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8 Best Vintage Dive Reissued Watches for your Collection

8 Best Vintage Dive Reissued Watches for your Collection

Wondering to have an elegant vintage dive watches? Grab one of their modern interpretation and complete your collection. Check this article out!
Apr 09, 2024

What is one of the most constant favorite watches by watch collectors? Vintage dive watches. Since its release in the 1950s, these dive watches have been persistently favored. Genuine admiration among watch collectors has resurfaced for the root design of dive watches popular in the mid-twentieth century due to the ever-modern dive watches.

What is a dive watch?

What we now think of as the style of a dive watch goes back to the 1950s with the launch of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Zodiac Sea Wolf, and Rolex Submariner. These were the first purpose-made dive watches, with sizable luminous indexes, high water resistance, and unidirectional bezel.

In reality, a watch can be classified as vintage when it is more than 20 years old. But, reissues of old watches can also fit into the vintage type. Moreover, due to modern technologies, reissued vintage watches perform better than their original counterparts. The result is a classic look with superior acting.

What makes a ‘vintage’ dive watch?

One can distinguish a dive watch as vintage based on a few prominent factors. Smaller or  unique cases, flamboyant styling, thin bezels, and an aged lume are the characteristics of the classic dive watch.

Small cases

The first characteristic of vintage dive watches is their small or unique case. While cases of the modern age are made between the 36 – 45 mm range, the vintage watches can offer 35 mm. Modern interpretations of classic watches have also offered cases more than 40mm.

Bezels run thin

Vintage dive watches have domed or bakelite bezels with smaller markings. This is in contrast with modern dive watches featuring wide, ceramic-made bezels with large markings. 

Like the crystals, these thin bezels are incorporated into vintage-style dive watches. They are also equipped with modern materials such as sapphire. 

Daring style

In the 1950s, bright colors, funky numerals, and other extravagant design details were the trend. Today, most modern dive watches are modest in their coloring and styling albeit their luxury. The retroness is reconnected into the dive watch segment owing to vintage-style divers.

Domed or Boxed Crystals

Modern dive watches, similar to other modern watches, like to incorporate flat sapphire for their crystals. But, vintage divers had much larger and more significant crystals that were either raised in a raised flat-top box style or domed like a big bubble. 

Vintage dive watches of the modern favor the crystals with scratch-resistant sapphire and at times with classic acrylic.

Old-looking Lume

The lume of vintage watches has been designed with the intent to show an unnatural color hence contributing to the old look. This is in stark contrast with the lume design of modern watches that maximize brightness in the dark.

See also: Consider these Handy Tips on How to Buy Vintage Watches

8 Best Vintage Dive Watches

If you are looking for the best vintage dive watches, don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Below are recommendations of timepieces worthy of your investment with some considerably more money-saving than others.

Oris Sixty Five

The first vintage timepiece on the list is a revival of one of the best dive watches that first appeared in the Oris collection 50 years ago. The new Oris Divers Sixty Five retains the classic look of its 1960s original while at the same time being a lot more modern. The vintage bubble-curved glass is featured with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

Oris Sixty Five Bronze - Bracelet - 36mm

Based on the basic design of the 1960s, the watch features a change in its 42mm dial to keep up with the times. The watch also lays very flat on your wrist with its 13.2mm thick bezels. The 1960s model also seeped through the design with its closed caseback. The result is an inherent vintage look managing to capture its classic, prime and retro charm of Oris design

Rado Captain Cook Automatic ‘Ghost Captain’

This limited edition vintage dive watch is a reinterpretation of the 1965 Rado Captain Cook. The design maintains Rado's emblematic inward-tilted dive bezel and arrow-shaped hour hand.

Rado Captain Cook Automatic ‘Ghost Captain’ - Strap Bundle Edition - Ltd

The black bezels are naturally transformed into an ethereal ghost-like gray appearance due to the maturity of the watch caused by sun and seawater exposure, an attribute most fancied by vintage watch collectors.

Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage

Next on one of the best vintage dive watches. The Alpina 10, born in 1969, is a scanty and enticing model for collectors these days. This is because the design features the popular watch trend of the era, the Super Compressor case.

Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage Bronze Umber

The reputable diving watch is back in the Alpina Collection as the “Seastrong Diver Heritage” half a decade forward. The design remains similar to the classic: the right case flank and the rotating ring which was shifted into the inside of the case. 

With its 41mm case, the current edition is finished with a full Bronze PVD treatment that shines the copper-ish bronze without going through the patina effect that could be dull for a few.

Squale Sub 39

The Squale Sub 39, another one of the best vintage dive watches, features the distinctively sharp lugs synonymous with the case Squale produced for the legendary Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe back in the 1960s – one of the most prominent watch designs in the dive watches and inspired many today.

Squale Sub-39 SuperBlue - Blue Tropic Rubber

Matched with the vintage style, the dial uses maxi indexes nostalgic of many popular dive watches of the 60s to 70s. At the 3 o’clock position is a design for satisfactory watch setting experience, the large screw-down crown true to its retro original with no crown guards. 

See also: A Month on the Wrist: Squale Sub-39 Black Arabic

Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Reinterpretation

The original featured a pressure resistance of 30 bar, a screw-down crown, a one-piece case structure, and a unidirectional rotating bezel. Alternatively, the new Seiko Prospex amended its 1968 hallmark design to suit modern tastes for a slimmer style. One of the most exquisite Seiko vintage design.

As such, this vintage dive watch timepiece is a modern reinterpretation of the 1968 release. With a 44mm case and 13.1mm bezel, it may seem a daring watch but worry not, it remains comfortable to wear.

Steinhart Ocean Vintage Red 39

Next on the best vintage dive watches is made by one of German’s most respected watchmaker. The Steinhart Ocean Vintage Red 39. This vintage dive watch features the peculiar enchantment of a “double-red” dial. The handset is divers’ eccentric, filled with “old radium” Superluminova, that matches the dial’s vintage markers.

Steinhart Ocean Vintage Red 39 - Gnomon Exclusive

This timepiece has the vintage charm of the 1960s dive watches with its rare minuscule details on its dial. Steinhart Ocean Vintage Red 39 highlights a satin-brushed finish on the top of the lugs and polished side of the case, similar to the classic finish of dive watches in the 1960s.

The bezel is also polished to look as close to the original. It also houses the classic bezel of dive watches, with an incandescent pip at the 12 o’clock position. 

Dan Herry 1970

If you’re looking for affordable vintage dive watches, my first suggestion is the Dan Herry 1970. As you can clearly guess, this timepiece takes inspiration from 1970s vintage dive watches.  This watch is clearly inspired by Dan Herry’s very own extensive and reputable collection of vintage timepieces.

Available in several funky colors with a nostalgic tropic-style rubber strap and highlighting dual-cross hatched crowns for a compressor look, it could not get more classic and modest than this.

Spinnaker Fleus

My next recommendation for affordable vintage dive watches is the Spinnaker Fleus. For a low price of $350, this timekeeper features high specifications with a value exceeding the price tag. The Blancpain Fifty-Fathoms can be seen diffusing into the watch design, the Fleus look large due to its domed-acrylic bezel and bold Arabic numerals.

Thanks to its large 43mm case, one would not realize this magnificent yet affordable piece is a vintage watch.

This sums up my personal recommendation of vintage dive watches and several affordable choices for your pick. The specialty of this timepiece style lies mostly in its chameleon attribute, it’s the perfect watch for a day out playing and a romantic date night with just a switch in your watch strap.

Find out more about watches and dive deeper into the world of horology at our blog. Otherwise, visit our social media on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Let’s have a little chat about our collections there!

See also: The 6 Best Watch Brands for Men: Affordable yet Dependable

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