Recommendations for vintage dress watches are one of the most common inquiries we get at analog/shift HQ. While sports watches are generally understood by collectors and enthusiasts, dress pieces have been off their radar for some time. Now that smaller, more delicate timepieces are becoming popular again, choosing one that offers a good blend of looks, construction, history, and originality can be a daunting task. The good news is that there are lots of options!
The challenge lies (as with any vintage watch) in finding a good one. Years of neglect, damage, and over-restoration can make finding a suitable timepiece a burden. In our minds, there are few minimum requirements for a proper dress piece: svelte design, precious metal case (plated or solid), a solid movement, and of course originality.
Omega is a brand that needs no introduction, and in addition to their impressive portfolio of steel divers and chronographs also manufactured a menagerie of dress timepieces throughout the 20th century in their Seamaster line. Of particular delight are their gold men's Deville timepieces from the 1950s and 60s, an example of which we have here.
Featuring a gold case, gold-tone quadrant "crosshair" dial, automatic movement, date function, and thin lugs, this beauty checks all the boxes. Most importantly, it hasn't been refinished or restored in any way (save a genuine replacement crown), and shows its originality brilliantly. An unfortunate number of vintage Omega dress watches have been "over restored" in the past 15 years or so, which makes finding a good original one a difficult but rewarding task. The best part about these timepieces is their value - a historic and truly beautiful dress piece for a fraction of the price of many steel sports watches and divers.
So there you have it, folks. If you're looking to round out your collection with a delightful vintage dress piece, look no further!
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