Aware of the immeasurable admiration for the references of yesteryear, brands have begun to introduce a new caliber of reissues which reflect a close consideration for every last detail that collectors look out for. Though we both know there’s no substitute for the real deal, there’s something undeniably appealing about a skilfully carried out reissue. Today, we’re take a look at two chronographs worthy of the well-executed label, and then some.
Ask any Speedmaster aficionado which reference they’d opt for if money was object, and chances are you’ll get the same answer over and over again. With its “Broad Arrow” style hands, minimalist dial, and objectively small production numbers, the original Ref. 2915’s hype is more than justified. For those who’ve taken a particular liking to the iconic reference but are after something a little easier on their wallet, the Ref. 145.0222 provides the perfect solution, without skimping on style or quality by any means.
Though not a reissue in the traditional sense, the 145.0222 incorporates elements of the Ref. 2915 into a more common Speedmaster form, so as to celebrate the heritage of the brand and the critical, chronograph production history changing reference. Most notably, this newer reference makes use of Broad Arrow style hands and the cleaner non-Professional dial, complete with an applied Omega logo and all. Its most noticeable difference however, is the presence of a Professional-style, twisted lug case with crown guards, like you’d see on the more common Ref. 145.022. While this combination might not be for some purists, the marriage of old and new is quite charming.
Another area in which this piece differs from its ancestor that started it all is under its caseback, where you’ll find the Cal. 1861. Unlike the column wheel Cal. 321 you’d find inside a Ref. 2915 Speedmaster from way back when, this newer offering features cam-actuation, which although less complex is perhaps more robust. This allows for increased reliability when under limit-testing circumstances, which was certainly appreciated by NASA officials at the time of the earlier, though wildly similar Cal. 861’s introduction.
While the Speedmaster may have gone to the Moon, it was originally intended to be a driver’s watch, much like our next topic of discussion – Heuer’s famed Autavia. This legendary chronograph enjoys a similarly long laundry list of achievements and associated figures of note. These names include drivers like Jochen Rindt, Derek Bell, along with actors like Steve McQueen, among others. On top of that, many would argue that the Autavia offers a bit more in the visual stimulation department, with its various variants and dial designs. All this to say, it’s certainly no slouch, and is most definitely worthy of your consideration.
Just two years ago, Heuer paid tribute to one of the most desirable Autavia variants while honouring the man responsible for much of the brand’s success, the one and only Jack Heuer. This came to fruition by way of modifying the existing Heritage Autavia Heuer Calibre 02 through the addition of a silvered “panda” dial, and a uniquely marked black bezel. Together, these crucial details mimic the appearance of the identically configured, and impossibly rare Ref. 2446 C.
Much like the aforementioned Omega, TAG Heuer has also breathed new life into this reissue through the movement powering the watch. In the case of the Jack Heuer Edition Autavia, of which only 1932 examples were produced, TAG Heuer makes use of their Heuer 02 movement. This caliber not only features automatic winding, but makes use of column wheel construction. Pair this with a timeless “beads of rice” bracelet, much like what you’d see on an early Autavia, and you’ve truly got a recipe for success. Some might say they don’t make them like they used to, but we’d argue the new approach to the game isn’t so bad when vintage flair enters the equation.
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