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GUG #6-- Chronodeco 1968: coolest retro watch ever?

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    GUG #6-- Chronodeco 1968: coolest retro watch ever?

    Even if you haven't heard of the company Chronodeco, there's a pretty good chance you're familar with at least the look of the Chronodeco 1968. Why? Because, in one respect, Chronodeco has taken the art of legal rep (or homage) making to a whole different level.

    I first heard about Chronodeco in an article in the Aug. issue of International Watch. Chronodeco (http://www.chronodeco.com) has been around since about 2001. The main guy behind Chronodeco, S. Craig Bergsma, began as a watchmaker and focused primarily on servicing and reconditioning old chronograph watches (and he still services watches today, and for pretty reasonable prices).

    Bergsma had an interesting idea-- he had come into possession of a lot of old cases and movements from the 30s and 40s. So he built a very limited run (as in 35 watches) of watches using nothing but NOS (New Old Stock-- that is, old stuff that is new in the sense it has never been used) based on Art Deco designs. So, beginning in 2001, Chronodeco put out their first watch. After an article in International Watch showcased his stuff, he sold out in a month.

    Since 2001, Chronodeco has put out several series of watches, all with limited numbers, based on the 30s and 40s Art Deco period. But in 2008, they did something very different. And very cool. They decided to go with a retro watch again, but this time, based on the chronograph look from the late 60s and early 70s. And the Chronodeco 1968 was born.

    Using the famous "cushion case" from the late 60s Heuer Autavia and Camero, Chronodeco came up with a watch that is, in my view, one of the most beautiful pieces out there. And again, everything in the watch is authentic from the 1960s. They have two different "Styles" available.

    Here are the pics and specs from their Style I watches:
    Style I:
    - Limited to 30 pieces
    - New Old Stock cushion-style cases purchased from Germany. Heavy polished chrome finish with a stainless steel screw on back.
    - Valjoux cal.7733 movement, one of the best ever built. All rebuilt with new mainspring installed.
    - 5 different dial styles available.
    - Your choice of small hand colors in red, white, black or day-Glo orange.
    - Black, perforated high quality leather strap purchased from France.
    - 6-month warranty.







    And here are the pics and specs of the Style II watches:
    Style II:
    - Limited to 5 pieces
    - New Old Stock tonneau-style cases purchased from Australia. Heavy solid stainless with a stainless steel screw on back.
    - Valjoux cal. 7736 3 register movement. I would have liked to have built more of these but the movement is nearly impossible to find today. All rebuilt with new mainspring installed.
    - 2 different dial styles available.
    - Your choice of small hand colors in red, white, black or day-Glo orange.
    - Black perforated high quality leather strap purchased from France.
    - 6 month warranty




    I told you that you'd seen these watches before. In case you're wondering, these watches are patterned on a couple of different chronographs from the 1960s and 1970s. The most obvious reference is the Heuer Autavia, as you can see here:


    And the Heuer Camero, like this one:


    One other source, at least in terms of the design of the dial, is likely the Wakmann Chronograph (made by Breitling):


    Today, a Camero or Autavia in good condition retails for around $3,000 to $4,000. If you can find one, that is. Whereas you couldn't have given a Camero or Autavia away ten years ago, people have rediscovered them in a big way today, as they're one of the few vintage designs that cater to the modern trend of big watches. Although sizes varied, a watch based on the Autavia or Camero design (and there were LOTS of knockoffs of them in the 60s and 70s) could range from 38mm to 42mm. So they've become a very popular collectors' piece today.

    Back to the Chronodeco 1968. Since all the parts are from the 60s, these are very limited production pieces. How limited? Try 30 pieces of Style I and 5 pieces of Style II. And two of the Style I models are already sold out. Given all this, I would expect that these things would retail for well into the $4000 or $5000 range. But then I wouldn't be writing about them here in the GUG section.

    Shockingly, you can get a Style I for $895 and a Style II for $1195.*

    *Yeah, I know it's a little over a grand, but humor me.

    Now, in full disclosure, I probably won't be ordering one of these myself (because $900 is still a lot to spend on a watch, anyway you want to look at it). But the Chronodeco 1968 inspired me to start trawling the Web for a good deal on an authentic cushion case Chronograph from the 1960s. And the coolest thing? If I do get one, I can send it to Chronodeco for a full servicing for $125.

    But if you're tempted to get one of the 1968s, you'd better contact this dude like right now. Methinks those things are going to go fast.
    Any advice for those just starting to get into replica collecting?
    Yes. Stay away. Stay very far way. Use your money on something more productive and less addictive like, say, blow, midgets and hookers.

    Say it with me! Say it loud! Say it proud! Say it so google picks up the search terms!! Replica Watch Forum!! Replica Watch Forum!! Replica Watch Forum!!!

    Seanf: "To whomever keeps putting homoerotic subtextual images on my James Bond avatars, fair warning. I will hunt you down and straight up murder you."

    #2
    Sean, that is an amazing find. The style 1 type 3 reminds me of the TUDOR Monte Carlo, my favorite old school Tudor. Thanks for putting this together as I think it will inspire someone to buy it and show it off here.
    Mundus, Quote "Mundus> it is gen eta, i feel it on my loins"
    Debellum, Quote "Junio>Hi Mate , nice to read You !"

    bobandshawn 16:12 "Thou Shalt NOT Take the Mods name in Vane"
    sub4me "You could try contacting TxThrob he has a thread called Ask TxThrob and he can answer all your Fing stupid questions."

    Comment


      #3
      reminds me of an old Omega style or something and also like the monte carlo.

      This is a pretty cool watch and good work sean on the review!

      dizz

      Comment


        #4
        I can see what you mean about the Monte Carlo, at least in terms of the dial:


        @Dizzy-- funny you should mention about the Omeeeega. In looking around for a good deal on a vintage chrono, I've come across quite a few 70s era Speedmasters. Boy howdee. They kind of went out of their way to make that watch as ugly as humanly possible back then. I guess that was the fashion, but even so, you'd think at some point, someone would have said, "hey, you know, before we sell this thing, everyone knows it's really awful, right?"
        Any advice for those just starting to get into replica collecting?
        Yes. Stay away. Stay very far way. Use your money on something more productive and less addictive like, say, blow, midgets and hookers.

        Say it with me! Say it loud! Say it proud! Say it so google picks up the search terms!! Replica Watch Forum!! Replica Watch Forum!! Replica Watch Forum!!!

        Seanf: "To whomever keeps putting homoerotic subtextual images on my James Bond avatars, fair warning. I will hunt you down and straight up murder you."

        Comment


          #5
          Great find and great review on these. Would you also say that these share some styling cues with Breitling Chrono-Matics as well? I think they do.

          Comment


            #6
            this is a cool thread. i am going to like this whole section. i believe it will be very popular!!!!! i love seeing what else is out there, it brings home the fact there is allot of very nice watches that cost the same or less than what some reps are costing now. this is cool. [smilie=alien.gif] [smilie=alien.gif] [smilie=alien.gif] [smilie=alien.gif]
            The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

            "say hello to my little friend"

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by TA8088
              Great find and great review on these. Would you also say that these share some styling cues with Breitling Chrono-Matics as well? I think they do.
              No question. One thing that isn't clear to me is the relationship between Wakmann and Breitling. I'm not sure if Wakmann was owned by Breitling or what.

              Also has some design similarities with the Tissot Navigator line as well.
              Any advice for those just starting to get into replica collecting?
              Yes. Stay away. Stay very far way. Use your money on something more productive and less addictive like, say, blow, midgets and hookers.

              Say it with me! Say it loud! Say it proud! Say it so google picks up the search terms!! Replica Watch Forum!! Replica Watch Forum!! Replica Watch Forum!!!

              Seanf: "To whomever keeps putting homoerotic subtextual images on my James Bond avatars, fair warning. I will hunt you down and straight up murder you."

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by seanf
                I can see what you mean about the Monte Carlo, at least in terms of the dial:

                @Dizzy-- funny you should mention about the Omeeeega. In looking around for a good deal on a vintage chrono, I've come across quite a few 70s era Speedmasters. Boy howdee. They kind of went out of their way to make that watch as ugly as humanly possible back then. I guess that was the fashion, but even so, you'd think at some point, someone would have said, "hey, you know, before we sell this thing, everyone knows it's really awful, right?"
                yeah some of those watches back then were ugly as fuck. But then again a lot of things back then were ugly compared to what we are used to seeing today. It was just sort of the shape of the case that reminded me of some other older watches.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Those are just too cool for school, Sean!

                  Too bad they're just a tick too small for me. I'd be all over that panda dial Type 1 chrono!!!

                  Great review, BTW.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A couple of these are nice, I am not a big fan of the late 60's early 70's styling. Not all mind you but some are just too ugly to consider wearing, and Omega was a primary culprit.
                    Two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity. And I am not sure about the former.
                    -Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                      #11
                      great watch!!!

                      only if it has a rep price tho
                      mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur. veritatem dies aperit

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Cool watches, and great find Thanks mate
                        Priority Wish List in alphabetical order :
                        Graham Diver Chronofighter Oversize, Oris Carlos Coste, PAM 183, Rolex Submariner Comex, Rolex Turn o-Graph

                        Secondary Wish List in alphabetical order :
                        BR 02 Pro Dial Steel, BR 03-92, Patek Nautilus Jumbo Blue, "

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You know I just picked up a copy of this last night at Barnes & Noble and read this article. It was fascinating. Well worth looking into for a gen purchase.

                          Comment


                            #14


                            I'd hardly call my gen 70's Seamaster ugly....



                            To each their own I guess but I'd definitely wear mine over any rolex...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Greatt watches mate! Good find
                              And that is lovely too OneMan24 ^^^

                              Comment

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