1940s Vetta Cronografo Ermetico "Impermeable"

My journey down the rabbit hole of vintage watches was largely fueled by chronographs. It didn't really matter how many subdials it had, or what the name on its dial said. As long as it had something of aesthetic or mechanical note going on, I was intrigued. This avenue also exposed me to varying tastes of collectors in different countries, but most notably the chronograph collectors of Italy.
This oversized chronograph by Vetta measures a whopping 38mm across and emerged out of a partnership with Wyler. After the Swiss brand began selling watches under the Wyler Vetta name in Italy, pieces branded Vetta alone also benefited from the collaboration, resulting in watches like this stepped-bezel Ermetico Impermeable. I especially enjoy this piece's pop of color, which is served in the form of both a brilliant blue pulsations and red telemeter scale. Paired with the set of tracing, blued steel hands, these details really help elevate the appearance of an otherwise straightforward chronograph.
As evidenced by the lack of lug holes and the presence of a fold-and-secure style, two-piece strap, this Vetta has fixed bars. This is a detail I personally love, as it speaks to the no-nonsense, hard-wearing ethos of these early oversized chronographs. At a point in time when collecting of such watches was uncommon, strap options for fixed bar watches were limited, but with more enthusiasm surrounding the class, the possibilities have expanded accordingly. Though it does look excellent as it's currently configured, I think a blue strap could really make those applications of color pop even further. 


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