These 3 Vintage Watches Are the Best Way to Get Into Chronographs on the Cheap

Three vintage pieces from Seiko, Atlantic and Luvinos.

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10:25 Vintage

Chronographs are one of our favorite kinds of watches because they’re one of the only complications that feel active. You get to push buttons to activate the thing, and the function was a useful one in motor racing and aviation back when wristwatches were essential pieces of kit. Today you have a plethora of chronographs to choose from but almost all of them, even the cheapest ones, will set you back a couple grand, at least. But turn to the vintage market and you’ll find there are a plethora of them out there for under $1,500. Some can even be found well below a grand.

Seiko 6139-8020

What we like: Despite being one of the first automatic chronographs out there, the 6139 can still be picked up for a song and the movement is also known to be very robust. This 6139-8020 reference appears to be in great condition, and we love the contrasting blue sub-dial and yellow hands on the black dial.
From the seller: Original black dial, with a quite faint hint of patina, and original minute and hour hands, its lume shines. Original 40mm x 42mm stainless steel case. Chronograph pushers depress with a satisfying click, no stick, and reset as designed to zero with no issue.

Buy Now: $400

Atlantic Timeroy

What we like: This bold, ’70s diver doesn’t come from a recognaizable name in watchmaking but it does have all the hallmarks of a solid ’70s sports watch. A two-tone blue-and-silver dial with orange accents. A big, cushion-shaped case. A solid, hand-winding chronograph movement from Valjoux. The addition of the world cities bezel is an interesting touch, allowing the wearer to calculate times for every world time zone.
From the seller: All functions work perfectly and watch has been keeping excellent time. All chrono functions work crisply. This watch was serviced approximately one year ago and is running well.

Buy Now: $650

Luvinos Cal 7733

What we like: A classically-styled chronograph from another lost name in watchmaking. The round case and flat pushers give the watch a clean silhouette and the silver dial is beaitufully accented by a blue five-minute scale in the minutes sub-dial. The watch is powered by a Vlajoux 7733 manual-wind movement which, according to 10:25 vintage, dates the watch to the 1970s.
From the seller: Case is in very good condition overall with moderate signs of use and wear. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and some signs of age, including a light stippling of patina throughout. Unsigned crown. Case back is in very good condition.

Buy Now: $1,350

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