The Coolest New Watches Don’t Look New At All

A slight yellowing of something that was formerly white is usually considered a bad thing (see: teeth, shower grout, your favorite white tee). When it comes, however, to vintage timepieces—the market for which shows no signs of slowing in the age of coronavirus—the reverse is actually true. The reasons for this are as complex and nerdy as the vintage watch game itself, but suffice to say that collectors highly value authenticity and uniqueness, making a watch with a “tropical” dial or yellowing lume (the stuff that makes hour markers glow in the dark) worth potentially thousands more than one in box-fresh condition. Because of this, and because there are only so many perfectly patinated vintage watches out there, watchmakers have gone ahead and made a bunch of new ones with the patina already baked in. With their retro looks and subtly yellowed “fauxtina” markings, these watches are the easiest way to flex a vintage look without having to outbid a horde of tropical-obsessed watch collectors.

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