As featured on The Straits Times, February 28, 2020
By Wong Kim Hoh
Reissues of vintage watch models help to save money on research for new timepieces and are a big draw with their storied histories
Nostalgia, what a powerful feeling. It makes you warm and fuzzy, connects you to the past and gives you a sense of identity.
Purveyors in trades ranging from film to fashion also know that it is an effective marketing tool and highly lucrative.
Watchmakers are no different, which explains why reissues of vintage models - once done on a small scale to cater to collectors - have now become a significant part of their offerings.
Reissuing classics - faithful replicas or with modern updates - makes sense for several reasons.
Besides legitimising the legacy of established brands, it helps to save money on expensive research and development for new timepieces.
The odds that these revivals will become hits are also higher since many of them were popular when they were first launched.
Finally, many heritage pieces also have a storied history, a big draw in an era when watches are worn not because they are functional but because they make a personal statement.
Last year, Blancpain created quite a stir when it released its Fifty Fathoms, which made its debut in 1953. Not only was it one of the first modern dive watches to be made, it was also an essential tool watch for the French Combat Swimmers unit.
The last decade has seen an avalanche of reissues from brands - both major and minor.
Here are six interesting revivals.
1. CASIO GM-6900First released in 1995, Casio's iconic 6900 series has become a street fashion staple and a base model for collaborations with global brands and celebrities, including rapper Eminem and fashion label Maharishi.
The series has been nicknamed Triple Graphs or Third Eye, thanks to the three round visual indicators above the digital counter.
These three GM-6900 models feature metal bezels with mirror and matt hairline finishes. There are three colour options - silver, gold or red - with a red or black strap.Price: S$299Click here to buy now!
2. ZENITH: A384 REVIVALLast year, Zenith went on a revival blitz because it was the 50th anniversary of its groundbreaking El Primero movement - the world's first self-winding chronograph which could measure short times to the nearest 1/10th of a second.
The reissue of the A284 - the first timepiece to be fitted with the El Primero in 1969 - is the latest, launched in January at the inaugural LVMH Watch Fair in Dubai.
3. BREITLING AVI REF.765 1953 RE-EDITIONLast month, Breitling drew collective gasps again with the reissue of another classic: the AVI (aviation) Ref.765 from 1953.
Like the original, this reissue has, among other features, a 41.1mm stainless-steel case, bezel with three screws, Arabic numerals with aged luminant and a hesalite crystal dome.
Available in steel, 18K gold and platinum.
4. THE LONGINES HERITAGE MILITARY 1938A gorgeous reissue of an extremely handsome vintage piece (ref 4092), this 44mm steel piece features widely spaced large Arabic numerals, a railroad track which goes around the dial and a seconds register at 6 o'clock.
Limited to 1,938 pieces, it comes with a grey leather or Nato strap and a strap removal tool.
5. TAG HEUER CARRERA 160 YEARS SILVER LIMITED EDITIONThis limited-edition Carrera is just one of several novelties from Tag Heuer to celebrate its 160th anniversary.
A timepiece synonymous with motor racing, the Carrera was designed and launched in 1963 by Jack Heuer - the great-grandson of Heuer founder Edouard Heuer, who managed the brand for 20 years until 1982.
6. SEIKO PROSPEX 1970 DIVER'S RE-CREATION LIMITED EDITION SLA033The original Seiko 6105.8110/9 is a dive icon. Its nickname is Captain Willard because Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, who played Captain Benjamin Willard, wore it in Francis Ford Coppola's seminal 1979 war movie Apocalypse Now.
There are only 2,500 pieces of the SLA033, assembled by hand in the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan.
Article content has been adapted and all image credits to The Straits Times ©