Vintage watches 1986 Rolex GMT-Master, 1960s Heuer Carrera 'First Execution Dato 45' and 1961 Rolex Day-Date retailed by Tiffany & Co.
As part of the 2022 announcement, Rolex teased a twist on its classic GMT-Master not so furtively, so we've found a twist of our own - a 1986 Tiffany-marked two-tone GMT. Saori has all the details about that, below.
TAG Heuer, formerly known as Heuer for short, is sure to release an all-new Carrera in the next day or two. Would it be better than a 1960s Heuer Carrera First Execution Dato 45? It remains to be seen. It would be cool to see the date window return to the 12 o’clock position on the Carrera – a nod to the brand’s first attempt at a chronograph with a date complication. Here, it's unlikely that TAG will bring back something resembling a gold-plated Carrera Ref from the '70s. 73655 CH - what a shame. Fortunately, we have a great example this week.
1986 Rolex GMT-Master Ref. 16753 Tiffany & Co. Retail Two Tone
As I write this, I feel a little sad: do I like this watch? I'm back with my dual tone watch conundrum: it's not gold, it's not steel, it feels like it's trying to be everything, but not quite. In my opinion, especially when it comes to two-tone GMT, because I've seen one on a mentor's wrist for years; instinctively, it better belongs to the wrist of a gentleman who has earned his confidence, Pull off a double-breasted navy blue jacket with gold buttons effortlessly. Somehow I don't feel like I'm qualified to wear this watch yet. But after looking at this example and pausing a few times (yes, I have a tendency to overthink it), I decided it was time to switch to this half-gold, half-steel creation. I love the signature on the dial"
Of course, most people associate the Rolex GMT-Master with the blue and red "Pepsi" bezel. As far as Rolex's history goes, "Pepsi" is undoubtedly great and iconic. But that's why I'm now convinced that this black bezel/black dial with a stainless steel and gold case is a good choice. It's not obvious at first that it's a GMT-Master, which is why I love this watch. It somehow transformed itself into something else - perhaps a prettier cousin to Pepsi.
There's a lot going on, but each element feels balanced, coexisting side by side: black bezel, gold printed numerals and gold outer ridge, tritium hour markers, gold surround, gold printed text with "Tiffany & Company." wordmarks strategically Placed below the central pinion, just enough to catch your eye but not too obvious, plus the gold framed phone. It's all done with a steel and gold oyster bracelet. Just writing down these characteristics of the watch sounds like I'm already piling up too many words. But as the old saying goes, "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". With the recent resurgence of dual-tone watches and the current demand for Tiffany's retail dual-signature watches, this GMT-Master is the talk of the week!
1960s Heuer Carrera 'First Execution Dato 45' Ref. 3147S We really liked the addition of a date function to Heuer's earliest watches and round cases bearing the Carrera name. Before digging deeper into the Dato watch, I didn't realize that the watch's predecessor inspired our limited edition, and for my money, it might even be better looking (don't tell Ben). Despite the long tradition of asymmetrical dials, I really like the more balanced look. Also, functionally, I really like being able to look down at the seconds and know that my watch is running.
1961 Rolex Day-Date Reference. 1803 In another week, my other choice is a Rolex - deal with it. The more time I spend in the vintage watch world, the more respect I have for this brand. I started out as a young collector who avoided the idea of a Rolex because most importantly, it was not in my price range and I wanted to find a reason to fall in love with a brand in the stratosphere where I am. The more time I spend with all these watches from the 1940s, 50s, 60s, etc., the more Rolex sticks to it. In the case of this 1961 Day-Date, the design is clearly iconic, but what I found more intriguing was its enduring – this watch can be either a 1991 or a 1961. That is, unless you can spot the details.
Day-Date hasn't changed much in decades; that scores in my book. If you're fluent in vintage Rolex, here are some notes on how early the date is (1961), well, the date. The first of these is more obvious - the alpha hand. This style is a continuation of those you'd find in the "Bubbleback" era of vintage Rolex watches that ended in the 1950s, as many of those references were found with similarly shaped hands. Knowing this, our example starts showing its age in 2022 without looking out of place. In addition, the dial of this watch does not have the usual Rolex sunburst finish, with a straight line extending from the central pinion to the edge of the dial. Instead, our dials have a concentric circle finish. As the circle spreads out and away from the center,
While I'm often leaning toward the sporty end of the vintage Rolex line, this week's date just does it for me this week. Maybe it's those sneaky early details, or just the iconic and unmistakable design, but in any case, this Day-Date deserves a second look -- even for sporty retro lovers.