Royce is one of those defunct names that occasionally surfaces among the more familiar ones crowding the various vintage watch bins of the Internet. Like other such all-but-forgotten Swiss companies, obscurity doesn’t mean a lack of refined designs and high build quality, and some remarkably cool Royces can still offer exciting values. Royce watches, you will find, run the gamut in terms of style, size, price, and purpose, dating from between the 1920s right up to the quartz watch tsunami. The below three are a case in point as to the variety and value Royce watches can represent — and they make a great entry point into vintage watches or a fun discovery for the already initiated.
What We Like: Punchy dial colors will make this sporty little watch feel fresh today even though it is from decades past. That cool radially brushed finish, 32mm width, and the blocky hands and indices, however, together keep it feeling very retro. For a Swiss manually wound mechanical watch with modern appeal, its price at roughly $200 makes it all the more attractive.
From the Seller: In good vintage condition; automatic mechanical movement working perfectly.
Royce Crystal S Automagic
What We Like: “Automagic.” It’s even right there on the dial, along with “Crystal S” whose meaning remains obscure. At 34mm wide, however, this watch has a charm and style that very few modern divers offer without seeming much too small. Inside is a Swiss automatic ETA 2873 movement, and it will look great on a NATO strap.
From the Seller: On the bottom the dial is grey and goes into black; Smooth bezel turns great.
What We Like: A badass-looking dive watch measuring 39mm in steel combined with a hand-wound chronograph movement seems like a lot of watch. This one’s from the 1960s, but it should wear perfectly well on the wrist accustomed to modern sizes. A tachymeter scale on the dial further leaves room for a handy 24-hour bezel so you can track a second time zone. Watches with similar features and movements with more familiar brands’ names on their dials will often run you significantly more.
From the Seller: Movement was just cleaned and is accurate; stainless steel case with screw-back, round pushers, and chamfered lugs all unpolished.