People have the tendency to look back on their past and revive good memories from time to time. Whether it is through pictures, music that brings back memories, or artefacts from that perfect summer vacation, everybody has these rituals. And, in comparison, the watch industry is not that different. With the vintage market booming, and previously overlooked pieces on the rise, multiple brands take a look at their Greatest Hits and decide to revive them. And when done right, the result can be very rewarding. With that in mind, here are 5 of the best reissued watches launched this year, plus they won’t break the bank.
Nivada Grenchen Antarctic Spider
Nivada Grenchen is a historic brand, launched by Otto Wülliman, Hermann Schindler and Jack Schneider in 1926 and fell victim to the quartz crisis in the mid-seventies. The company focused on instrument watches that went beyond simple indications of time. The name was revived in 2018 by Guillaume Laidet and Remi Chabrat, with the goal of recreating past designs with modern construction and mechanics.
Visually the new Nivada Grenchen Antarctic Spider looks exactly like the original, with some concessions in materials and mechanics. The diameter of the case is a modest 38mm, with twisted lugs, and a solid caseback. The most striking element is without a doubt its graphic dial. The 8 vertically applied indices are connected through 8 “legs”, resulting in a spider-like design. Inside ticks a modern Soprod P024, an ET 2824 alternative. The Nivada Grenchen Antarctic Spider is priced very reasonably, retailing for EUR 650 on a leather strap or EUR 850 on a beads-of-rice bracelet.
Quick Facts – 38mm diameter x 11.1mm height – stainless steel case – double domed sapphire crystal with date magnifier – 200m water-resistance – sunray-brushed silvery-white “sector spider” dial – vertically applied indices, connected with black printed lines – polished hands – Super-LumiNova – Soprod P024, automatic – 40h power reserve – leather or tropic rubber strap, beads-of-rice bracelet – EUR 650 to EUR 850 depending on strap/bracelet
For more information, please visit NivadaGrenchenOfficial.com.
Airain Type 20
Airain is another brand that is back from the grave, only to present one of the best looking Type 20 pilot’s watches in recent years. Dutch entrepreneur and watch enthusiast Tom van Wijlick, also responsible for reviving Lebois & Co, has managed to capture the true essence of a legendary watch. It was built according to the specifications as determined by the French Ministry of Defence in the 1950s and was made as a Type 20 for military purposes, and the Type XX for civilian use.
The reissued Airain Type 20 is faithful in proportions and design, with a 39,5mm wide steel case and bidirectional bezel with a 12-hour scale. The bi-compax chronograph display is classic to the Type 20/XX built watches. Power comes from the La Joux-Perret developed Calibre AM1, a hand-wound flyback column-wheel chronograph movement. And at EUR 2,450 or EUR 2,600 depending on the dial, it’s not too expensive. All in all, it’s shaping up to be a real winner!
Quick Facts – 39.5mm diameter x 10.85mm height – stainless steel case – 50m water-resistance – domed hesalite crystal – bidirectional bezel with 12h scale – calibre AM1 by La Joux-Perret – hand-wound column-wheel chronograph, flyback function – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 30-min counter – EUR 2,450 (Black dial) or EUR 2,600 (Brown dial limited edition)
For more information, please visit Airain.com
Yema Superman Skin Diver Limited Edition
Entry number three is the Superman Skin Diver Limited Edition, presented by the revered French brand Yema. With a number of re-issues under its belt in recent years, Yema decided it was time for one of the most faithful recreations to date, the Superman Skin Diver Limited Edition. It features all the hallmarks of the original, stemming from the early sixties.
The Yema Superman Skin Diver Limited Edition is presented in a 39mm or 41mm wide stainless steel case. The unidirectional bezel, with a 60-minute scale, comes with the signature bezel-lock device the Superman is known for. The glossy black dial has distinct vintage-styled hour indices with beige Super-LumiNova and polished steel hands. Inside ticks a Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement, keeping the price of the Yema Superman Skin Diver L.E. fairly reasonable at EUR 1,249. It comes on a bracelet with scale-like links and is limited to 1,000 pieces.
Quick Facts – 39mm or 41mm diameter – stainless steel case, brushed – unidirectional bezel with locking device – 300m water-resistance – glossy black dial with vintage hour indices – polished steel hands – Sellita SW 200-1 – automatic winding – 38h power reserve – stainless steel multi-link “scales” bracelet with diver’s extension – limited edition of 1,000 pieces (for both sizes) – EUR 1,249
For more information, please visit Yema.com
Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist SJE085
If there’s one brand with a truly impressive and extensive archive of historical references it is without a doubt Seiko. Being in business for 140 years helps of course, but Seiko has always pushed technological and mechanical development and as a result, is one of the biggest watch manufacturers in the world.
In what is a celebratory year for Seiko, the brand has introduced an impressive number of new watches, including one of the most faithful recreations we’ve seen so far. The Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist SJE085 is modelled after a Seiko Laurel exploration watch from 1959, built to be used by Japanese mountain men. The entire look and feel is very similar to the original, even down to the unusual leather strap with a protective cuff band. With 36.6mm in diameter, it is slightly larger than the 35mm of the 1959 Seiko Laurel, and it is fitted with the automatic 6L35 movement. It is limited to 1959 pieces and retails for EUR 3,000.
Quick Facts – 36.6mm diameter x 11.1mm height – stainless steel case – box-shaped sapphire crystal – 100m water-resistance – glossy black dial with applied segmented markers – Dauphine style hands – 6L35 movement, automatic winding – 45h power reserve – brown calfskin leather strap with grey cuff band underneath the case (removable) – limited to 1,959 pieces – EUR 3,000
For more information, please visit SeikoWatches.com
Longines Silver Arrow
Over the past couple of years, Longines has been on a mission to honour its extensive history with often very appealing, vintage-inspired watches. Models like the Tuxedo Small Seconds, the Military Marine Nationale or the Heritage Classic Sector Dial capture the essence of the 1930s and 1940s.
The modern-day Longines Silver Arrow moves up a decade, as it is modelled after the 1956 Longines Silver Arrow. Longines has used it as inspiration before, but this time around has paid even closer attention to detail. The most distinctive design element in the original Silver Arrow was its indices, which the 2021 model captures beautifully. They are set on an opaline silver domed dial, housed in a 38.5mm wide stainless steel case. Power comes from the modern LL888.5 calibre, an ETA 2892 at heart, with a healthy 72 hours of power reserve. The Longines Silver Arrow retails for EUR 1,950.
Quick Facts – 38.5mm diameter x 10mm height – stainless steel case – boxed sapphire crystal – closed caseback with historical accurate engraving – domed opaline silver dial – striated and polished applied indices – sword-shaped hands – Calibre L888.5, ETA 2892 base – 72h power reserve – EUR 1,950
For more information, please visit Longines.com