What do you do when you have collected watches for over three decades and have curated a massive online timepiece catalog that spans more than a century? If you are Dan Henry, you take a risk and manufacture your own collection of vintage style watches that are affordable and accessible to everyone. His Timeline.Watch site began by featuring his extensive collection of fine and vintage watches (over 1,500 to be exact), but soon grew to allow others to submit their own watches to this digital encyclopedia.
His brand – Dan Henry – currently features watches that pay homage to the vintage styles of the 1930s, 1940s, 1960s and 1970s. For many avid watch enthusiasts, one watch can be the result of years of saving for that investment. As someone who spent his life putting in the time and capital to acquire his collection, it was important that he provide others with quality, great looking watches that they wouldn’t have to worry about losing or damaging – something he has had painful experiences with.
I acquired his 1963 Pilot Chronograph to review due to its ties to military and aviation history. Like other pilot watches from that period, the 1963 claims a great set of features that focus on visibility and practical function of the watch. A large dial and clear markers are highlighted by the incredible Sapphire coated, double-domed mineral glass. The crystal is easily my favorite feature on the watch. It screams vintage all the way.
The 42.5mm case is constructed of 316L stainless steel and is 14.4mm thick (50mm lug to lug). It has a water resistance rating for 50 meters (165 feet). The case back features a 3D stamped Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird – a nod to the aircraft that was built in the year 1963. The stainless steel bezel has a simple but classy look that compliments the double deck sandwich dial instead of taking away from it. The bezel moves in five-minute increments and while the movement feels a bit loose, it looks great and serves its purpose well.
The movement is a Miyota 6S20 quartz. It powers the minute and hour hands along with the three subdials – a 60 minute chrono at the 9 o’clock position, a seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, and a 1/10 seconds subdial at 3 o’clock. Not a complicated movement, but for the price I can live with the cost-efficient yet reliable movement.
A great bonus feature is the quality Italian leather strap that can be easily interchanged with the included black nylon NATO strap at no additional cost. To make the deal even better, the watch comes with a watch roll constructed of leather and canvas. The three-slot roll is a functional storage option compared to most other watches that come in some sort of box that is not very practical. The watch roll is practical and looks great.
For the cost of $230 this watch is incredibly well made. I wouldn’t expect anything less from someone of Dan Henry’s watch pedigree, I’m just amazed that he was able to make such quality so affordable. Although the watch is manufactured in China, Dan Henry’s 1963 is immaculate in this price range.
All photos courtesy of author