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Among the vast world of vintage timepieces, there is no doubt that vintage dive watches hold a special place in the hearts of many collectors, ourselves included. With their simple, clean designs and reliable, robust movements, the tool watches of the 1960s and 1970s were built to accompany the adventurer across the globe and to keep time at its great heights as well as its dark depths.
Given the popularity of the style (even to this day), there are hundreds of interesting variants from dozens of companies. Though these companies all, for the most part, ceased production due to the ravages of the Quartz crisis, their watches remain--all with a story to tell and a unique take on a tried and true theme. Among these, vintage dive watches are some of the most attractive; even when relegated to desk duty, there's just something so right about a vintage dive watch on your wrist.
In the 1930s Wyler, a Swiss watchmaker known for their patented Incaflex shock-protection mechanism, wanted to enter the Italian market. They did so by partnering with distributor Lucio Binda, leading to a lucrative partnership and the creation of a new brand--Vetta. Vetta enjoyed success in the Italian market, thanks to Binda's flair for the dramatic. To promote the brand, Binda and his representatives drove around Milan with watches tied to the back of a car, or threw a pair of watches off the Eiffel Tower to prove the robustness of the Incaflex system (in both cases, the watches kept ticking).
This particular watch, a Reference 45052 Super Automatique, is often referred to as a "Baby Panerai" due to the similarity of its case to those used by Panerai. However, these watches--at a respectable 40mm--are more suitable to smaller wrists. With 1000m depth rating and powered by a redoubtable Vetta movement, this diver brings some great touches to the vintage dive watch formula: a beautifully patinated dial, a rotating bezel, and of course that handsome case.
Marrying Italian design and Swiss engineering, this piece is not only a prime example of Vetta in its heyday, but a proper vintage diver that has stood the test of time.
Stainless steel case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown). Vetta Reference 54052. Vetta Caliber 472 Movement. Circa 1960s.
Overall Condition: Stainless steel "Panerai style" case is in very good condition with no major signs of overpolishing. Case does have minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age, particularly on the lugs. Rotating bezel is in very good condition with some slight scratches, particularly between 45 and 30. Dial is in very good condition with fine even patina. Unsigned crown. Signed case back has some slight signs of use but is in otherwise very good condition.
Includes one 18mm bracelet with Vetta signed clasp and two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle