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Now Reading: Vintage Watches: An Arabian Love Story

Vintage Watches: An Arabian Love Story

The most wanted vintage watches in the UAE


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By Dubai Watch Week

27 May, 2021

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Amidst the conversations between the bon vivants and watch collectors comes the phrase “so what’s your poison: modern or vintage?”, perhaps not always positioned that way. Eventually, the discussion boils down to the watch collector’s stance, the industry’s political red or blue state.

There are those who prefer the thrill of the newest launch, the latest complication and the longest power reserve and there are those of us who chase the simpler times and the stories the watch tells us of the period it was created.

And then there are those of us who pursue the resale value, a mind occupied with bell curves and projected financials. For those, vintage watches play first fiddle unless they have recently acquired one of the holy grail of modern watches. In which case, congratulations! They are the envy of many of us in the industry.

Curious as we are, we pose the question about our homeland. Does the UAE have an affinity towards vintage and if so, what are the most desired vintage timepieces?

WatchBox Middle East responds.

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WatchBox-x-Dubai-Watch-Week-2019-event-.jpg

WatchBox at Dubai Watch Week 2019

Here in the UAE, one thing we certainly have is a boundless love for vintage timepieces of every era and price point. The UAE is a country so welcoming to people from all over the world and this is reflected in the vintage timepieces that we found people seek.

Tag Heuer, or more specifically the Heuer era of the brand, is always a topic that comes up in our conversations with collectors who love the connection to its rich racing history as well as the utility of vintage Heuer pieces such as the Autavia. Also, we can never forget the Heuer Monaco made famous by Steve McQueen in the film “Le Mans.” One thing about collectors here is not only do they love their watches, but they also love their cars so the connection to the racing spirit is palpable. Specific models that we have seen in the region is the Heuer 7753 SND, Heuer Autavia GMT and the Heuer Monaco.

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TAG Heuer 7735 SND - image credit: Vintage Heuer Carrera (left) & TAG Heuer vintage Monaco - image credit: Calibre 11 (right)

TAG Heuer 7735 SND - image credit: Vintage Heuer Carrera (left) & TAG Heuer vintage Monaco - image credit: Calibre 11 (right)

TAG Heuer vintage Autavia (left) - image credit: Monochrome watches & TAG Heuer Vintage Autavia GMT (right) - image credit: WatchPool 24

TAG Heuer vintage Autavia (left) - image credit: Monochrome watches & TAG Heuer Vintage Autavia GMT (right) - image credit: WatchPool 24

Another vintage family that gets lots of love in the region is the Omega Speedmaster; everything from the classic Moon Watch to the Ed White pre-professional Speedmaster when space was but a dream! We find clients hunting down this watch due to its connection to the space missions and their trust in the succession of the brand who prioritize function over design, but still manage to create captivating timepieces. We have had the pleasure of meeting many collectors who almost amassed complete Speedmaster collections with pieces all the way back to the 1960’s to present day.

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Omega Ed White pre-professional Speedmaster (left) - image credit: A Collected Man & classic Moonwatch - image credit: Nielsz

Omega Ed White pre-professional Speedmaster (left) - image credit: A Collected Man & classic Moonwatch - image credit: Nielsz

Last but not least, we shan’t forget the crown! Vintage Rolex is still king around the globe and the Middle East is no different.

We find that Vintage Daytonas and Pre- Daytona Chronographs like the 6234 and 6235 are still getting lots of love. Many collectors search to find good condition examples to hold on to for investment. We also see a very healthy interest in more modern vintage pieces from the 80s and 90’s like Submariners, GMT Master II “Pepsi” and “Coke” models as they offer a wearable vintage piece that you know can be a great partner whether you are dune bashing on the weekends or enjoying a stroll by the water.

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Vintage Rolex Daytona (left) - image credit: Hodinkee & Vintage GMT Pepsi (right) - image credit: UK specialist watches

Vintage Rolex Daytona (left) - image credit: Hodinkee & Vintage GMT Pepsi (right) - image credit: UK specialist watches

Vintage Rolex pre Daytona Chronographs - image credits: Collector Square and Gear Patrol

Vintage Rolex pre Daytona Chronographs - image credits: Collector Square and Gear Patrol

Interested in vintage watches?

Check out our piece on 1970s Designs; one of the most memorable decades for the watch industry.

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