentially sold rebranded, Heuer-made chronographs, so if you’re looking for old-school Heuers at a decent price, Le Jour is a great option. This “Fat Arrow” chronograph features a hand-wound Valjoux 7733, a glossy black dial and a rotating dive bezel.
From the seller: Original condition overall with normal wear consistent with age and us. The case appears to be unpolished … with a few minor tool marks on case back.
What we like: Before the Navitimer, there was the Chronomat, which has a similar look to the former but with a cleaner, simpler dial. Further, because it’s somewhat less iconic than the Navitimer, prices are reasonable. This specific example certainly is showing its age with a moderate amount of patina on the dial, but otherwise, it appears to be in good working order.
From the seller: Very good condition. Light discoloration at dial; light scratches at case back; light scuffing and discoloration at strap.
Heuer ‘Pre-Carrera’ Chronograph
What we like: While vintage Autavias and Carreras have continued to increase in value, this nondescript Heuer chrongoraph from the 1950s looks like an appealing alternative for the money. The simple, off-white dial is lovely, and the 35mm case diameter is great for those who love downsized timepieces.
From the seller: Original two-tone silver satin dial with applied silver indexes, triangular shaped luminous, and tapered dauphine hands in in great condition. Original hands appear to have retained their original lume, while most of the dial indexes have lost their lume.