After four years and 200 #TBT articles, there is still so much to explore. We’ve discovered some fascinating vintage watches, especially this year. Which feature was your favorite in 2022? Was it a no-pusher chronograph, a watch with epic magnifiers integrated into the crystal, the “only” Bond watch, or a bezel-operated triple calendar? 

When I look back at the list of watches we featured on #TBT this year, I have to say that I am pretty impressed. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to feed your curious minds with new vintage watches, but it seems my worries were unfounded. Even better, there are already discoveries lined up for 2023. Before we get to those starting next week, let me share my personal top 10 vintage watches of 2022.

Avia Ajustor vintage watches

Avia Ajustor

This watch is one of a few of mine that allows external regulation of the balance spring. It does so via the +/- pushers hidden between the lugs, making it a simple time-only watch with a witty twist. Examples of these pop up a couple of times a year, often in terrible condition. However, for under €100, it’s a real bargain with great talking potential. You can learn more about how it works here.

Ernest Borel Datoptic vintage watches

Ernest Borel Datoptic

These are way more difficult to grab than an Avia Ajustor because they seem to be known and desired within certain collecting circles. Despite that, they are still pretty unknown to the wider watch community. If you do not have the budget for Rolex Submariner or GMT-Master, take a closer look at the Datoptic, which has the magnifier implemented under the crystal, directly into the date window. You can find more about my beloved “raindrop” here.

Angelus Medical vintage watches

Angelus Medical

Speaking of magnifiers, you shouldn’t miss our deep dive on Angelus Medical, which took me years to hunt down. It rightly deserves the title of the most interesting medical chronograph ever made thanks to the impressive magnifying arc spreading from 12 to 3 o’clock, right above the pulsation scale. You’ll want to read the full story, and you’ll definitely not want to break the crystal. Finding a replacement in NOS condition is Mission Impossible.

Sada Landeron 58 vintage watches

Sada Landeron 58

From January, let’s jump to November when we introduced you to one of the most surprising vintage chronographs out there. See how it works in the video in our #TBT story. Even some respected and well-educated collectors texted me absolutely amused that they had never heard about this creative and innovative way to adjust the full date.

Moeris 007 Bond Watch

If you thought you knew all the Bond watches, you should check out the Moeris 007, which happened to be the only original Bond-licensed watch. It caught me completely unprepared when I got back to what I used to do many years ago (scroll endlessly through auction sites without any target in mind). You get James Bond and 007 inscriptions right on the dial, and the deep, high-quality engraving showing the famous Sean Connery. This was one of my most surprising catches in 2022.

Seiko Think The Earth Wn-1

I found it a gigantic, unwearable clock, not a watch. That would explain why I passed on it so many times. But once Mike said I should check out this one, I looked at it again, and what a surprise it was. Like Earth, the 3D planet rotates in a counterclockwise direction, copying the 24-hour bezel markings. The biggest surprise? This 1997 release is highly comfortable and even pretty wearable. Read more about it here.

Claudex Landeron 251

I guess we all have a list of our grails, and a no-pusher chronograph from Nicolet was one of mine. It had slipped through my fingers for years, so when an opportunity arose to get a Claudex-branded model, I pulled the trigger instantly. In comparison to the legendary Nicolet, this Claudex is more elegant. It has no colors, no tachymeter scales, and much bigger sub-registers. What a watch! Check it out here. The video of how it works is quite satisfying.

Alarm-triggering Securiton watch

Banks and jewelers have used this watch. In the event of an attack or threat, an alarm could be triggered with the pushers on it. The watch was connected to a shortwave transmitter, and the receiver was connected via the network from IG TUS to the police, customs, and Swiss Securitas. You might want to stop saying you have seen everything…

Turtle Astronaut

As with the Sada chronograph, I also landed the Turtle Astronaut watch thanks to the help of my collector friends. It’s a bimetallic 24-hour watch with a sector dial, lumed, printed, and applied numerals, red detailing, an arrow-tipped central seconds hand, a push-down crown, twisted lugs, and a deadbeat Chézard movement. That’s quite enough teasing to get you to read the full story.

Pierce Chronographe Cal. 134

Watchmakers hate to service these watches because they are so delicate. Nevertheless, the Pierce Chronographe is the result of persistence and curious genius. It is important yet underrated, unusual but cute. Like the later Seiko 6139, it has a vertical clutch system, where everything happens concentrically on the same axis. Simply put, when you activate the chronograph, the clutch drops down, and both wheels start moving together. If you want to have a fine chronograph collection, the Pierce cal. 134 isn’t one to leave out.

That’s it from me for 2022. See you all in 2023 for another year of exciting vintage watches and discoveries. Happy hunting!