I am asked, it seems like every other day, what my vintage picks are for future appreciation. ‘Buy what you like and like what you buy’ is great advice, but not terribly practical or helpful. I don’t feel confident in much of today’s hyper-inflated market. One can only differentiate so many details in a Submariner dial before boredom ensues. However, my answer as of the last few years: vintage Movado. This mid-50s M95 and its round chronograph pushers are enough to raise the brow of even Patek’s loyal community and for good reason.
Francois Borgel (stamped FB) is known for his early waterproof case designs, perhaps most notably the 1463 Tasti Tondi. It should tell you something about Movado of this period that they also sought out this case manufacture. The watch is not just a case, however. The M95 is one of the most charming vintage chronograph movements. Its pushers are inverted, that is to say that the bottom stop/starts and the top resets. That differentiation means all the cogs that you are used to seeing in a case back are in different places. This example sports a dial signed Fab Suisse or ‘Swiss Made’ for the French market, a rare bonus to an otherwise still very strong vintage chronograph.
This example is stunning. This is what an unpolished vintage case standard should be held to. The dial, while discolouring in certain portions, is unrestored and original. Certainly, a dial restoration expert could quickly revert this back to the look it had the day it left Switzerland. But it can never go back to being unrestored. If one were to acquire a vintage chronograph, this is where they should start. The subdial hands are also the preferred, quirky serpentine variety. It’s just lovely. It comes from a well-regarded Instagram seller.
Find this M95 available here from @matt.watches on Instagram by DM for 6000 EUR.