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Vintage Themed Watch for Collectors: Top Three Nostalgic Timepieces
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Vintage Themed Watch for Collectors: Top Three Nostalgic Timepieces

Never gets old, here are Gnomon's vintage favorites pieces
May 06, 2021

Starting a watch collection can be a minefield; if you're not careful, you might end up feeling as if you've wasted a lot of money on the wrong item. Any watch purchase is stressful, from locating the item to paying the bill to navigating insurance – and that's on top of making sure you like the watch. The mechanism becomes murkier as the watch gets older. Buying a new watch is, in many ways, about sticking to what you know, while buying a vintage watch is about avoiding the risks of venturing into the unknown.

Here are three vintage watch on Gnomon Shop you should pay attention to.

Glycine Combat SUB 42 Vintage Macaw Ref. GL0262

The Case

We'll start with the watch's external, physical characteristics, such as its dimensions (measured by myself with digital calipers).

Case diameter: 42.2mm

Lug tip to lug tip: 50mm

Lug width: 22mm

Thickness, including crystal: 10.5mm

From that list, one dimension should stand out: the thickness of 10.5mm. This is, to my knowledge, one of the thinnest 200m automatic dive vintage watch on the market today. Because of its thinness, the case is very smooth and straight-sided, with no slab or puck-like appearance.

The Dial

The fully flat AR-coated (inside) sapphire crystal, with no curves at the edges and no dome reflections, is almost completely invisible except from sharp angles, and this is partly due to the completely flat AR-coated (inside) sapphire crystal. Although I enjoy a domed crystal as much as anyone, I believe the flat crystal on this watch is an excellent choice. The dial is a lovely matte gray with a 24-hour scale embedded within the lumed indices.

The Movement

The watch is powered by the classic, dependable Swiss ETA 2824 automatic movement, referred to as the GL224 by Glycine. These movements don't need much explanation; they're tough, refined, and capable of pinpoint accuracy. When I first got my Combat Sub, it was holding time at +20 spd, which is fine and not bad, but with a little simple regulation, it now keeps time at +6 spd.

The Bracelet

The included classic oyster bracelet is good but not outstanding. The solid endlinks are useful, and the gently curved connection geometry, as well as the milled, signed push-button clasp, are attractive. At the clasp, the bracelet tapers from 22mm to 20mm. Personally, I think it would be better if it had more taper because it would better suit the vintage watch's elegance, but it's not a deal breaker for me. The pin-and-collar connection attachments are the bracelet's biggest flaw; they're a good one to start with in any bracelet, and the Glycine is no exception. Despite the pin and collar, the bracelet is on par with any sub-$1,000 Swiss offering.

Glycine Combat SUB 42 Vintage Macaw Ref. GL0262 is available on Gnomon Store.

Aristo Vintage Military - 3H147 - Sapphire

The Swiss-made ETA2824-2 automatic caliber powers the Aristo Vintage Military - 3H147 - Sapphire. It runs at 28,800 BPH (4 Hertz) and has hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 25 jewels and a 40-hour power reserve.

The German military watches of the 1960s clearly influenced the Aristo Vintage Military. That is to say, it was created with legibility in mind. The dial is kept easy and straightforward. And, as the name suggests, the dial of this military-inspired watch is devoid of any logos or tests, making it extremely legible. Aristo has used "Old Radium" SuperLuminova for both the dial numbers and the hands to stick with the retro theme. 


The Aristo Vintage Watch - 3H147 - Sapphire is a serious piece of jewelry. It has a decent height of 43mm, a lug-to-lug size of 53.5mm, an 11mm thickness, and a 22mm lug width. The 316L stainless steel case has been finely sandblasted throughout to mimic the finish seen on vintage German military gear. The case is made up of three sections to do this: the bezel, the mid case, and the screw down case back. 


Furthermore, it comes with a show back so that we watch collectors can enjoy the ETA2824-2 at work. The lugs are built to curve downwards to give it a wrap-around feel, so don't be put off by the case's size.Oh, and did we mention it has a sapphire crystal designed especially for Gnomon Watches?


Another appealing characteristic of the Vintage Military is the large dial opening, which makes it appear larger and more functional. This also raises the bar on legibility.

Aristo has matched this vintage watch with a tan calf leather strap with off-white stitching to complete the retro look.

Finally, if you're looking for a high-quality German vintage watch with an ETA2824-2 movement that won't break the bank, the Aristo Vintage Military range is well worth considering. The masculine shaped watch case and big dial opening give the watch a lot of wrist presence. It makes a perfect watch due to its thin profile, sapphire crystal and automatic movement.

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Steinhart Ocean 1 Vintage Dual Time Premium


Steinhart's interpretation of the timepiece is no less stunning. The Dual Time features a 42mm case with a combination of polished and brushed finishes, as well as a high-dome sapphire crystal, which was first released with the Ocean One Vintage. The dial is a mix of beige and grey, with a radial gradient that darkens slightly along the dial's edges.The dial are the hour markers and classic Mercedes hands, which are both kindly coated in parchment-colored lume to resemble aged tritium.


The GMT hand is red and slim, with a small arrow point that pays homage to the historical style. The 24-hour bezel insert is a fading Pepsi (red/blue), a potential departure from the original, which was assumed to have a Coke (red/black) insert, but this is also a point of contention among luxurious watch enthusiasts. The date aperture, which features a roulette date wheel with alternating black and red numbers, is one of my favorite details.


Overall, it's a lovely addition to Steinhart's already extensive Ocean collection, and it demonstrates the brand's commitment to quality and finish. That is expressed in the price, which is 840 EUR, or 705 EUR without V.A.T., or approximately $794 at the time of writing. The movement, a beautifully finished Soprod A10 modified with a 24-hour indicator module, accounts for a significant portion of the price.

With ETA gradually but steadily ceasing to distribute its movements to third parties, most smaller businesses were forced to put a stop to such mechanical complications. Chronographs, for example, have taken a beating, but Seiko has recently stepped up with their excellent NE88 automatic chronograph caliber. But the GMT feature provided by ETA's 2893, a movement that had no viable alternative on the market until now, was even worse off.

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