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Neo Vintage vs. Neo Retro

Neo-Vintage has become a widespread term within the independent scene and watch collecting vocabulary, gradually morphing into the go-to phrase for a watch which has throwback classic design elements while benefiting from modern material science and manufacturing: Exemplified by the offerings of brands such as Baltic, Furlan Maari and Lorier.


However the phrase isn't particularly robust when describing continuation pieces or pre-quartz crisis pieces; We can roughly nail this period down as the early 1970s through late 1990s. For this in-between period the Non-Vintage moniker doesn't reflect the upheaval, consolidation and subsequent rebirth of brands. Nor does it adequately describe the sea-change in the design that occurred every half decade throughout the roughly 20 year period, exemplified no better by the Omega Seamaster.



For this reason we propose a modification to the term: Neo-Retro. While this may feel like an unnecessary distinction, it does a better job of describing design (and manufacturing methodology) from the recent past while putting a clear demarcation between influences from Post-War or remnants of Art Deco.


Neo-Retro also creates an Alternate Reality scenario by establishing a subgenre of watches that propose the question: What if the mid-size brands actually managed to go upmarket and avoid the race to the bottom? In this sandbox we can only speculate which brands would have been successfully able to punch above their weight, Oris and Rolex being perfect examples of brands that became household names by taking drastically different paths (that have somewhat converged recently).


Whereas Neo-Vintage is where we've come from, Neo-Retro is where we're headed as more brands adopt design cues from recent living memory (instead of the annals of history) bringing the whole hobby full circle as we head into the next decade.


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