As far as haute horlogerie is concerned, decades upon decades of heritage is a recurring variable amongst the most prestigious of watchmaking houses. More often than not, these houses have standout chronographs that have evolved alongside its creators, showcasing the brand’s growth and willingness to adapt with the passage of time. Equipped with primordial features dating back to the 1800s coupled with contemporary ones resulting from the advent of technology, here are three revamped watches that have come a long way, following in the footsteps of their antique predecessors.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph
Championing the spirit of adventure is the Montblanc 1858 collection, which draws direct inspiration from professional Minerva watches from the 1920s and 30s that were meant for military use and mountain exploration. The most quintessential of the vintage-looking collection is the Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph, housed in a 42-mm bronze case with slim curved horns featuring polished and satin-finishing. A bronze bezel and fluted crown further enhances the watch’s antiquity, while the luminescent cathedral-shaped hands are slightly domed from left to right for utmost legibility and refinement, a nod to the original watch’s functionality even in the most extreme of conditions.
Omega Seamaster 1848 Limited Editions
The hands of time take us back to the 1940s, an apocalyptic period in human history which saw the world ravaged by the happenings of World War II. Amidst the chaos, Omega delivered more than 110,000 Seamaster timepieces to the British Ministry of Defence for use within the Royal Air Force and its other branches. Seventy years later, Omega is paying tribute to the Seamaster in the form of a limited edition 2018 release, and both of the timepieces (the Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds and the Seamaster 1948 Central Second) are armed with a modernised aesthetic peppered with references to their roots. The Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds in particular includes a small seconds indication at 6 o’clock and is presented on a brown leather strap with a polished-brushed stainless steel buckle, while the Central Second counterpart is in blue-grey leather. As further tribute to the many aviators and mariners who have placed their trust in Omega’s timepieces, the flat sapphire crystal is laser engraved and lacquered by hand with a 70th Anniversary logo, a Chris-Craft boat and Gloster Meteor aircraft, the first jet plane used by the Royal Air Force. Present day adventurers can also rely on the integrity of the Seamaster as the new models are water-resistant to 60m.
TAG Heuer AUTAVIA
A contraction of AUTomobile and AVIAtion, a name taken from the first dash counter for racing cars and aircraft created in 1933, the TAG Heuer Autavia has been the go-to choice for world-class racing drivers since its creation in 1962. Worn by the big names who dominated the racing tracks such as Jochen Rindt and Mario Andretti, the updated rendition of the legendary watch has once again resurged after 55 years of dormant slumber. The all-new Autavia “Rindt”, named after the aforementioned Formula One champion whose wrist it was on as a semi-permanent fixture, is more imposing than ever – boasting a 42mm diameter compared to 39mm in the 1960s. Modern features include a self-winding calibre, a power reserve of 80 hours, date at 6 o’clock and water resistance up to 100 metres. The Autavia sports a retro look but updated with touches of modernity. With “Mushroom” push-pieces, a ridged crown, the Heuer logo and a distressed calfskin leather strap for a vintage feel, the Autavia is all ready to recreate the glory days of racing greats with a modern twist.