As vintage watches (and specifically tool watches) grow in popularity, so too do their price tags. This is great news for existing collectors, but frustrating for those wanting to get into the game. Fortunately, there are still plenty of tool watches out there, even from sought-after brands, that can be had at reasonable prices. Here are three you can get right now, from Bulova, Gallet and even Tudor.
What we like: Bulova’s beloved “Devil Diver” came in many forms, and this example from the ’60s has a lot to offer for the money. It has a cushion-shaped case, an automatic movement that looks exceptionally clean and a dial that’s taken on an incredible brown patina over the years.
From the seller: Very nice original condition overall with honest wear consistent with age and use; solid stainless steel case appears to be completely unpolished with razor-sharp edges and bevels. Original metallic blue dial has aged to a beautiful “tropical” brown hue with fantastic creamy Tritium patina to the hour markers. Original acrylic bezel has faded from “Pepsi” blue/red to an attractive “ghost” grey/red combination and rotates smoothly with little resistance.
Gallet Multichron 45
What we like: Gallet chronographs are increasingly becoming hot watches on the vintage market, but while most references from the brand have seemed to escalate in price, this relatively simple Multichron 45 is still fairly accessible. The handsome white dial appears to be in great shape with its blue accents remaining crisp and legible. The hand-winding movement inside keeps the 35mm case slim, and thus this is a chronograph you can easily wear with a shirt and jacket.
From the seller: In overall excellent condition. The dial is very clean with no blemishes or defects of any kind. Case is great with only superficial scratches. Movement runs very well keeping accurate time.
Tudor Prince OysterDate Chrono-Time
What we like: As vintage Tudor Submariners rise in price, the lesser-known Chrono-Time looks like an appealing alternative. Though the blue dial doesn’t boast any clear water-resistance rating, the bezel gives the watch a diver’s look and allows wearers to use it as a makeshift timer. The watch also features a faded blue bezel (which almost looks teal) and an integrated bracelet, two decidedly distinct features that make it a standout.
From the seller: Unusual and cool modern design tonneau shaped Oyster case with screw-down Rolex crown, screw-down Rolex case back, faded blue elapsed-time bezel, and integral large curved-link, Tudor-signed bracelet with deployant clasp. Includes acrylic crystal and original navy blue dial with applied silver indexes and silver baton luminous hands.