Why the watch industry finds the future in its past...

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this year’s Baselworld fair, it’s that the appetite among enthusiasts for vintage-looking timepieces and reissued icons is very much driving the watch industry forward…

The Omega 1957 Trilogy

We all knew Omega had something special up its sleeve for this, the 60th anniversary of the Speedmaster, Seamaster, and Railmaster. But rather than reinterpret the timeless trilogy, it’s taken more of a ‘if it ain’t broke’ approach and revealed three desperately charming re-editions, near identical in shape and size to the original 1957 models but utilising up-to-date movements beneath the dials. Each piece will be limited to 3,557 examples, with 557 vintage-style presentation boxes reserved for those who would like all three watches, priced at 20,000CHF each. Is it quicker to text Santa or email him? 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller

When Omega launched the Seamaster in 1967, it wasn’t the best diver’s watch you could buy — that mantle went to the Rolex Sea-Dweller, which was also introduced in the same year. For the 60th anniversary of the model, Rolex has revealed a new version, featuring, for the first time, a Cyclops above the date window, like that found on the Submariner. While the watch can be worn to a depth of 1,220 metres, we’re fairly certain that vintage watch enthusiasts will be happier about the return of the red ‘Sea-Dweller’ script on the dial. It’s the small things in life… 

Tag Heuer Autavia 

When Tag Heuer asked the public to choose one of the 16 original Autavia models for it to revive, the fiercely popular reference 2446, with its distinctive reverse-panda dial, was always going to stand a good chance. Jochen Rindt famously wore this particular reference — need we say any more? Tag has just revealed the production version of its modern interpretation, which, we’re thrilled to report, is very faithful to the original, even featuring that ultra-cool Heuer logo on the dial. 

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel

Rejoice! The Tudor Black Bay finally has a date window…well, the new steel-bezel version does, at least. The Black Bay has proved a favourite among enthusiasts for its retro-modern aesthetics, melding design cues from Rolex’s sister brand’s fabulous back-catalogue. And while we don’t necessarily think the Black Bay Steel needed a date window, we know there are lots of people out there who do. 

Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante 

Of course Breitling chose the Navitimer in which to debut its latest (and greatest) movement. The Navitimer Rattrapante (rattrapante denoting the two separate stopwatch complications) features Breitling’s first in-house split-second chronograph movement and, despite its large 45mm case, looks rather tasteful, with its burgundy dial and leather strap combination. 

Photos: Tag Heuer, Omega, Tudor, Rolex, Breitling

You can find hundreds of vintage and modern watches listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.