If nostalgia and romance are what you look for in a watch, vintage-inspired watches are your go-to. Classic forms meet a retro old-school charm, translating in a watch that is sleek and simple, and easy to wear. Where it can be entrancing to get lost in the newer delicate tangles of tourbillons or wearable tech, vintage-inspired watches are on the rise for those who love to bear a link of history on their wrist, and for those who love to look like they’ve just stepped off an episode of Mad Men.

Drawing from the themes of the mid-1900s, check out our list of vintage-inspired watches here. From squared cases to pastel colours and chunky numerals, there’s a sense of history within the horology, and a reminder that design styles do not have to be new to be relevant.

RADO Tradition 1965 M Auto

Swiss watchmaker RADO recently unveiled a limited edition series of The RADO Tradition 1965, celebrating past designs in an updated, contemporary form. Inspired by the Manhattan skyline, the unique watches are a bold statement, captivating anyone who views them with their strong squared day-date complication window, with RADO’s signature red anchor positioned at 9 o’clock. Together with a silver-coloured sun brushed dial and rhodium-plated hands, the RADO Tradition 1965 M Auto is a treat for lovers of timepieces past and present. With a ‘70s style warm cognac-coloured leather strap, it embodies, as RADO puts it, “tradition, updated for the 21st Century.”


Glashütte Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date

Categorised by style of the sixties and seventies, German watchmaker Glashütte boasts an entire vintage-inspired collection, bringing to life a contemporary interpretation of the two dynamic decades. The Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date watch serves as a streamlined, soft-edge, and aerodynamic reminder of classic 1970s designs, with a galvanised silver dial and a Louisiana alligator leather strap. The flowing curves of the stainless steel case present a sporty look that is easy to wear, with the chronograph of 30 minutes display unfolding a strong yet understated retro charm.


Tissot Heritage 1936

Gaining many fans after its debut at Baselword 2016, the Tissot Heritage 1936 is often described as a pocket watch redesigned for the wrist. A mechanical hand-wound timepiece, the round case and incredible transparent caseback give Tissot’s heritage model an intriguing edge. It’s a casual watch, with curved numerals and Arabic indexes on its dial, yet once the strap is removed and the hinged caseback is opened, a beautiful ETA 6498-1 movement is revealed. The wearer is invited to unfold and explore the story of the timepiece, in a way that mimics the historical pocket watch in contemporary form.


NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Kleene 

Fun and refreshing to wear, NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Kleene may be a slender watch, yet with a striking square face and a 1950s-style pastel mint dial, it’s a timepiece that pops with personality. Somewhat reminiscent of a vintage alarm clock, the German watchmakers playfully lean into a colourful interpretation of retro style. It’s a straight-forward and clear design, that is still in keeping with the times — quite literally, as while it is hand-wound, also features a golden power reserve indicator to notify wearers when exactly to wind the watch. Vintage in design and character, it has been adapted to suit a new modern lifestyle.



Inspired by the chic outfits of the 1950s, the de GRISOGONO New Retro collection redefines retro style in a way that is forward-looking without forgetting its roots. The sleek watches are subtle about their tribute, delicately ‘squaring the circle’ of the dial case and using a bold typeface for its numerals. The black-lacquered gold crown sits at an unusual point at 12 o’clock, adding a new sophisticated edge to a classic and smooth appearance. Honouring the past while creating designs for the future, de GRISOGONO understands what in essence makes vintage-inspired watches so appealing — that is, to play with the concept of time itself, by creating something that exudes a sense of timelessness.


Lisa Gries
Creative Content Director, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.