A Paint-Splattered Submariner for the coming new 2021
I’m very pleased to announce that this week is the 100th installment of this column, and I’ll be rounding up a selection of noteworthy gems from the world of vintage watches. In honor of the occasion, this week’s roundup is sure to raise a few eyebrows, and then some, such as a newly launched Omega Chronomètre, a first production Favre Leuba, and what many consider to be the ultimate stainless steel Paul Newman Daytona. Replica Rolex Submariner watches worn daily by painters, and Breitling watches worn by Italian paratroopers.
Unless you are looking for an item, it is always advisable to choose the best condition your budget will allow. A salvaged item may be a few dollars cheaper and more acceptable, but a well-preserved model is objectively more desirable because it conveys all the original design. That’s my opinion, and I’ll stand by it until I’m old and faded, although special circumstances require another consideration. While it may defy all common vintage watch collecting logic, there’s a lot of magic in this first watch choice.
We all know you’re already familiar with a little old watch called the replica Rolex Submariner, so let’s skip over what makes this watch so incredibly fascinating. Before you say a brief three-letter swear word, consider where it comes from. The watch was owned by a painter who wore it every day, which explains the flecks of paint on its case, crystal, bezel, and bracelet. The case back is further personalized with an engraving that reads “I LOVE YOU MR BOND, SHARON”. For many people, combining these two elements with a worn and restored dial amounts to a huge red flag, but I like to think that this watch has a unique appeal.
I like the idea of a famous watch that has been worn like it was stolen for most of its life without much thought for resale or heirloom value. Pieces like these are obviously not the prettiest and usually not the easiest to sell, but they have a humanity to them that a mint-fresh watch can’t match. Unlike replica watches that have been sitting in a safe for decades, the scars on these watches can translate into stories and an unbreakable connection to the people who wore them before them. While I still recommend choosing the best, I think this is the best of the different brands.