In the 1960’s, the world was in the midst of a technological revolution, with space exploration and deep-sea diving capturing the imagination of the public. As adventurers explored the depths of the ocean, they relied on highly specialized equipment, including the dive watch. These watches had to withstand the extreme pressures of the deep and keep accurate time in the most challenging environments.
The 1960’s was a golden age of dive watch design, with some of the most iconic and enduring models being produced during this time. From Rolex and Omega to Blancpain and Seiko, watchmakers around the world were pushing the boundaries of what was possible, creating timepieces that were not only functional but also beautiful. Today, vintage dive watches from the 1960’s are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, prized for their timeless design, historical significance, and rugged durability.
My Top 5 Popular Vintage dive watches from the 1960’s
1. Rolex Submariner
The Rolex Submariner is an enduring symbol of adventure and achievement that has captured the hearts and minds of watch enthusiasts and adventurers for over half a century. Since its introduction in the 1950’s, the Submariner has been the benchmark by which all other dive watches are measured. With its iconic design, waterproof Oyster case, and rotating bezel, the Submariner has been trusted by professional divers and adventurers around the world to keep accurate time in the most challenging environments.
But the Submariner is more than just a tool for exploring the deep. It’s a watch that embodies the spirit of adventure and the pursuit of excellence. It’s a symbol of the human desire to push the boundaries of what’s possible, to explore the unknown and conquer our fears. And it’s a timeless reminder that with determination, focus, and hard work, anything is possible.
This watch has stood the test of time, evolving with the times yet remaining true to its heritage. It’s a watch that has been worn by some of the greatest explorers and athletes in history, from Jacques Cousteau to James Bond. And it continues to inspire new generations of adventurers and Rolex watch enthusiasts around the world.
Prices start at around $8.000.
2. Omega Seamaster 300
The vintage Omega Seamaster 300 is a true icon of the watch world, with a rich history since 1957. Originally designed for use by military and professional divers, the Seamaster 300 quickly gained a reputation as one of the most rugged and reliable dive watches on the market.
One of the most unique aspects of the Seamaster 300 is its timeless design, which has remained largely unchanged since its introduction in the late 1950’s. With its sleek black dial, white numerals, and distinctive arrow-shaped hour hand, the Seamaster 300 is a watch that has stood the test of time and continues to inspire watch enthusiasts around the world.
But the Seamaster 300 is more than just a pretty face. This watch is built to perform in the most challenging environments, with a reliable automatic movement that keeps accurate time even under extreme pressure. The watch is also equipped with a durable case and crystal that can withstand the rigors of deep dives and other demanding activities.
Prices start at around $4.500.
3. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms
The vintage Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is a legendary dive watch that was first introduced in 1953. Designed to meet the needs of professional divers and military personnel, the Fifty Fathoms quickly gained a reputation as one of the most rugged and reliable dive watches on the market.
One of the most unique features of the Fifty Fathoms is its innovative design. The watch was the first to feature a rotating bezel for measuring dive time, which quickly became a standard feature on dive watches. The watch also featured luminous hands and markers for visibility in low light conditions, and a waterproof case that could withstand depths of up to 50 fathoms (approximately 91 meters).
In terms of performance, this watch is powered by a reliable automatic movement that is built to withstand the rigors of deep sea diving. The watch is also equipped with a durable case and crystal that can withstand the pressure of deep dives and other demanding activities.
Prices start at around $13.500.
4. Breitling Superocean
The Breitling Superocean is a dive watch that was first introduced in the 1950s. Over the years, the Superocean has become known for its rugged design, reliable performance, and impressive functionality.
One of the key features of the Superocean is its impressive water resistance. The watch is designed to withstand depths of almost 3300 feet (1000 meters), making it an ideal choice for serious divers and underwater explorers. The watch is also equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel that allows divers to track their dive time, as well as luminous hands and markers for visibility in low light conditions.
In terms of performance, the Superocean is powered by a reliable automatic movement that is built to withstand the rigors of deep sea diving. The watch is also equipped with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use, as well as a durable stainless steel case that is built to last.
But the Superocean is more than just a functional dive watch. It also features a stylish design that is both sporty and sophisticated, with a range of color and strap options that allow wearers to customize their look. The Superocean is a watch that is equally at home in the boardroom as it is on the beach.
Prices start at around $4200.
5. Seiko 62MAS
The Seiko 62MAS is a dive watch that was first introduced by the Japanese watchmaker in 1965. The watch is named after its water resistance rating of 150 meters and its production year, 1962. Over the years, the 62MAS has become a favorite among watch enthusiasts and divers alike, thanks to its reliable performance and distinctive design.
One of the most unique features is its striking dial design, which features a combination of Arabic numerals and stick markers for easy readability. The watch is also equipped with luminous hands and markers for visibility in low light conditions, as well as a rotating bezel for measuring dive time.
In terms of performance, this watch is powered by a reliable automatic movement that is built to withstand the rigors of deep sea diving. The watch is also equipped with a durable stainless steel case and a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use.
Despite its functional design, the 62MAS also has a stylish look that is both sporty and sophisticated. The watch is available with a range of strap options, including a classic stainless steel bracelet and a comfortable rubber strap.
Prices start at around $1650.
What makes vintage dive watches from the 1960’s so special?
Vintage dive watches from the 1960’s are considered special for several reasons. First, they represent a significant era in the history of dive watches, when many of the design features and technical innovations that are still used today were first introduced. This includes features such as rotating bezels, luminous dials and hands, and water-resistant cases.
Second, vintage dive watches from the 1960’s often have a unique and distinctive design that is different from modern dive watches. Many collectors appreciate the classic styling and retro feel of these watches, as well as the high-quality materials and craftsmanship that went into their production.
Third, these watches have a certain mystique and nostalgia associated with them. They are often associated with the pioneering spirit of exploration and adventure, and many watch enthusiasts and collectors are drawn to the history and stories behind these timepieces.
How has the design of dive watches changed since the 1960’s?
The design of dive watches has undergone significant changes since the 1960’s, reflecting advances in technology, changing fashion trends, and the evolving needs of divers and other water sports enthusiasts. Here are some of the key ways in which the design of dive watches has changed over the years:
- Size: Dive watches have generally gotten larger over time, with many modern models featuring cases that are 42mm or larger in diameter. In contrast, vintage dive watches from the 1960’s were typically smaller, with cases that ranged from 35mm to 40mm in diameter.
- Materials: While stainless steel remains a popular choice for dive watch cases, modern watches may also feature materials such as ceramic, titanium, or carbon fiber. Similarly, modern dive watches may use sapphire crystal instead of the plexiglass or mineral glass found on vintage models.
- Water Resistance: Advances in sealing technology and materials have allowed modern dive watches to achieve even higher levels of water resistance than their vintage counterparts. Many modern dive watches can withstand depths of 200 meters or more, compared to the 100-150 meter ratings of many vintage models.
- Features: While vintage dive watches typically featured a rotating bezel, luminous hands and markers, and a date window, modern dive watches may also include additional features such as depth gauges, compasses, and chronographs.
- Style: Modern dive watches come in a wide range of styles, from sporty and utilitarian to sleek and stylish. In contrast, vintage dive watches from the 1960’s generally had a more rugged and functional look, with less emphasis on fashion and more emphasis on practicality.