Frank Sans C video

Have a look in the past with these vintage chronographs

Among new watches of vintage style, the chronograph is the most popular one. Shape and size of the case, design of the push-button, colours on the dial and type of strap: today’s versions pay tribute to historical pieces that carry on the legacy. This is the first selection by Frank Sans C and he’s already working on another video about vintage chronographs…

By Nicolas Yvon

Watchmakers had the very good idea of reissuing their historical pieces. Indeed, they’re now presenting a collection of vintage chronographs that take full advantage of the technological advances of modern watchmaking. 

HAMILTON American Classic Intra-matic Chronograph H, an elegant and versatile chronograph 

The steel Intra-matic Chronograph H models by Hamilton are directly inspired by their first Chronograph A and B of 1968. The versatile 40 mm case and the overall elegance make it the perfect watch for every wrist. The choice will certainly be difficult: Milanese mesh strap (€ 1,945), black leather (€ 1,895), panda dial (white with black sub dials) or “reverse” panda… hard to choose, don’t you think? 

Under the box-shaped sapphire crystal (meaning ultra-domed), you will find a tachymeter scale on the outer edge. This scale, which is related to the automobile world, is not a common feature nowadays. But keep in mind that it allows you to know the average speed of a vehicle over a distance of one thousand meters, that is to say between two kilometre markers. 

Chez Hamilton, les chronographes vintage jouent la carte de l'élégance
Cream-coloured Super-LumiNova hands and markers assert the vintage style of the Intra-matic Chronograph H models.

As for its calibre, the Intra-matic Chronograph H protects the movement H-51 inside the water-resistant (100m). It is also an exclusive hand-wound calibre with a 60 hours power reserve.

Read our detailed data sheet on the Intra-matic Chronograph H panda dial with Milanese mesh strap.

Read our detailed data sheet on the Intra-matic Chrnograph H inverted panda dial with black leather strap.


TISSOT Héritage 1973, a vintage chronograph with a competitive spirit

With the chronograph Héritage 1973 (€ 2,030), Tissot brings back to life a timepiece from 1973: the Tissot Navigator. This illustrious piece has marked the history of the Maison by becoming the symbol of its auto racing partnerships. For example, the Alpine in rallying (1973), Porsche in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1974) and even Formula 1 with a single-seater car in Tissot colours (1977).

Au rayon des chronographes vintage signés Tissot, l'Héritage 1973 s'inspire d'un modèle des années 70.
The Héritage 1973 by Tissot revives the special shape of its predecessor from the 1970s. 

Displaying a 43 mm case, the new 316L model bears the shape than the original one. Like most vintage chronographs of this selection, the Héritage 1973 also holds a panda dial. In this case, a blue background and white sub dials. But there are two other versions in the collection: white panda/black and reverse black/white).

Héritage 1973, l'un des chronographes vintage les plus séduisants chez Tissot
The Héritage 1973 chronograph has a sapphire back through which we can see the beautiful movement.

The leather strap, featuring orange hands and large perforations, asserts with strength and elegance the famous “racing spirit”. Besides, a sapphire back allows us to see the automatic movement, equipped with an oscillating weight that looks like a car’s wheel rim.

Read our detailed data sheet of the chronograph Tissot Héritage 1973 with white and black panda dial.

This vintage instrument also features a small date corrector button at 10 o’clock on the case. Last detail: a limited edition (1973 pieces) was worn on screen by Jean Dujardin, alias Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, in OSS 117: From Africa with Love; A model that, of course, was quickly sold out and is still very sought-after.


TAG HEUER Monaco, a legend in the vintage chronograph world

The Monaco (1969) is, without a doubt, one of the most famous chronographs. And for good reason! The blue petrol dial crossed paths with the blue steel gaze of Steve McQueen and the timepiece became an icon after he wore it on the movie Le Mans (1971).

Steve McQueen avec sa Monaco le film Le Mans
Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans, with Heuer’s chronograph Monaco on his wrist.

We talk a lot about the style of the Monaco and its Hollywood story. But let’s not forget that it is the first water-resistant watch with square shape of the watchmaking history. To learn everything about this icon, read our article 2019, the year of the TAG Heuer Monaco watch.

La Monaco de Tag Heuer est l'un des chronographes vintage les plus célèbres
The Monaco by TAG Heuer hasn’t change much visually, since 1969.

Shape, reverse panda dial with square sub dials, horizontal markers… lots of signature elements for this watch, indeed! It is also different from other vintage chronographs because of the special layout of the functional features. The push-button is in fact on the right but the crown is on the left. A special design for this instrument that is still in collection. € 6,000 for the steel dial version blue dial on a perforated black leather like this “king of cool”.

Read our detailed data sheet on the TAG Heuer chronograph Monaco calibre 11. 


BREITLING Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Curtiss Warhawk, the COSC accuracy

The Breitling Manufacture pays a beautiful tribute to American aircraft manufacturer Curtiss-Wright who built the famous Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (1938-1944). Indeed, it is precisely that aircraft that the Maison put under the spotlight with this 43 mm steel chronograph. While the sapphire case back is enhanced by a graphic of the P-40 Warhawk. It also features the distinctive characteristic created by the Flying Tigers: a shark mouth logo on the nose of the aircraft. 

Parmi les chronographes vintage de Breitling , l'Aviator 8 B01 Chronographe 43 Curtiss Warhawk et un beau spécimen.
The Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 pays tribute to the famous P-40 Warhawk aircraft built by Curtiss Wright.

The aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Curtiss Warhawk (ranging from € 7,100) also bears a bidirectional rotating bezel. That is a feature that was developed for the changes of courses timing.

Breitling placed the Calibre B01 automatic at the heart of this water-resistant (100m) edition. This chronometer is also certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Control (COSC). That is no exception. On the contrary, all watches of the Maison are certified by the COSC.

Aviator 8 B01 Chronographe 43 Curtiss Warhawk
The sapphire back has a Flying Tigers aircraft engraved, recognizable by its shark mouth.

To learn more about the many certifications in chronometry, read our article Maximum accuracy with the Breitling, Tudor and Akrone chronometers.

Read our detailed data sheet on the Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph Curtiss Warhawk with green dial and silver sub dials.


VACHERON CONSTANTIN Historiques Cornes de vache 1955, the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva

Vacheron Constantin, the fine watchmaking Manufacture from Geneva founded in 1755, reinterprets some of its emblematic timekeepers. Like this steel cow horns model, that bears the same name and aesthetic particularity than the 1955 chronograph. This remarkable reference was adorned with four cow horns-shaped lugs! Fun fact: it was the first water-resistant chronograph of the Maison.

The 1955 “cow horns” watch is today one of the most sought-after Vacheron Constatin models by collectors.

A “railway” rail-track minute counter is featured on the two sub dials of the silver dial, and on the outer edge of a tachymeter scale. Very elegant, it displays a 38,5 mm diameter and carefully designed details. The case is also made of steel, and the hands and markers are white gold.

Ce modèle Cornes de vache 1955 Vacheron Constantin prouve que les grandes manufacture traditionnelles de haute horlogerie excellent aussi dans la confection de chronographes vintage
The Vacheron Constantin chronograph displays cow horns lugs like the original piece from 1955.

The Vacheron Constantin timepiece comes with a manual-winding movement (approximately 48 hours of power reserve). Visible on the back it displays impeccable finishing and a column wheel, which is a characteristic of the best chronographs. Indeed, it offers a very soft triggering (very “smooth” as Frank Sans C would say) of the chrono function.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de vache 1955
The chronograph Historiques Cornes de vache 1955 displays the inner workings and the Hallmark of Geneva on the back.

As is often the case with Vacheron Constantin, this edition is also stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva. This independent label, created in 1886, protects the savoir-faire of Geneva watchmakers. Indeed, it certifies the origin and guarantees the excellence of fabrication of the watch. Manual finishing and respect for artisanal techniques, reliability, chronometry, water-resistance: the criteria are numerous and very demanding.
The 1955 Cow horns model (€ 42,800) is available with a superb leather strap from the Milanese Maison Serapian. The buckle also takes the shape of the Maltese cross, the emblem of Vacheron Constantin.

Read our detailed data sheet on the chronograph Vacheron Constantin Cornes de vache 1955 in steel


Read also: