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Incredibly cool 1950s watches

by Michael Weare
5 September, 2011
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About the author

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

Hamilton-Ventura-Electric-with-box

There is something decidedly cool about 1950s watches. They were cool even before Donald Draper in Mad Men came along, so now they are positively hot. And if you search around you can still pick up genuine 1950s watches for very reasonable prices, or if you want a top Swiss name brand, there are 50s watches to be had still in almost mint condition. We picked on a few offerings that are out there to give you a taste of 1950s watch couture.

Hamilton Ventura Electric

Hamilton Ventura 1959

The Hamilton Ventura Electric was first released on 3rd January 1957. They were the first production Hamilton Electrics and therefore the first production electric watches in the world. Like the Van Horn, it has a 14K solid gold case and the 500 movement.

Several dial variations exist. Prolific industrial designer, Richard Arbib, was commissioned to design the asymmetrical solid 14K gold case that perfectly reflected the design aesthetics of the mid to late 1950s: The style back then was kidney-shaped coffee tables; car tail light fins; atomic-themed furnishings and decorative patterns. Arbib would move on to design other wild Electric designs, too. Search the vintage watch sites and you may found a good one.

Lord Elgin dress watch

Lord Elgin

Unmistakeably 50’s and still keeping excellent time. Lord Elgin is another American brand. This watch has raised jewel hour indices and gold tone hands. The back of the case claims that the watch is resistant to shock, water, dust and even magnetism. You can currently find a Lord Elgin Dress watch on ebay for just $64.00.

Smiths Empire watch

Smiths Empire

We featured this one because on the same watch dial it has two increasingly rare mentions: ‘Empire’ and ‘Made in Gt Britain’. It comes with a champagne face with gilt batons and numbers has an unusual pattern in the background. The jewelled manual wind movement needs to be wound fully every day to work properly. The vintage Smiths Empire watch above is available on ebay for around $160.00.

Omega 1950s Military watch

Omega Military style watch

A great looking vintage Swiss made Omega watch, with a sharp looking black coloured military-style dial. The Watch comes on a brown leather strap, which complements the watch nicely. Omega 266 Movement which has been cleaned and serviced and keeps good time. Measures 37mm x 44mm. This Military Omega vintage watch on ebay, is currently on $360 but already there are 30 bids.

Universal Genève 18k gold watch

Universal Geneve 18k gold

This beautiful mechanical watch dates back to 1954 and has a solid gold case with a silvered dial. In case you are not familiar with the brand, founded in 1894, Universal Geneve are right up there with Audemars Piguet, Girard Perregaux, Patek Philippe and Rolex in terms of luxury watches. The Universal Geneve is on ebay for $1,380

Veto Vintage Swiss made watch

Veto

This is a beauty and it looks to be in good condition too. There is very little information about Veto, although some suggest it may have been linked to Junghans. There is also a suggestion going round that some Veto watches are fakes, but then, why would anyone want to fake such an obscure watch brand and sell it for reasonably low prices on Ebay. This is a mechanical watch measuring 36mm x 43mm. It’s currently available at $400.00 although you can put in an offer.

1950s reading: The Catcher In The Rye

The Catcher In The Rye
The Catcher In The Rye, written by the late J.D. Salinger, became a huge international bestseller with total sales of more than 65 million. The novel’s protagonist and anti-hero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The book has been translated into all the world’s major languages. It has been described as an unusually brilliant novel, and the scene was set for Salinger to continue to produce many more classics, only he never did.

Michael Weare | Website

Michael Weare has been a professional writer for 30 years, writing about Japanese technology, German and Italian cars, British tailoring and Swiss watches. Michael manages the editorial content of Click Tempus and will be keeping the magazine fresh and informative with regular features, as well as bringing great writers to the magazine. Email: michael@clicktempus.com

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