There Will Never Be Another 1970s & These Watches Help Prove It.
As much as we love vintage watches from the entire 20th century, there doesn’t seem to be another decade that took as many risks, went through as many changes or frankly, just looked different in every form and function — especially watches!
Here are a few in a series of examples of Watchismo’s personal collection of unusual watches from the 70s…
A remarkable design during a transformative decade for Swiss watchmakers. Case in point, this 1970 Jaeger LeCoultre Master Quartz with a UFO style cushion case and indices of graduating sizes and an ombre of colors. “The 1960s marked the race for the best quartz caliber and Swiss watchmaking companies were definitely involved. Together, 21 of them built the Beta-21, but it was thick and large, which explains why Jaeger-LeCoultre instead turned to the caliber 352 from Girard-Perregaux. It was considered to be one of the most advanced movements – although Jaeger-LeCoultre rather referred to them as “modules” – offering an outstanding precision more than 10x better than its mechanical counterparts. As one can expect, the Master-Quartz was extremely coveted at its launch. It was also very pricey, which is reflected in the quality of its finishing and the modernistic design of its dial.” -via Hodinkee
Bet you’ve never seen this one – a vintage 70s Royce ‘Mexico’ Swiss Automatic. This hits all the sweet spots for me; it’s asymmetric, tilted, dimensional, sculptural, futuristic, obscure and mechanical. The original strap perfectly blends from the casing and creates an overall streamline aesthetic that is stylistically equivalent to a really good massage. The ‘Mexico’ font matches the graphics of the 1970 World Cup hosted in Mexico, the first time it was ever hosted in the Western hemisphere. The seventies also represented an exploration of materials ranging from fiberglass, corfam to a variety of plastics or as I like to refer to them as ‘space-age polymers’ – sounds way cooler, eh?
This spectacularly rare vintage Teviot jumping hour is part of a recent acquisition. As the quartz crisis put the challenge for affordable, easy-to-read digital watches, Swiss brands like Teviot (and hundreds of others) produced some exquisitely creative examples of mechanical digital watches by adding simple modules on top of traditional mechanical automatic movements transforming discs instead of hands to a direct-reading display of printed digits.
Stay tuned, many more vintage 70s examples to come…