Owning a vintage-look watch can be like having the best of both worlds. You get a watch with timeless style, but without any of the technical or authentication problems that true vintage watches may bring. Vintage-inspired watches are having a bit of a renaissance at the moment. If that’s what you’re after, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Here are our picks for the best vintage-look watches under $1,000.
This handsome gold-tone watch is a replica of Hamilton’s popular Boulton model wristwatch from the 1940s. Like its predecessor, this Boulton watch has a rounded-corner rectangular case, gold-tone Arabic numerals, and a small seconds sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position. Unlike the earlier model, this Boulton is a quartz watch, not mechanical, which helps explains why this remake costs substantially less than the vintage model. (The other explanation is that the original case was made of 14K filled gold). This watch comes with a croc-embossed leather strap and a scratch resistant crystal to protect the silver dial. A true classic made affordable.
Here, we have the most recent addition to the Victorinox’s Infantry line, part of the brand’s Classic Series. Masculine and rugged, this automatic chronograph is clearly inspired by traditional military chronographs. It features a 44mm stainless steel case with a PVD gun-metal grey finish. The dark grey dial has a grooved outer ring, luminous green hands and hour markers, protected by a triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial window. Two sub-dials sit at 6 and 12 o’clock, each measuring 30-minute increments, while a third sub-dial at 9 o’clock tracks seconds. The watch also features an exhibition cover on the case back, so you can admire its automatic movement. Finally, it’s secured by a dark leather band that features a push-button deployant buckle.
Frederique Constant’s limited edition Vintage Rally Healy watch is a tribute to the Austin-Healy NOJ 393, the legendary car that was almost entirely destroyed in a tragic crash in the 24 of Le Mans race. Like the race car, this watch is reliable, sophisticated and has a sleek design. Beautifully understated, the Healy’s silver dial simply features luminous Arabic and stick hour and minute indices and a navy blue inner ring with seconds markers. There’s also a date window at 3 o’clock. The dark grey band is made of pig skin leather with white contrast stitching. Powered by automatic movement, the elegant 26-jewel watch has 38-hours of power reserve.
All Philip Stein watches are the essence of modernity, being designed with natural frequency technology intended to improve the wearer’s well-being. But with its round stainless steel case and low-key design, this ultra-modern Japanese quartz timepiece has a distinctively vintage look. The light beige dial features clean-cut black Arabic hour markers and clean-looking triple sub-dials. Bright orange second hands serve in pleasant contrast to the muted color of the dial. A soft chocolate brown strap finishes the retro look, securing to the wrist simple leather buckle. Water resistant to 99 feet.
If you’re looking for an elegant watch with a hint of Art Deco, look no further than this handsome Bulova. The large rectangular case and silver-white dial wonderfully showcase the oversized Art Deco-style numerals, luminous triangular hour markers and textured center, which give the watch its retro appearance. The diamond-style hands are also luminous. The watch comes with a chocolate crocodile pattern leather strap with buckle closure. There’s no date display on this watch, which may throw some people off, but there’s no question that its absence adds to its vintage look.