On a daily basis, we are inundated with requests for our suggestions on finding the "perfect" vintage dress watch. There are of course a multitude of possibilities when considering fine men's timepieces from the past century, but our criteria always remains consistent.
A proper dress watch should be thin and unobtrusive and feature a simple dial layout without unnecessary complication or clutter. Furthermore, it is entirely unnecessary to spend your whole watch budget on a dress piece - there are literally hundreds of fantastic options for relatively little money.
Take this Omega dress watch from the 1950s. It features a thin 37mm stainless steel case with faceted lugs and a manual-winding movement. The silver tone dial is minimalist with applied indices and a printed Omega logo. Its clean appearance is accented nicely by a simple subsidiary seconds register at 6:00 and a set of lovely 'feuille' hands.
These 'jumbo' sized 1950s Omegas aren't a dime a dozen, and far too many of them have been poorly redialed or terribly overpolished. This one is neither!
In the aftermath of World War II, Omega, the prolific Swiss manufacture that had poured most of its production efforts into military-grade wristwatches for pilots and officers, dusted itself off and dived headlong into producing consumer pieces once again. But unlike the pre-war years, Omega sought to build watches that could be worn in more everyday conditions, watches that could look good on the wrist while also standing up to the onslaught of travel, weather and daily use.
Many of the watches produced in the years immediately following the war were infused with the lessons that Omega had learned while producing reliable wristwatches for servicemen; they used stainless steel cases with simple, stalwart movements, kept dials uncluttered and legible and dotted them with radium for added visibility in low-light environs.
Though Omega is perhaps best-known for the sporty Speedmaster orSeamaster lines, the brand also released over the decades—quietly and without much fanfare—dress watches with designs simple enough to catch the eye of any purist.
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