In Time: Retro Time

The retro look


Published in the May 2013 issue

Whether you saw them in among the monolithic stands at BaselWorld or previewed them at the most recent fine watch auctions, so-called heritage looks in wristwatches are among the hottest things going. Many are based upon famous timepieces, the sort you saw Steve McQueen or Paul Newman wearing back in their heydays. The very ones that command the highest bids at auction.

The fact that ToyWatch, one of the leading purveyors of “perceived luxury” in timepieces, is paying tribute to heritage looks shows just how important the trend has become.

While known for its colorful and eccentric materials in its collection, ToyWatch has expanded its scope to include more than just traditional arm candy. A perfect example of the Italian brand’s breadth of style can be seen in its Vintage Chrono collection, small sized with wide chrono dials inspired by the haute horlogerie of the ’60s and ’70s. The company has expertly replicated designs of the period, complete with racing details, web straps and legible, uncluttered chronograph dials.

Most interesting, however, is the fact that these watches are really like the chronographs that a McQueen would have worn: they are 36 mm instead of the 42 mm-plus cases that now permeate the industry. They prove bigger isn’t necessarily better.

In Time: Retro Time

Retailer Picks

Chisholm’s Jewelry, Lander, WY

As the main street jeweler in Lander, Chisholm’s does a brisk watch business and for good reason: the nearby Wind River Mountains cause cellphone interruptions so residents must rely on watches to tell time.

“Across generations, men just like a quality timepiece. It may be primal as why we like a classic car, motorcycle or a musical instrument or a hunting rifle. A watch is indeed the one item of men’s fashion that still makes a great and special occasion gift.” — Eric Olsen