Here’s the thing about vintage watches; it is fundamentally a “discolored” or “aesthetically damaged” watch in all important respects. The aging of watches, or what many of us would refer to as patina, has its own unfathomable beauty that collectors absolutely go crazy for. It definitely goes much deeper than simply having ‘character’, it is to embrace the unique appearance of a timepiece that lived through years of aging, and no two watches age exactly the same way. The Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, or the view centered on the acceptance of flaws and imperfections, is often tossed around in the watch community, especially in the sector of vintage or vintage-inspired watches. Indeed, the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but often these vintage pieces are rather fragile and impractical for a watch to be worn as a daily driver, and not everyone wants to ruin their newly-acquired rare 60s vintage dive watch with a gorgeous tropic diat costing a small fortune.
With that being said, Steinhart announced their latest collaboration with Gnomon Watches to release a brand new Ocean 39 model with a sensational tropical dial — just to take things up a notch in the scene of vintage-inspired watches. For those of you unfamiliar with certain qualities of a vintage watch that downright excite hardcore collectors, “tropical” dials are dials on vintage watches, usually made with a mixture of paint mistakenly intended to protect the dial from discoloration, that have experienced oxidation over time causing them to develop a charming and highly sought-after faded brown patinated look.
Following the success of the Steinhart Ocean 39 Marine Black Limited Edition model designed in collaboration with Gnomon Watches, Steinhart’s latest Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi – Gnomon Exclusive unfolds with a retro 39mm case diameter in a familiar 316L stainless steel case construction we’ve seen on previous releases, hitting right in the sweet spot for a dive watch drawing a strong inspiration from the 60s period. For many years, Steinhart has been consistently delivering impressive models both in their Ocean 39 lineup and their other collections, upholding Günter Steinhart’s philosophy of producing well engineered and great looking timepieces with an honest price tag — and this latest release definitely reflects on this belief with a case and bracelet that exhibits an exceptional level of quality in its build and execution.
Taking a closer look at the Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi – Gnomon Exclusive, the ‘two-liner’ printed text and old radium SuperLuminova accompanying the “chocolate” tropical no-date dial is certainly a winning formula, these are alluring vintage elements found on highly desired and the rarest of vintage pieces; it is almost as if this release is made explicitly for avid vintage watch enthusiasts. The icing on the cake with this old-school dive watch design is definitely the highly-domed acrylic plexiglass crystal, producing a warm nostalgic vibe. While plexiglass crystals are usually reserved for Steinhart’s limited models, having it present on this latest release is really gratifying.
Exclusively available at Gnomon Watches, Steinhart will only be producing the Ocean 39 Tropic Plexi – Gnomon Exclusive in small, limited quantities each year. Stay tuned and get set for Steinhart’s phenomenal new Ocean 39 introduction, for it will take you back to the sixties.