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If you’re looking for something unique, a 1950s chronograph needs to be a consideration. Sure, these watches are pretty damn old, but the watches of that era were the templates for everything that came after, and well-preserved examples look stunning on the modern wrist.
Many of the earliest wristwatches don’t hold much appeal to collectors today, mainly due to the size and delicacy. While many of these watches were beautiful, case sizes close to 30mm are out of style, and waterproofing technology wasn’t all that good. But after WWII, the style and quality of men’s watches jumped forward, influenced by the military aesthetic and mechanically improved based on all that watchmakers learned by observing how their watches held up under the strains of combat.
With it’s gold case and dial, this Tissot is decidedly a dress watch, but it’s chronograph functionality, clean dial and tachymeter scale give point to its military provenance. It’s style speaks to a utilitarian ideal, and the original owner likely wore it as such, because at some point in the past the dial was compromised by moisture or the slip of a careless watchmaker, and the dial was damaged. It was then refinished, which is not uncommon in watches this old, and while in a perfect world we would prefer all of our watches to be completely original, a refinishing of this quality makes the watch worthy of many more years of cherished wear. After all, a re-sprayed vintage Ferrari is still a vintage Ferrari.
On the plus side, you’re getting a stunning watch for thousands of dollars less than it would be with an untouched dial. If your ideal dress watch is a gold chronograph, it would be crazy not to give this Tissot some careful consideration.
Solid 18K Rose Gold case is approximately 36 mm (excluding crown). Manual winding Swiss movement. Circa 1950.
Overall condition: The original case is in excellent condition overall, showing normal signs of light wear from age and use. The dial has been expertly refinished many years ago, and is in excellent condition. The original hands are in excellent condition. Original pushers and signed crown.
Includes one brown leather strap.