Vintage Vantage Panda - Value Proposition

Vintage Vantage Panda - Value Proposition

I am a firm believer that a Chronograph should have a place in everyone's collection. They are statement pieces that can serve a purpose but for the most part they're just very cool pieces to see out and about when doing wrist checks. There are very famous models out there like the Daytona, Carrera, Speedmaster and many more. The piece I am looking at today is a 1960's Vantage Chronograph, I will admit I know a great deal of brands but this one eluded me and I was immediately smitten by the panda dial so I wanted to dive headfirst and get to know more.

I will be honest, I have never owned a manual wind watch as of yet. I have automatics and some quartz watches but never one that needed to be wound each day, however, it was a nice thing to do each day. I have heard from others it can be a moment of zen and stillness almost like a meditative moment and I whole heartedly agree. Now onto this beautiful watch. 

In the 1960s Hamilton purchased Standard Watch Co. and used the capabilities to create a new line of watches called Vantage. They were sold alongside Hamilton as a budget option to Hamilton. You can semi equate it to Tudor being the "budget" option to Rolex. Which

is funny because when I looked at this watch it resembles a Hamilton Intramatic Chrono a bit. Since these were made for the bottom half of the market they did not always feature the same innovations as Hamilton and in most cases featured between 17 and 7 jeweled movements.

 The case measures about 37.5mm in stainless steel with the classic Chronograph pushers at a nice height, a larger crown and the beautiful panda dial. This watch came on a regular black calfskin strap but if it were me I would swap it for a Rally strap to give it the racing treatment. I wound the movement til the crown gave me resistance then we were off to the races. The chronograph function worked perfectly however you can tell this is a vintage piece by the crunchy wind on the movement and how the pushers feel when pressed. The next day I woke up and went to wind the crown and it was still ticking, wound it a few rotations and it was fine. Everyone loves a Panda dial and this was no exception, the dial has turned a creamy white alongside the stark dark dual sub-dials. The lume has aged as expected and is dimmer but definitely still works in low light settings if needed. This Vantage Chronograph gives you tremendous value for what it is if you are looking for a Panda Dial Chronograph. It is still standing up to its first job as a watch being in the value category. If you are looking for a similar style of a vintage Carrera, or Daytona this watch checks those boxes and oozes the 1960's style. You'll feel like Ken Miles behind the wheel of the Ford GT40 racing in Les Mans. 

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