Ideas for 1966 vintage, please
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  1. #1
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    Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    I've started looking at acquiring a birthyear watch from 1966. I've done some cursory searches on the bay to get an idea of what is available. So far I've seen some Omegas, Lingines and Zeniths in the styles that I like, e.g. dress watches like the old Seamasters, Connies, De Villes, Flagships. I have no preference in terms of central or small seconds as long as the overall look "works". I'd prefer no date, but I'm OK with it. Preferrably stainless steel over gold, again I'm not married to this idea. I think gold indices and hands can work quite well with a SS case.
    I wouldn't want to spend more than $400 (preferrably much less) and for that I'd like it to be in good working order with some patina, I don't think a vintage watch should look like it just came out of a shop window.
    So, any suggestions for other brands/models that I should look out for?
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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    Connie's of that vintage will likely be over budget but careful shopping could net you a Seamaster, I'd give them an edge simply for repairability, parts are easily obtainable and cheap (relatively speaking). I like the Flagships for a dress watch alot, Zeniths coming in 3rd.

    And now for something completely different......

    Normally I wouldn't recommend this when someone is looking for a vintage dresser, but it's in your age range, although not dressy it is WAY cool.

    A Bulova Spaceview!

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    I think the whole "Space" name is very mid-60ish, the electronic thing is pretty cool as it was fairly new still in 66. The Skeleton concept was very rare in that time, and the colors scream "Look at me!" AND, they hum. Yep, hum. Cooler than a sweep second hand, beats the snot outta a modern quartz jump second.
    Last edited by Donf; October 11th, 2013 at 18:41.
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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    It is going to be difficult to tie many of those watches to a specific year. Bulova made many interesting mechanical watches with a Self Winding movement back then and their watches included a dating system that identified a specific year of manufacture. Below is a site that decodes those dates. So search for Bulova watches and you should find one well within your price range. Connies will be well beyond.


    Bulova Date Codes | myBulova.com
    Last edited by John MS; October 11th, 2013 at 18:44.
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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Donf View Post
    Connie's of that vintage will likely be over budget but careful shopping could net you a Seamaster, I'd give them an edge simply for repairability, parts are easily obtainable and cheap (relatively speaking). I like the Flagships for a dress watch alot, Zeniths coming in 3rd.

    And now for something completely different......

    Normally I wouldn't recommend this when someone is looking for a vintage dresser, but it's in your age range, although not dressy it is WAY cool.

    A Bulova Spaceview!

    Name:  Schaar.1966.Spaceview.gif
Views: 288
Size:  60.0 KB

    I think the whole "Space" name is very mid-60ish, the electronic thing is pretty cool as it was fairly new still in 66. The Skeleton concept was very rare in that time, and the colors scream "Look at me!" AND, they hum. Yep, hum. Cooler than a sweep second hand, beats the snot outta a modern quartz jump second.
    Don, I like the idea. It doesn't have to be a dress watch, I have modern ones plenty already. A fun watch sounds good.

  6. #5
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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Donf View Post
    Connie's of that vintage will likely be over budget but careful shopping could net you a Seamaster, I'd give them an edge simply for repairability, parts are easily obtainable and cheap (relatively speaking). I like the Flagships for a dress watch alot, Zeniths coming in 3rd.

    And now for something completely different......

    Normally I wouldn't recommend this when someone is looking for a vintage dresser, but it's in your age range, although not dressy it is WAY cool.

    A Bulova Spaceview!


    I think the whole "Space" name is very mid-60ish, the electronic thing is pretty cool as it was fairly new still in 66. The Skeleton concept was very rare in that time, and the colors scream "Look at me!" AND, they hum. Yep, hum. Cooler than a sweep second hand, beats the snot outta a modern quartz jump second.


    I'm a big Accutron fan, but I'd not get a spaceview. The vast majority of them are conversions, and not original. Plus, they just look cheap, IMHO.

    I'd get an Accutron Astronaut, with the "swiss" bezel, or day/night bezel and original "bullet" band... maybe the "coffin" band. If you look around, you'll find some with second hands that have lume, although most did not. Lots of variation on the dials too, with most being simply "painted" markers, and some applied markers. Several colors of faces were also available, although black was the most common. Love the acrylic crystals on these, and they look very vintage! Do a Google image search for "Accutron Astronaut" and you'll see the variety.

    Last year, I had a '67 version (my b. year) with the stainless bezel & after servicing, it was a great watch! I picked up mine for ~ $300 & had another $150 in servicing . They seem to have gone up in value in the last year or two, but you can still find a nice original one (which is what you want) for $400-$500ish. I'm always on the lookout for a good Astronaut! (If you get one, send me a PM & I'll tell you a great place to have it serviced. VERY reasonable & quality work!)

    The only bad thing is that you have to live with a 38mm case, which seems crazy-small in today's oversized watch world. My buddy would tease me about wearing a "woman's watch". lol!
    Last edited by Genebe; October 11th, 2013 at 19:11.
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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    Depends on what you want to spend. On a cheaper end, I woudl get a simpler type of Eterna-matic. You can find some good ones on the $150-$250 on eBay.

    On a higher tier, and probably my favorite option, would be a vintage Seamaster (the ones from that era are beautiful). You can find great seamasters from $400 on eBay - and they will go all the way to $2000, depending on material, conservation, etc. In my opinion, vintage Seamasters are the quintessential vintage watch model.

    Keep in mind that, though - most often than not, any vintage timepiece you end up getting will need a service - if not immediately, pretty soon. This would increase your cost quite a bit.

    Good luck! This is a great quest!
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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    Actually, I wouldn't mind 38mm at all or smaller. I have 7.5" wrists and I think my 35mm Rado and Nomos wear quite well.
    I really like those old Seamasters, although some of the cheaper ones look a bit mildewy. The prices I've seen on the better specimens is exactly why I've asked for other ideas. The old Longines seem to be bit less. I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for something that has been serviced and is keeping good time.
    Last edited by Fi33pop; October 11th, 2013 at 21:06.

  9. #8
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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    I wanted (still do, actually) the same thing. I'm younger than you, but had the same idea a few years ago and a hunting I went. I found a few, but couldn't settle, and to be honest, I'm still looking.

    In the meantime, I found a Seiko Speedtimer not only from my birthyear, but the serial # matched the month as well. So, the watch was made on the same month and year as my birth. I bought it immediately, and had it properly serviced - you could do the same for your $400.

    Mine looks like this, and it's a great watch. No running seconds which is a bummer for me, but that's just how the 6138 watches are.



    I'm not sure how old the 6138 is, but I know that Seiko made the Bellmatic in the 60's and that would be a pretty cool watch to own.
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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    I wonder if on the right day you could find a super compressor dive watch for around $400:

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    Re: Ideas for 1966 vintage, please

    Hamilton Thinomatic or Universal Geneve Polerouter. They both come with micro-rotor. If you are willing to invest into a customized see through caseback, you could admire the beauty of a design which is very rare in modern pieces.
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