Watchmakers Turn to the Unloved ’80s for a New Batch of Reissues

Nostalgia has long been the engine of trends in luxury wristwatches—the 1960s and ’70s in particular produced models with immense staying power, and both decades have been extensively mined for revivals: your Rolex Daytonas, Heuer Monacos, Patek Philippe Nautili. By comparison, the decade of big hair, spandex, and Hammer pants is mostly recalled as a creatively fallow time in the watch world, an era dominated by colorful quartz-powered Swatches and digital nerd-chic G-Shocks. For a handful of heritage watchmakers, though, the ’80s were an opportunity to experiment, to introduce variations on classic collections, and to rethink existing models that had become dated. And, lo and behold, like Dynasty and Magnum P.I., some of these overlooked classics are getting a second act.

Pasha de Cartier

In 1985 legendary watch designer Gérald Genta revamped the Pasha, which was specially commissioned in the 1940s by the Sultan of Marrakech. Notable for its screwed-down crown protector, art deco numerals, and square minute track on a round dial, it resurfaced in 2020 with a modern automatic caliber. From $5,700; cartier.com

Breitling Chronomat B01 42

The original Chronomat made its debut in 1948 but got a sporty facelift in 1984, Breitling’s centennial year. That version inspired the most recent models, powered by the chronometer-certified B01 caliber and including defining elements such as a turning bezel with “rider tabs” at the quarter hours. From $8,100; breitling.com

Watchmakers Turn to the Unloved ’80s for a New Batch of Reissues

Chopard Alpine Eagle Chrono XL

The series takes cues from the St. Moritz, Chopard’s first steel sports watch, a bestseller in the ’80s. The family uses proprietary Lucent steel, and each piece is defined by its namesake’s avian motifs, including a textured dial evoking an eagle’s iris and the feather-shaped counterweight on the second hand. From $19,200; chopard.com

Hublot Classic Fusion 40 Years Anniversary

Gold watches on rubber straps don’t raise an eyebrow now, but when Hublot introduced the first one in 1980, it was a move as bold as the decade to come. Forty years later, new limited editions, here in titanium, expand its modest case diameter to 45mm and upgrade the quartz movement to Swiss-made automatic. From $8,300; hublot.com

Watchmakers Turn to the Unloved ’80s for a New Batch of Reissues

Tutima M2 Chronograph

The NATO Chronograph in 1984 became the official watch of German army pilots, who prized its comfort, legibility, and impact and pressure resistance. These attributes live on today with a barrel-shaped titanium case and a movement protected by an inner casing of mu-metal, an antimagnetic iron-nickel alloy. $6,500; tutima.com

Omega Constellation Gents

The Constellation made its debut in 1952, but its most iconic iteration arrived 30 years later, with a tonneau-shaped case, monolink bracelet, and four-clawed bezel with engraved roman numerals. All those elements are revived in this new collection, which houses a Master Chronometer movement. From $5,280; omegawatches.com

Watchmakers Turn to the Unloved ’80s for a New Batch of Reissues

Piaget Polo S

Although its release came in 1979, the original Polo hit its stride as a go-to jet-setter’s watch in the following years. The modern Polo S has a “shape-within-a-shape” construction, marrying a classically round case and a cushion-shaped dial. A subtle striped motif recalls the integrated look of the original as well. From $9,900; piaget.com

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.