Wixon Jewelers in Minneapolis, MN

Time-Honored Traditions

Pre-owned Rolex Watch

From graduations and weddings to career promotions and business achievements, new watches are frequently purchased to mark momentous milestones. However, acquiring a vintage timepiece that was made in the same year or decade that you were born is an exceptionally distinctive watch to wear. The birth year watch is a celebration of you; a beautiful object that can simultaneously symbolize gratitude for the past and excitement for the future. Plus, it’s always fun to be reminded of what was in style during the decade that you came into the world. If you don’t already own a birth year timepiece, it’s a wonderful nostalgic gift to give yourself. Think of it as the ultimate personalized time-teller.

Your place in time

A birth year watch is essentially a timepiece that was made the same year you were born. It is not necessarily a watch model that was released that year, but one that was manufactured sometime that year. For instance, the Rolex Submariner made its debut in 1953, and the model continues to be a mainstay of the brand’s current catalog. Therefore, you can hunt down a birth year Rolex Submariner from any year from 1953 until present-day; but knowing what reference number was in production during a specific year is certainly helpful.

Pinpointing the exact manufacturing year of a vintage watch can sometimes be challenging—especially if you have a particular model in mind. So, another great approach is to find a birth decade watch. Expanding your parameters to an entire decade offers a much wider assortment of brands and models to choose from. 

Born in the 1950s? You can take your pick from mid-century classics like the Patek Philippe Calatrava, Rolex Oyster Perpetual, and Omega Seamaster. 1960’s babies can go for sporty chronographs like the Rolex Daytona, Omega Speedmaster, and Breitling Navitimer or iconic tool watches like the Rolex GMT-Master and Tudor Submariner. The timepieces of the 1970s had an aesthetic that’s still highly desirable today, largely characterized by bold angular cases, sharp dials, and distinctive bracelet designs. The Patek Philippe Nautilus, Rolex Oysterquartz, and Heuer Monaco are fantastic examples of that super cool seventies style. Finally, the power watches that ruled the 1980s were the models like the Rolex Day-Date, Omega Constellation, Cartier Santos, and Piaget Polo—preferably in solid yellow gold or two-tone variants. Remember, regardless of your birth decade, you can always go for models that were released in an earlier era but still in production during your time.

Horological Heirlooms

Since luxury watches are built to last several lifetimes, your birth year watch can become a family heirloom. It’s one that you’d be proud to pass on to the next generation and the lucky recipient will be reminded of the giver with every glance at the watch. There’s a certain magic to a vintage watch that can’t always be replicated with a modern one.

If you’re a relatively new parent, you can also buy your child a birth year watch now with the intention of gifting it on a future milestone birthday. Whether or not you choose to wear it in the meantime (after all, a child’s birth is a significant moment in a parent’s life too) is entirely up to you.


1966 Omega Speedmaster Professional “CB Case” (105.012-66) 1979 Tudor “Big Block” Automatic Chrono Time






When searching for a birth year watch, it’s important to know when certain models were introduced to ensure that it’s possible to get one that was made the same year you were born. Here are the release years for some popular vintage watches to keep in mind.


1932 Calatrava
1941 Perpetual Calendar
1941 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
1962 Self-Winding Perpetual Calendar
1968 Golden Ellipse
1976 Nautilus


1931 Oyster Perpetual
1945 Datejust
1945 Air-King
1953 Explorer
1953 Submariner
1955 GMT-Master
1956 Day-Date
1963 Daytona
1967 Sea-Dweller
1971 Explorer II
1977 Oysterquartz
1983 GMT-Master II


1948 Seamaster
1952 Constellation
1957 Seamaster 300
1957 Speedmaster
1957 Railmaster
1967 De Ville


1952 Oyster Prince
1954 Submariner
1957 Advisor
1969 Oyster Prince Date+Day
1970 Oysterdate Chronograph

[Top Image]:1970 Rolex Explorer (1016)

See the full issue of The Wixon Experience 2021 | Volume 8


Oops! We could not locate your form.

Wixon Jewelers Newsletter

Join our Newsletter

Be the first to know about tips, tricks and trends in jewelry.
Newsletter Sign Up

Join our Newsletter