A number of major brands are marking 50 years since significant watchmaking achievements in 1969. We’re talking about iconic automatic chronograph movements from Zenith, Heuer (and co.), and Seiko; the world’s first quartz watch from Seiko; as well as the year that the Omega Speedmaster went to the moon (along with the first humans ever to do so). Here are three examples of vintage watches that represent those achievements, each in their own way. Further, they offer a look at what these brands will be making a big deal about in 2019 and, of course, likely releasing modern tributes to.
Breitling Chronomatic MX82
What We Like: As part of the first-automatic-chronograph race, Heuer developed the Calibre 11 with a consortium of other watch brands including Breitling. The Calibre 11 was also known as the Chrono-Matic, and it found its way into a range of watches from various brands that often also used the Chrono-Matic name. This Breitling Chrono-Matic MX82 is a cool example from the actual year the iconic movement was released.
From the Seller: Inspected and in excellent condition; working precisely and ready to be worn and enjoyed.
Omega “Pre-Moon” Speedmaster
What We Like: When NASA astronauts walked on the moon in 1969, they were wearing the Speedmaster reference ST105.012, which, understandably, cost a pretty penny when you find them today. This reference 145.022-69, however, is very close to what would become known as the Moonwatch, and as a circa-1969 model, it represents both the year and the iconic model well.
From the Seller: This example is in excellent vintage condition. The case is unpolished, with original beveled edges, and still very sharp.
Zenith El Primero A386 MKII
What We Like: The A386 was the first model to feature the revolutionary 5Hz El Primero automatic chronograph movement in 1969. This is actually an A386 MKII from 1971, but carries the DNA of that achievement well and is a beautiful example with its “tri-colore” dial.
From the Seller: The case is in great condition overall with normal signs of wear from age and use. Luminous cream tone dial is in very good condition with patina throughout. Luminous handset shows patination. Signed crown.