Of the many watch case shapes out there, the squarish figure with rounded sides known as “cushion-shaped” has a decidedly vintage vibe. While modern watch companies have revived this still uncommon design (along with just about everything else which could be considered “retro-chic”), watches such as the three highlighted here are some of the originals that inspire modern rereleases.
Seiko “Monaco” Flyback Chronograph
What we like: From 1974, this Seiko “Monaco” features a distinctive, sporty character and interesting movement. Square, cushion, and similar watch case shapes can tend to wear larger than the same measurements would suggest for a round watch. That’s why, at a modest 36mm wide and with its thickish 7016 automatic chronograph movement, this Seiko Monaco is expected to wear just right and cut a striking wrist presence.
What may not be immediately apparent from the pictures is that the 7016 movement features the chronograph minutes (yellow) and hours (white) together on the subdial at 6 o’clock. On top of that, it is a flyback chronograph, meaning the chronograph can be reset to zero without having to stop it — this sounds simple, but is nowadays considered a relatively rare and higher-end complication. You’ve also got to love it on that bracelet.
From the seller: Overall, the watch is in very good condition. Dial and hands appear to be flawless, with matching tritium luminous. The watch case looks to be unpolished or polished once.
1970s Zodiac Chronograph
What we like: This Zodiac chronograph could hardly be more 70s-funky than it is. This was a time of psychedelic creativity when watch companies weren’t afraid to think outside the box or use color liberally, and it shows here. The dial in particular is another example of offbeat, retro design that has been brought back in some modern watches. This watch uses essentially the same manually-wound movement as the Heuer Camaro above, but features an additional date window, making it Valjoux 7734. Measuring a bulky-for-its-time 40mm by 44mm, this chrono would make for a fun and interesting wearing experience for the modern wrist.
From the seller: Offered on your choice of NATO style or other sporty strap. A great-looking large-design vintage model.
Heuer Camaro Ref. 7743
Photo: watchuseek user bigpoppa822
What we like: Produced only between 1968 and 1972, the Heuer Camaro is a delightful example of that classical era of watch design. And yes, it was named after the Chevrolet Camaro as a way to appeal to the US market where the car was performing well in both sales and racing at the time. The movement in this model is the manually-wound Valjoux 7730, a precursor to the Valjoux 7750 that is easily the most popular mechanical chronograph movement used today. It features two sub-dial registers: at 9 o’clock on the dial for running seconds and at 3 o’clock to measure up to 30 minutes for the chronograph. At 37mm wide, the case is a nice size for those who appreciate vintage watch dimensions.
From the seller: This Camaro is in excellent condition and retains its original radial brushed case finish, and the original dial and hands have developed a beautiful vivid patina on the original tritium.