We recently bemoaned the overall lack of colorful dials on modern watches. Color adds personality, and watchmakers during the ’60s and ’70s understood that. Vintage tool watches especially seemed to incorporate color — ostensibly, to aid in legibility. But the result was often bold and interesting. Here are three examples.
What we like: Founded in the late 19th, Bucherer is one of the few Swiss watch companies to remain independent throughout its history. During the mid 20th century the brand rose to prominence as a maker of chronometers and tool watches the likes of Rolex (it even helped in the development of the Beta 21 quartz watch). Given that provenance, $1,250 for a beautiful blue chronograph feels like a steal.
From the seller: “Chrome-plated case is in very good condition overall with moderate signs of use and wear in keeping with age. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing. Luminescent elements of the hour plots and hands show fine even patina.”
Nivada Grenchen Taravana Diver
What we like: Nivada is one of many Swiss watchmakers that faded into obscurity. Still, the brand made some excellent tool watches, especially during the hayday of bold designs during the ’60s and ’70s. This Tarvana Diver has a 38mm cushin case and a dark green sunburst dial that fades from forest green to black.
From the seller: “Powered by self winding caliber 2782 movement with sweep seconds and date. Recently serviced and offered with our 1 year warrantee of accurate time keeping and operation.”
Zenith El Primero
What we like: The El Primero is one of the most iconic watches of the 20th century. As one of the first automatic chronographs brought to market (and the only to tick at 36,000 bpm) it’s become a beloved watch amongst collectors. This variant here has an integrated case design, as well as a shimmering red sunburst dial.
From the seller: “Case is in very good condition overall with moderate signs of use and wear. Dial is in very good condition with some signs of age. Signed crown.”