Watch Report 2022 | Heritage Chic

Watch Report 2022 | Heritage Chic

Over the past decade, we've seen a big rise in the number of brands offerering both reissues of old watches and new vintage-inspired designs. And 2022 has been no exception. 

Nostalgia is one of the most powerful feelings a person can experience. That longing to return to our youth, or even a time before we were born, is something that has permeated every facet of our lives in one way or another. The world of watches is no exception to that, and over the past decade, we've seen a very big rise in the number of brands offering both reissues of old watches and new vintage-inspired designs. 

There are several different reasons why the trend for vintage watches has been as incredibly popular as it has been. The first is that we've seen a fundamental shift in the purpose of watches over the past fifty years. Before the advent of the digital age, mechanical watches were the only timing instruments available to people in all manner of arduous occupations, from divers to mountaineers, and even astronauts. As such, the watches used in these situations have become symbols of the rugged lifestyles of their owners, and it’s this symbolism that brands are appealing to with their vintage reissues. The second reason is something of a result of the first, and that’s that many of the first “tools watches”
built for specific endeavours such as diving have since become classics, and their designs are now an intrinsic part of their brand’s identity. The most famous examples are probably the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Speedmaster, both of which have received only minimal design changes in the past sixty years. The following are five examples of watches that show just how brands use nostalgia to influence their watch designs.

The Tudor Ranger


Earlier this year, Tudor brought back a classic model from their catalogue, the Ranger. The watch offers a no-nonsense take on a field watch and boasts a clean, legible dial that’s very similar to the original from the 1960s. Meanwhile, the case is a one-size-fits-all diameter of 39mm, and there’s a choice of three traps. It’s interesting to note that Tudor used the 70th anniversary of the British North Greenland expedition in the marketing for the watch, despite the original Ranger not even existing at the time of the expedition. This just goes to show that Tudor’s marketing team also see the power of calling back to a time when watches were vital pieces of equipment. 

The Tudor RangerThe Tudor Ranger
The Longines Heritage ClassicThe Longines Heritage Classic

The Longines Heritage Classic


Nostalgia is deeply woven throughout the fabric of the watch industry, and it’s likely to influence our purchasing decisions in one way or another. If there’s one brand that knows how to reissue a vintage watch, it’s Longines. The Heritage Classic is the perfect example of this, as it’s remarkably similar to a Longines watch from the 1930s, but with a few modern upgrades. The watch has a gorgeous “sector” dial, that’s a hallmark of Thirties watch design, and has a compact 38.5mm case that’s just 11mm thick. Like a lot of vintage-inspired watches, the Heritage Classic has a boxed sapphire crystal that mimics the old plastic crystals found on vintage watches, whilst offering vastly superior scratch  resistance. 

The Oris x Cervo Volante Big Crown

Of course, whilst it’s common for brands to make their vintage reissues look, well, vintage, Oris has decided to update its classic designs with bold colours. The brand’s Big Crown Pointer Date model is the perfect example of this. The design was first introduced in 1938 and is distinguished by its legible dial and unusual date feature, which uses a fourth hand to “point” to the date printed on the edge of the dial. Several variations are available, but my favourite is the Oris x Cervo Volante collaboration which features a stunning green fumé dial and a strap made from sustainably-sourced deer leather. Whilst these features give the watch a contemporary twist, the base design also has several vintage touches like a domed sapphire crystal, a “cathedral” handset, and a coin edge bezel.

The Oris x Cervo Volante Big CrownThe Oris x Cervo Volante Big Crown
The Omega Seamaster 300 Co-axial Master ChronometerThe Omega Seamaster 300 Co-axial Master Chronometer

The Omega Seamaster 300 Co-axial Master Chronometer


Nostalgia is so closely tied to our perceptions of our watches because they’re often heirlooms. Because of the often significant cost of purchasing a luxury watch, a lot of us view them as prized possessions and will use their purchase to mark significant events in our lives. In turn, we attach a great deal of sentimental value to our watches, and they become something we look to pass down to our children. As a brand with an incredibly rich history, Omega often draws on its past models to inspire its current catalogue, and that’s the case with its Seamaster 300 Co-axial Master  Chronometer. The watch is based on the first Seamaster 300 that Omega launched in 1957, but it’s a thoroughly modern interpretation of the original design, with a dial print whose colour is designed to mimic the patina that occurs
on vintage pieces. In addition to being a capable dive watch, the Seamaster 300 uses Omega’s calibre 8912 automatic movements, which is resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gausses and a METAS-certified Master Chronometer. 

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pioneer Mechanical Chrono


As you might expect, military-issued watches have become highly collectable over the years, a trend that Hamilton has taken full advantage of, given their extensive history of supplying watches to the British military. This Khaki Aviation  Pioneer Mechanical Chrono is closely based on a chronograph Hamilton made for the Royal Air Force in the 1970s, and has a host of modern upgrades, such as a manually wound movement with a 60-hour power reserve and anti-magnetic silicon balance spring. This makes it a great way to scratch that itch for a vintage military watch, without having to sacrifice build quality by getting a vintage piece. 

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pioneer Mechanical ChronoThe Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pioneer Mechanical Chrono

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