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70s Best Watches: Reminiscing the Aesthetic Beauty

70s Best Watches: Reminiscing the Aesthetic Beauty

There is more to explore in 70s watches that inspire many modern watch designs. Find out the most iconic one and its reinterpretation here!
Apr 22, 2024

The era of the 70s is definitely a significant moment in the world of horology. A new milestone was achieved during that decade when quartz came to the industry, making a shift in the watchmaking industry. Yet, despite the revolution of quartz starting to change how people wear, see, and buy a timepiece, there is a certain charm in 70s watches that are inescapably charming. 

The iconic 70s watches are known for their bright and bold colors. Almost all of the collections came in unique appearances, such as distinct floral dials and textured dials. No wonder we can see many gold watches came from the 70s era. 

Nowadays, some designs are still perceived and even redesigned to fit modern preferences. With that said, some historical values are preserved to reminisce about the past moment. Therefore, in this article, I’m going to explore more about vintage 70s watches and their characteristics. Without further ado, let’s get into the discussion.

The 70s Watches’ Presence in Modern Watches

It’s been fifty years in the past, yet the flamboyance of 70s watches remains a remarkable trend among the watch community. Be it the design or the entrance of a new movement, made the 70s era as the new beginning of the watchmaking industry.

Talking about the movement itself, quartz came into the watchmaking industry – paving the way for success. Seiko introduced its first quartz watch, the Seiko Astron on December 1969. That year was also considered as Quartz Crisis which brings quite many mechanical watch brands into bankruptcy.

Yet, as we can observe now, quartz watches are still the favorites among watch enthusiasts. Besides their accuracy, quartz watches are low-maintenance that don’t require winding for the watch to operate – not to mention, the affordability of the watch. This somehow brings over the legacy of the 70s era to the present day where quartz remains exist.

When it comes to design, the watches in the 70s era were mostly introduced with bright colors and unique patterns. But, this kind of characteristic isn’t that popular in modern watches. As for now, people tend to prefer a minimalistic design that pays more attention to intricate details and advanced features. 

Read also: Quartz vs Automatic Watches: Comparing the Key Movements

The Iconic 70s Watches

In this section, let’s delve more into the aesthetic of vintage 70s watches. Exist amidst the revolutionary era of quartz watches, the watch’s characteristics in the 70s characteristics do instill in many watch enthusiasts. As I’ve mentioned previously that the watch during this era was known for its bright and bold colors. 

Most of the watches also appeared in solid colors – rarely in two tones timepieces. In addition to the color, watches in this decade also had a unique taste for watch shape and pattern. You probably would find a watch in various geometric shapes rather than a circular one as common today. 

As for the strap, people mostly would opt for leather straps for their comfortability to be worn all day. Besides, a leather strap is more versatile rather than others. That way, people could use one timepiece in a day for formal and informal attire.

Top 6 Vintage 70s Watches and Their Reinterpretation

Thanks to their iconicity and uniqueness, many modern timepieces pay tribute to the 70s watch’s design with some upgrades to fit current preferences. Below are our top picks of watches in the 70s era along with their modern reinterpretation. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

I believe almost everyone in the world of horology comes to a consensus about how the Royal Oak becomes the pinnacle of the watchmaking industry. Its unique design has been an admiration among watch enthusiasts since its first launch in 1972. This luxury sports watch was designed by Gerald Genta who crafted every detail that brought Royal Oak to the throne.

It is the Grand Tapisserie guilloche dial or octagonal shape that sets aside Royal Oak more than others. Not to mention the integrated bracelet that adds its iconicity to the fullest. Given those features, Royal Oak paves its way up to the modern watchmaking industry with a list of upgrades, be it the movement or design. 

As for now, the Royal Oak collection has 129 references with each of them never letting down anyone with its captivating charm. Among many references, there are some worth highlighting, such as Royal Oak Gold which brings the luxury vintage, Royal Oak Chronograph, and Royal Oak Tourbillon.

IWC, Da Vinci Quartz Electronic 

Introduced in 1970, the IWC Da Vinci was a luxury quartz watch with a distinctive hexagonal shape. It comes in a full gold color exuding an excellent timepiece of the era. The whole surface of the watch has been well-applied with 18k yellow gold. No wonder the watch is honored for its premium material and unique appearance. 

The dial is protected by a sapphire watch crystal giving the utmost durability to the watch. As for the performance itself, IWC applied the premium material to the deepest of the watch by producing movements made of gold and platinum. 

Read also: Vintage Seiko Diver Watches: A Peek into Seiko’s Early Days

Omega Seamaster Ploprof

The Omega Ploprof was first launched at the beginning of the 70s, making it one of the iconic 70s watches. Omega introduced the watch as a reliable dive watch to answer the high demand for underwater tool watches at that time. The watch has a unique monobloc case design in which you can see a distinguish crown appearance. 

The overall basic material is pretty much like any other dive watch, such as titanium for the bracelet and case. But, the water resistance is definitely something to be noted as it can stand for up to 1200m. The watch has been produced in vibrant colors and certain upgrades for fulfilling modern needs.

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Following its counterpart, Patek Philippe also followed the suite of Royal Oak by making its own, the Nautilus. The brand also asked Gerald Genta in 1976 to make an impeccable sports watch design – a luxury timepiece in stainless steel. Genta designed a slimmer design with a chic and tough design. 

Many said that Patek Philippe targeted dynamic business managers to stay stylish while also looking modern with their formal attire. Until now, the design is still much perceived with the luxury behind its simplicity. This somehow makes the Nautilus one of the most sought-after sports watches.

Vacheron Constantin 1972

The unique shape of vintage 70s watches can be clearly seen in the 1972 Prestige by Vacheron Constantin. The watch has an asymmetrical tonneau case, making the watch set its own path during the era. The brand itself has gained recognition for its distinguished design of the watch case.

Therefore, the 1972 Prestige is a symbol to mark the coveted Prestige de la France award given to Vacheron Constantin. In addition to that, this timepiece has a slim design equipped with the world’s thinnest mechanical movement. That way, the watch would be a good fit for everyday use. 

Longines Heritage Diver

Longines Diver was also very much appreciated as iconic 70s watches. During that decade, dive watch was quite in high demand considering the significant growth of underwater exploration. The 70s watch’s version was designed with a vibrant red dial background to provide good legibility underwater.

As for now, the brand reproduced its vintage collection with the Longines Heritage Diver. The reinterpretation was made after considering the interesting design of the vintage 70s watches. As such, Longines keeps some of the unique features, such as the cushion-shaped case measured at 43mm. 

As for the dial, the red dial background is translated into red highlights and added with SuperLuminova for better legibility in the dark. That way, the watch will be a reliable diving buddy with 300m of water resistance.

Final Thought

In the end, we can see how the vintage collection would always stay alive within the spirit of modern timepieces. The same goes for 70s watches with their vibrant and bold colors as well as their unique design that is still very much appreciated in current trends. No wonder some of the legacies are brought into today’s watches to reminisce about their heritage as well as combine the modern technology in it.

Read also: Top 8 Watches from the 80s that Make You Feel Nostalgic

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