As more and more watch brands begin to jump on the bandwagon of producing models inspired by the past or recreating past references, we watch lovers find ourselves consistently on the edge of our seats looking out for what our favorite brands have to offer next. Even so, for the longest time, watch collecting was inherently divided into two main brackets; vintage and modern. The former provided an enchanting connection to a bygone era, a piece of history and some really pleasing patina while the latter brings state-of-the-art watchmaking and innovative engineering for the modern day watch connoisseur. Lately, a third grouping of timepieces has entered the limelight, a classification of watches that embraces elements from both vintage and modern watches. To kick start the year of 2022, I’ll be highlighting some of my best picks for neo-vintage timepieces that recall charismatic elements of the past while offering reliable, contemporary mechanics. Let’s dive right in!
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Evant Polestar Pardon My Blue
Commencing the list with a striking model coming from a fascinating Gnomon-exclusive brand, the Evant Polestar Pardon My Blue is a truly engrossing (and distinctly blue) dive watch that perfectly expresses a design drawing inspiration from the past and the present. Upholding Evant’s intriguing ethos of fusing modernistic designs with vintage touches, it is easy to see why this piece made the list with its bombé lugs reminiscent of 70s case designs beautifully-designed with a pleasing futuristic aesthetic. Most prominently, the star of the show here is definitely the smoothly polished full blue DLC (diamond-like carbon) coated case which is unlike anything I’ve seen. Coming from a rather young brand, achieving a bold design like this is what many enthusiasts aspire to look for in a watch offering a unique proposition, and Evant absolutely nailed it.
Hitori Ryukyu Diver Tropic Green
For a relatively affordable pick, the Hitori Ryukyu Diver Tropic Green from independent watch brand Hitori Watch Co. really shines as a well-crafted Japanese-inspired mechanical tool watch jam packed with attractive looks and specifications. The overall case design beautifully harks back the distinctive appearance of 60s Japanese skin divers, evoking a familiar sense of nostalgia. Nevertheless, the refined multi-finished exterior, pleasing dimensions and captivating dial splendidly showcases the brand’s value-driven watchmaking philosophy, delivering a watch that looks back at the past for inspiration, yet adopting a forward-looking ethos, allowing fellow watch lovers to own a robust timepiece that will hold its own for many years to come.
Evant Tropic Diver 39 Royal
Perhaps one of the highly-anticipated models from Evant, the Tropic Diver series, has recently made its comeback with an entire suite of impressive upgrades — and I just had to feature a gorgeous piece like this on this month’s Lookbook, especially for a collection inspired by both modernist design elements and vintage aesthetics. Right away, the steel “beads-of-rice” bracelet and convex ceramic bezel insert portrays a compelling vintage-inspired appearance, cohesively blending with the rather futuristic-oriented dial design. Powered by a reliable Swiss-made SW200-1 automatic movement, the specs sheet alone already looks exciting on its own, but the astonishing execution and design is the real icing on the cake.
Dietrich SD-1 Tropic Green – Gnomon Exclusive
Throughout this list, the Dietrich SD-1 Tropic Green – Gnomon Exclusive is definitely my favorite of the bunch when it comes to a neo-vintage timepiece capturing both the avant-garde and retro side of things. As a masterpiece by creative French designer and brand founder Emmanuel Dietrich, the watch perfectly incorporates the core design scope of Dietrich with stunning elements of 1960s recreational dive watches. Considering its price range, presenting such formidable specifications, including a phenomenal sapphire dial, this is one true game changer for Dietrich and a remarkable offering for those who are looking for a unique proposition.
For many years, Steinhart has been continuously bringing us incredible Swiss-made mechanical timepieces packing a ton of value, and they’ve really expanded the watchmaking boundaries of the brand with every release. To end off this month’s Lookbook, I’m giving the spotlight to a Gnomon Exclusive model from Steinhart that will undoubtedly call forth a burst of passionate fervour for those who are into the field of vintage watches. From the tropical “chocolate” dial to the faded “ghost” grey bezel, the watch exudes heaps of vintage character in a solidly-built exterior and reliable Swiss-made workhorse beneath — familiar attributes that we’ve come to love from the brand.
Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.