Introducing our recommended vintage chronograph watches!

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A friendly chronograph watch

The chronographs that are popular today date back to the 1960s and early 1970s.

What’s interesting is that consumers these days are savvy and well-informed, not just about the brands they’re interested in, but also about market trends.

People living in the information society are already aware that most of today's big name brands set and represent trends themselves, so it is possible to find great watches from lesser known brands and have them for a lot less than the big name watches.

Furthermore, the existence of Internet message boards and retail stores has allowed consumers to shop smarter and become educated enough to make the right purchase, even when it comes to one-hit wonders and unknown watches.

Chronographs from this era tend to be expensive, especially if the watch has a high-end case, multiple registers, an unusual overall design, or was intended for racing.

So let’s take a look at the top 10 approachable chronographs that are rising in price but still within reach!

By the way, the rankings don't have any particular meaning (;・∀・)

Valijoux 72 in general

Chronograph wristwatch movement Valjoux series

This is a classic movement that has been extremely popular among triple-register products. The photos show some of the branded products from Fortis, UG, and Gallet.

This type can also be found in brands such as Daytona and Carrera. It has a relatively sturdy body that serves its purpose well, and it feels great on your wrist.

The column wheel debate is divided, but if you choose the column wheel type, why not enjoy it as a good feature?

There are so many brands jumping on this trend, and many of them still cost over $1,080, but this won't last. The more traditional the watch case, the more of a downside it is.

Gallet Multichron 12

Gallet Multichron 12

This watch has a lot of great features! Galette is a historic brand that also makes watches that can be used in outer space.

The company has a history of making watches for pilots, including the Flying Officer's Watch.

It's no surprise that a wristwatch that can be used in outer space can cost over 500,000 yen Σ(・ω・ノ)ノ!

The Multichron 12 models have an old-fashioned look with their gold leaf finish, but at the same time they are housed in a modern 37cc case size and are available with movements such as the aforementioned V72 and Excelsior Park 40.

This is a product that Jim Clark wore, so it will likely be a reliable companion!

This beautiful and well-crafted chronograph was previously available for under $2,160, but has now risen in price to $3,240.

Wakmann Triple Date

Chronograph watch Wakmann Triple Date

The classic case, striking hands, and register are all ideal styles (#^^#)

The movement is based on the Valjoux 72 and is very similar to the UG Tri-Compax.

Be careful when choosing your movement, as you need to pay attention to maintenance costs for the rest of your life.

Previously, the most expensive one was around 87,000 yen, but now it sells for over 130,000 yen.


Chronograph watch Yema

The French watch brand YEMA was acquired by Seiko at one point, but they produced some excellent chronographs before that.

Many of the 1960s models have early Autavia-style knobs and bezels and are available for under 76,000 yen.

This brightly colored chronograph with a yacht timer has a strong presence and is sure to become the focal point of any fashion outfit.

I would rather use this brand's products when I'm in the sun than indoors (*^-^*)

By the way, in the US, YEMA is often listed under the name Le Jour, so try using this name when searching for products!

Calibre 11 General

Chronograph watches: Caliber 11 in general

Along with Seiko's 6139 movement, the Caliber 11 holds the distinction of being the first automatic chronograph.

Unlike Seiko, it was a Swiss-based brand, just like Heuer, Breitling, and Hamilton.

This movement is relatively robust and was built for long-term use.

The watch is thick and stands out quite a bit on your wrist, so it's likely to be a good conversation starter.

The price would be around 170,000 yen today, which may seem expensive, but considering the historical importance of the piece, it is probably justified.

I'd love to wear a historic vintage watch on my wrist and attend a vintage car show or race.

Wittnauer Professional 2 Register

Chronograph watch Wittnauer Professional 2 register

I've been a big fan of the wine red receiving grooves for many years, but the price has been rising rapidly recently.

This chronograph is available in a variety of movements, from cam to column wheel.

What was previously available for under 65,000 yen is now often priced at over 108,000 yen.

In particular, items that are in good working order or have beautiful bands tend to be more expensive.

Nivada Grenchen/Croton Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver

Nivada Grenchen/Croton Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver

Although it's a rather long name, I like it as much as Wittnauer, which I introduced earlier.

However, this product was previously available for under 49,000 yen, but the price has now risen to 108,000 yen.

I wonder why?

One of the reasons may be that they are just the right size, have sophisticated designs and colors, and have a strong presence. Like Wittnauer, they are available in a variety of movements, and also come in a wide variety of dial colors and display formats.

The hands of the clock appear to be slightly corroded, but I think this adds to the charm of the clock.

Personally, in the past I had the impression that this chronograph was for men with a relatively low income, but now I think the opposite is true and that it is a nice product with a lot of character.

Heuer Camaro

Chronograph watch Heuer Camaro

This is probably one of the best affordable chronographs out there!

This is a vintage Heuer chronograph from the 1960s. It has become very popular in recent years, so the price is expected to skyrocket.

People are finally starting to realize that Heuer is a strong, trustworthy brand, just like Rolex and Omega, and sales across the board are going strong, including Heuer's early products.

Camaros are becoming more and more valuable, and while it's getting harder to find one in good condition, there are still plenty of usable ones on the market.

If you want to get it, it's better to do it early (*^_^*)

Vintage Breilting ( especially hand-wound movements )

Chronograph watch: Vintage Breilting

Breilting produced some very fine chronographs from the 1950s through to the mid-1970s, many of which were powered by the Venus Type 178 movement, which gave the V72 a run for its money.

Breitling manual-winding chronographs are the best option for those looking to acquire a vintage chronograph from a familiar watch brand that is still around today.

Due to the wide range of models, prices are relatively stable, but if Heuer products are almost all sold and become difficult to obtain, there is a possibility that customers will suddenly move to Breilting, so if you are interested in buying one, please be careful (#^.^#)

Early 1970s Omega Speedmaster Professionals and Manual-Winding Seamasters

Chronograph watch Omega Speedmaster

The Omega Speedmaster and Seamaster from the early 1970s are very valuable and high quality chronographs. The Speedmaster movement changed from the 321 to the 861 at a certain model.

It is an elaborately designed product with a tritium dial and a slightly dull luster, and has many fans. It is a product that is over 40 years old, but it is still going strong.

Early Speedmasters equipped with the 861 movement are often expensive, costing around 216,000 yen.

The Seamaster, with its round case and refreshing light blue background, is classic and beautiful even without the fact that it was made in the 1970s. Seamasters are more affordable than Speedmasters.

Hot Brands

So let's take a look at some of the brands that are really attracting people in the market!

Rather than introducing brands that have only recently come to prominence, we will focus on brands that have been popular for a long time and are predicted to remain popular in the future.


Tag Heuer Chronograph Watches

Heuer, a name that is well known to anyone with an interest in chronographs, has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

Did you know that for the past few years, numerous media outlets have been claiming that if you're going to spend your hard-earned money, you should go for a racing watch brand?

Some people may have bought products from other brands, such as Rolex, without knowing this.

It's not a bad choice, but if you're buying now, I'd recommend Heuer, which is gaining momentum. They've moved on from the automatic models of the 1970s, such as the Monaco and Autavia, and are now focusing on hand-wound chronographs from the late 1960s.

Like being woken up by a sudden splash of cold water on my face, people began to appreciate the appeal of the Carrera, and it is now said to be the coolest vintage watch of all time.

With its simple yet robust design and comfortable wrist size, the Carrera is as iconic a vintage watch as the Daytona or Speedmaster.

However, it is true that there are fewer of them on the market compared to the Daytona that people praise. Currently, some can be purchased for 540,000 yen, but in the near future, good ones will probably exceed 756,000 yen.

Rolex Daytona Chronograph Watch

While the Carrera has grown more modestly in popularity, the 1960s Autavia has seen its value rise much more rapidly.

Perhaps due to its connection to motorsport, this type of watch is quite difficult to come by in good condition.

The best movement, a stunningly beautiful case, tapered lugs, a perfect dial...

It's no wonder it's so popular (^o^)

Chronograph watch TAG Heuer Carrera

Now let's take a look at some automatic Heuers.

Personally I don't see much value in it, but the price is only going up.

Some people are unable to buy an Autavia made in the 1970s, so they use a Montreal or Verona instead.

If you find a Heuer product that you like, we recommend that you make the purchase as soon as possible.

It sells out quicker than I thought it would ;-;


Omega Speedmaster

Omega is a watch brand that everyone knows.

In particular, the Speedmaster has been loved by many people for many years, and it sells out as soon as it hits the market. It is more famous than the popular watches of today.

Like the Carrera, the Speedmaster is an iconic vintage watch, making Omega watches attractive to anyone considering buying another watch.

It's about 40cm in size, so it looks modern, and its dull luster is beautiful. And more than anything, there's something romantic about the fact that it's connected to space travel.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain one, and while you can currently find one for under 648,000 yen, you'll need to be extremely lucky, and eventually it will become impossible to get one.


Chronograph watch Enicar

You might be surprised to hear this brand mentioned alongside Heuer and Omega, but it's actually a very good brand (#^^#)

Enicar is a much smaller brand than the big, famous brands associated with Jim Clark, and there are fewer models on the market, but I don't think there's anyone who would see an Enicar chronograph, put it on their wrist, and say, "I don't want this!"

It's certainly not a well-known brand, but I have hopes that it will gain popularity over time!

I wouldn't say it will have a huge surge of enthusiastic fans like Universal Geneve, but it could become the next Eberhard.

As for individual models, I'm particularly on the lookout for those with EPSA cases, such as the Sherpa Graph and Aqua Graph.

If you find something you like for under 270,000 yen, you should jump on it right away.

An Enicar chronograph is designed with attention to detail and if you lose it, there is no way to replace it.


Chronograph Watches

Of course, there are other popular brands and models besides those introduced here.

For example, we didn't mention Universal Geneve or Zenith specifically, as these brands have obviously been popular for many years and will likely remain valuable and popular for many years to come.

Chronograph watch Universal Geneve

Even if the chronograph you like doesn't really stand out, the right watch for you will speak to you in some way.

I don't recommend buying a flagship model from a famous brand just for the sake of showing it off.

The best thing is to choose something that you really like and that you truly love (^_-)-☆

The Mass Market for Vintage Chronograph Watches

Recently, it seems like the vintage watch market has generally been growing over the past few years.

So even though they're not in a particularly good financial situation, they seem to be spending their money on luxury items like vintage goods, rather than on cheap, makeshift items!

Why is the vintage market, especially chronographs, doing relatively well?

In my opinion, the reason for this can be summed up in one word.

It's SNS!

In this economic climate, the market is generally growing, including vintage watches, and this is thanks in large part to the power of social media.

Products related to these hobbies were, and still are, highly targeted, and customers had to carefully research specific products before purchasing them.

However, nowadays there are a ton of websites that provide information you can refer to before you buy.

But on the other hand, it also means there is more work to be done.

Online message boards are nothing new, but they do serve to increase purchasing interest among potential collectors.

There is no other place that can bring together so many like-minded people who are interested in a particular brand, genre or model.

And there are watch-focused blogs out there that have a strong following and attract more and more people every day.

There are countless sites with great content, rich content, high quality photography and opinions that help stimulate the market.

You can easily find these sites by searching for chronograph watches!

There are many influential and high-quality websites on the internet.

In addition, the influence of social media apps such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, which can be easily accessed anytime and anywhere, is also likely to be significant.

A chronograph wristwatch equipped with the Valjoux 23

It allows people to easily share their favorite watches whenever they want, making it easy for even the most tech-challenged people to get involved.

Depending on the user's preference, the posted content can be set to be visible to everyone or to be visible only to certain others.

It makes me happy when I get "likes" on the photos I upload, or when people ask me for advice about the watches I posted (^^♪

It feels good to know that others want a product because of your influence.

A generation ago, it was very difficult to gather information, but now it is easy to get information; in fact, there is so much information available that it just comes to you!

Of course, the more information there is, the more likely it is that some of it will be incorrect or unreliable.

However, for discerning consumers, an abundance of information can help them make purchasing decisions, and at the same time, being swamped by a wave of information can increase their desire to buy.

Another way in which social media can help promote the sale of antique products is through the use of images of past stars.

Consumers seem to be more interested in what sports stars and celebrities like to wear than they ever imagined.

The idea that simply showing a photo of an old star wearing the product was enough to earn publicity grew.

While it cannot be said that all consumers are influenced by stars when making purchasing decisions, the overall market picture shows that the impact of star image is significant.

I suppose there are some similarities to coveting a scale model of your favourite race car, or an autograph, or a vintage car.

What makes it interesting to find a connection between a watch and a star is that only a small part of it has been "unearthed" so far.

The possibilities are endless, and there are countless photos waiting to inspire your buying desire.

It is also worth noting that watches are the only accessory that men typically wear.

These facts are also contributing to the market.

It's also worth noting that vintage pieces are understated compared to today's large, imposing watches.

This is why vintage watches are also of interest to women.

Therefore, while we cannot say that the target has doubled, there is no doubt that it is a positive factor.

If you're skeptical, "Do women really wear men's vintage watches?", try putting a Carrera on your wife or girlfriend's wrist.

I'm sure you'll love it and won't be able to put it down ( *´艸`)

By the way, there were also young women who posted pictures of themselves wearing a Breitling Navitimer on Instagram.

It may be surprising, but that rugged, large style is unusual for a women's watch and seems quite innovative.

A woman wearing a Breitling Navitimer

Also, people born in the 1960s and 1970s are currently in (or have already reached) their peak earning years, so they tend to feel a sense of familiarity with and prefer to purchase the things they saw as children and teenagers.

These factors likely have an impact on today's vintage market.

Now, before we move on to analyzing each brand, I would like to conclude my analysis of the general market by talking about the sustainability of the market in general.

Personally, I believe that the favorable trends mentioned above regarding the vintage watch market will continue to some extent.

It is not possible to predict a sudden improvement in your condition, but it is unlikely that your condition will suddenly decline either.

Why do you think?

First of all, a wristwatch is a tool, and for many people it has also been an item that shows their tastes and hobbies.

The task of keeping time is an integral part of modern daily life and is unlikely to become unnecessary in the near future.

Also, although smartwatches have become popular in recent years, it is unlikely that everyone will start wearing such devices on their wrists.

It is predicted that smartwatches will become even more popular in the future, but as the technology is still so new, I think there will continue to be a certain demand for traditional wristwatches.

This is just my personal opinion, but even though humans are becoming more and more reliant on electronic devices, there is something deeply human and sentimental about traditional mechanical wristwatches.

Many people share this sentiment, and I think the role of mechanical watches will remain a kind of sanctuary, escaping the encroachment of electronic devices. I even feel like mechanical watches give us a sense of security.

Smartphones are tools for entertainment, but they are also often associated with work, and if you always wear a smartphone-like electronic device such as a smartwatch, you will likely associate it with work even when you are resting.

Of course, when we say traditional watches, there are many new watches on the market that are not vintage watches, and even if they are not rivals to smartwatches, they will still have to compete with modern, average watches.

However, vintage watches have never been threatened by these newer watches in the past.

Finally, although trends in vintage watch collecting change, recent fashion trends are likely to remain relatively enduring because of their similarity to the newer types of watches being made today.

Compared to previous vintage trends such as the Rolex Bubble Back, the latest trends are more similar in size to newer types of watches, more durable and more classic.

This means that you don't have to worry about what's popular now going out of style anytime soon.

Oh, there's one more thing I wanted to tell you. :-)

Regarding the condition of the product.

If the popularity of vintage watches were to ever wane, I think it would be when the condition of the vintage items deteriorates or parts start to chip.

Right now, we're in a relatively acceptable range in that regard, and there's plenty of demand.

Unfortunately, this situation cannot continue forever, and eventually connoisseurs and collectors will lose interest in worn-out vintage items.

Everyone has made shopping mistakes and ended up buying useless things. I've been one of them (;・∀・)

Ultimately, people want convenience and quality, so enjoy your shopping and take advantage of the situation.

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