5 Vintage Race Watches To Gift Before They're Gone

Michael Phillips Moskowitz - Bureau of Trade

Catalog is an experiment from the biz side of Jalopnik. (So to be clear, this post is not editorial). Now and then, we'll deliver content about products you can buy... or at least dream of buying. Today's contributor is Bureau of Trade, a digital authority in acquiring analog cultural objects.

Christmastime car commercials (faux snow, 44-feet of red ribbon, and a fleet of tooth-white Toyotas) fail to spark any real desire to park a Prius under the proverbial Chanukah bush. (Space is limited.) And yet, we're still obligated to find something special for dad, Brad, or Chad.

Fortunately, we've spotted a road sign that reads: to the rescue. The crew? Five well appointed watches. Each are equipped with the right engineering, sloping lines and requisite mettle (plus, the metal) required to increase your chosen recipient's heart rate. And none of them require refueling.

Each of five racing watches is up for auction today but possibly gone in 60 seconds.


1. Omega Dynamic
Suitable for: clocking lap times around the track—on the Sepang Circuit, or the frozen food section at Safeway. The dynamic racing dial, perforated leather strap, and Swiss craftsmanship make this a superlative race-inspired watch, even if it isn't ideally suited for the claustraphobic chamber that drivers call a cockpit. Pair it with a suit to suggest you're a man of speed. Never pair it with a fortune cookie—you don't want to be thought of as "a men of speed—in bed."


2. Sears Chronograph
Suitable for: definitively proving to the world that you CAN find one cool thing from Sears. Even if it isn't currently at Sears. This vintage specimen is admittedly well worn, but has years of life left in 'the engine.' (By which we mean, in the movement.) The White Stripes-cum-Christmas color scheme makes it classically American. Without looking or sounding Amurrikan. No twang.


3. Sicura Chrono
Suitable for: hairy arms, if you happen to have them. Some men are peevish about flashing forearms that look a wee bit...Wookiee. Exceptions can of course be made. Strap on this proud workhorse—developed by the company that bought Breitling back from the brink of extinction—and embrace your inner 70s machismo, a la Ron Jeremy in his rookie year.


4. Tissot Navigator
Suitable for: greatness. It's just that simple. There are race watches (like Omega), Race Watches (a controversial talk show about ethnicity, scheduled for Fox in 2013) and then there are watches for racing. This gem is comfortably in that category. Best gifted to those who like to spend every second purposefully—preferably, by gripping the wheel, not peeling themselves off the hood. This isn't the cheapest of the holiday buys, but it could be the most memorable.


5. Vintage Kelek
Suitable for: championing brains over brand. With a Kelek on your wrist, you're signaling that you know a thing or two about smaller (but reputable) Swiss watch houses. Gorgeous race dial: check. Valjoux movement: check. Two checks either signals the end of the race—you're done—or the beginning of the hunt for check fraud. (You're really done.) Breitling now owns the storied brand, founded in 1896, but it remains the right choice for those who value a slightly quieter ride through life's rougher neighborhoods.

PS - Send any suggestions on the Catalog feature (a work in progress) to catalog@gawker.com.

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