Nivada Grenchen Datomaster
This unassuming Nivada is one of the most intruiging and—truly—rare watches we’ve ever featured here. The grey dial, contrasting subs, playful orange accents, and date at 12 are all so distinctly lovely. And yet, you’ve almost certainly never come across one before. Chances are, you may not even be aware Nivada used to make a watch called the Datomaster. What a shame that is, because the Datomaster is a watch that proves when you dive deep in vintage horology with an open mind, it only gets more fun.
In known circulation and collections, enthusiasts are aware of only a handful of examples. About a dozen. @mikeinfrankfurt (who made everyone aware of this beauty in 2015 at Fratello), @subsea57, and Chase of @oakandoscar are all known to have loved a Dato in their collection. Correct overall production numbers are not know precisely, only that these are a tough hunt in anything resembling decent nick.
The dial is the kind of grey that would look trendy on an Audi right now, and this watch was released in the 60s. Its unconventional date window is made possible from a Landeron 187 architecture, a cam-operated chronograph with two registers. If that sounds familiar, the movement is also used in Heuer’s famed Carrera 45 Dato. While the Heuer is lore, this is such more niche in an enjoyable way. This is a watch to be enjoyed, for you and no one else. Except maybe the three guys I just named, they’ll probably freak out too.
This example is a standout. Its dial is extremely clean, with no visible degradation for all its sixty years of life. The case is full and likely unpolished. It even comes with its original strap and Nivada buckle. All from a well-regarded small retailer.
Find this Datomaster here from Avocado Vintage Watches for 4500 EUR.