Vintage watches for men from the 1950’s: Time-traveling Fashion Statements with Classic Designs


vintage watches 1950

Vintage watches from the 1950’s are highly sought after by watch collectors and enthusiasts around the world. These timepieces offer a glimpse into a bygone era of elegance and style, and often feature unique and intricate designs that are difficult to replicate in modern watches.

During the 1950’s, watches were seen as more than just a practical timekeeping device – they were also a status symbol and a fashion accessory. As a result, many of the watches from this era feature bold, eye-catching designs with a range of different complications and features.

From iconic designs like the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster to more obscure models from brands like Longines and Zenith, there is a vintage watch from the 1950’s to suit every taste and budget. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or a casual watch enthusiast, a vintage watch from this era is a timeless addition to any collection.

3 Popular Vintage watches for men from the 1950’s

1. Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner is a legendary dive watch that was first introduced in the 1950’s. With its classic, minimalist design and robust construction, it quickly became a favorite of both professional divers and watch enthusiasts alike. The Submariner features a unidirectional rotating bezel, luminous hour markers and hands, and a water-resistant case that can withstand depths of up to 100 meters.

Early 1950’s models had a simple, no-date dial, while later models introduced features such as a date display and a Cyclops lens to magnify the date. The Submariner’s durability and precision have made it a true icon of the watch world, and it remains one of Rolex‘s most popular and recognizable models to this day.

rolex submariner watch

Prices start at $8.000.

2. Breitling Navitimer

The Breitling Navitimer is an iconic pilot’s watch that was first introduced in the 1950’s. With its distinctive design and advanced functionality, it quickly became a favorite of pilots and aviation enthusiasts. The Navitimer features a slide rule bezel that allows pilots to perform a range of calculations, including airspeed, distance, and fuel consumption. It also has a chronograph function that can measure elapsed time and split times, making it a valuable tool for pilots who need to time their flights.

The Navitimer’s rugged construction and reliable movement have made it a favorite of pilots and adventurers for decades. In the 1950’s, it was powered by a hand-wound movement, but later models introduced automatic and quartz movements. Today, the Navitimer remains a popular and highly coveted timepiece among collectors and aviation enthusiasts, with its classic design and advanced functionality still capturing the spirit of aviation’s golden age.

Breitling Navitimer 1950

Prices start at $4.500.

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3. Omega Seamaster

The Omega Seamaster is a classic dress watch that first appeared in the 1940’s and remained popular through the 1950’s. Its elegant design and advanced functionality made it a favorite of businessmen, diplomats, and other stylish gentlemen of the era. The Seamaster often features a stainless steel case, a clean, uncluttered dial, and an automatic movement that offers precise timekeeping without the need for manual winding.

Some models also include a date display or a second time zone function, making it a versatile timepiece for travelers. The Seamaster’s durability and reliability made it a popular choice for both everyday wear and more formal occasions. In the 1950’s, Omega also introduced a version of the Seamaster with a waterproof case, making it a suitable choice for divers as well.

Omega Seamaster 1950

Prices usually start at $4.500.

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3 “Affordable” Vintage watches for men from the 1950’s

1. Timex Marlin

The Timex Marlin is a classic dress watch that was first introduced in the 1950’s. With its understated design and reliable performance, it quickly became a favorite of budget-conscious consumers who wanted a stylish and functional timepiece without breaking the bank. The Marlin features a simple, round case, a clean white dial with black Arabic numerals, and a reliable manual-wind movement that offers accurate timekeeping without the need for batteries.

The Marlin’s durability and affordability made it a popular choice for everyday wear, and it was often seen on the wrists of students, professionals, and other working-class individuals. In the 1950’s, the Marlin also introduced a version with a waterproof case, making it a suitable choice for outdoor activities as well. Today, the Marlin remains a beloved and iconic watch among vintage watch collectors and enthusiasts.

Timex Marlin 1950

Prices usually start at $250.

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2. Hamilton Khaki Field Watch

The Hamilton Khaki Field Watch is a timepiece that has withstood the test of time, and for good reason. This iconic watch first made its debut in the 1950’s and has since become a beloved classic among watch enthusiasts and adventurers alike. The Khaki Field Watch is a military-inspired timepiece that embodies both style and functionality. Its rugged design, durable stainless steel case, and bold Arabic numerals make it easy to read and perfect for outdoor activities.

This watch also features a reliable automatic movement that provides precise timekeeping, making it a reliable companion on any adventure. The Khaki Field Watch’s timeless design and exceptional performance have made it a popular choice for generations of soldiers, explorers, and outdoor enthusiasts. With its history rooted in the military, the Hamilton Khaki Field Watch is a true symbol of adventure and a testament to the durability and reliability of the Hamilton brand.

Hamilton Khaki Field 1950

Prices usually start at $450.

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3. Tissot Visodate

The Tissot Visodate is a timepiece that exudes elegance and sophistication. Introduced in the 1950’s, this classic dress watch has stood the test of time and remains a beloved favorite among discerning gentlemen today. Its clean and simple design features elongated hour markers, a date display, and a sleek stainless steel case that gives the watch a refined and timeless appearance. An automatic movement ensures precise timekeeping without the need for manual winding, making it a reliable choice for any occasion.

The Visodate’s versatility and durability make it a popular choice for both formal events and everyday wear. Tissot‘s attention to detail and commitment to excellence have made the Visodate a sought-after timepiece among watch enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.

Tissot Visodate 1950

Prices usually start at $375.

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FYI: If you love vintage watches, feel free to also check out my favorite pocket watches.

What materials were commonly used to make vintage watches from the 1950’s?

In the 1950’s, vintage watches were commonly made using a variety of materials, including:

  1. Stainless steel: This durable and corrosion-resistant material was a popular choice for watch cases and bracelets.
  2. Gold: Both yellow and white gold were frequently used to create luxury watches, particularly for dress watches.
  3. Leather: Leather watch straps were commonly used in the 1950’s, often in black or brown.
  4. Acrylic: Acrylic crystals were commonly used for the watch face, as they were inexpensive and easy to produce.
  5. Brass: This material was often used for the movements and other internal components of watches.
  6. Plastic: Some watches in the 1950’s were made with plastic cases, which were lightweight and affordable.

What are some common features of vintage watches from the 1950’s?

Vintage watches from the 1950’s often had certain design features and technical specifications that were common during that era. Here are some of the most common features found in vintage watches from the 1950’s:

  1. Manual-winding movements: Most watches in the 1950’s were manual-winding, meaning that they required the wearer to wind the watch daily in order to keep it running.
  2. Small to medium-sized cases: Vintage watches from the 1950’s typically had smaller case sizes than modern watches, with diameters ranging from around 34mm to 38mm.
  3. Simple and classic designs: Many vintage watches from the 1950’s had simple and classic designs, with clean dials and minimal complications.
  4. Leather straps: Leather straps were a popular choice for vintage watches in the 1950’s, and many watches came with high-quality leather straps as standard.
  5. Silver or white dials: Silver or white dials were commonly used on vintage watches in the 1950’s, with clear and easy-to-read markings and hands.
  6. Domed acrylic crystals: Domed acrylic crystals were commonly used in vintage watches from the 1950’s, and many collectors appreciate the unique appearance and nostalgic feel of these crystals.
  7. Water resistance: While water resistance was not as common in vintage watches from the 1950’s as it is in modern watches, some models were designed to be water-resistant to a certain degree.

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