As an avid collector of 1960's Seiko watches, I have focused on the attributes that make Seiko watches attractive to me: the solid build quality which allowed these pieces to survive and be useable after more than 50 years, the cross-compatibility and availability of donor movements for maintenance and repair, industry-leading innovation, long and colorful brand history, classic design elements and extensive information available through books, forums, and blog posts.
One other brand provides all of the above and adds an additional attribute: a superlative brand image. That brand is Rolex.
My passion for watches was kindled reading Rolex advertisements on the back cover of National Geographic as a youngster back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and an aspirational dream was born to one day own a Rolex.
Life - and priorities - came in the way, but the aspirational dream remained. Eventually, I was able to indulge in the watch passion, and vintage Seiko offered an affordable entry into vintage watches. I read, researched, and blogged my way into building up themed collections, which I traded up for fewer, better pieces, but Rolex prices kept increasing, and the brand remained at arm's length for me.
After nearly 20 years of collecting I was finally in a position to celebrate a professional aspiration (two years of successful self-employment), sold much of my existing collection, and acquired my first vintage Rolex: a 1967 Rolex DateJust 1603 with linen dial and 18K white gold coronet, markers (sigma dial) and hands and stainless engine-turned bezel: