Tracksmith, the New England apparel company known for its stylish running gear (and great taste in watches), has partnered with longtime HODINKEE contributor and renowned vintage watch-dealer Eric Wind on a collection of stopwatches going on sale today, just in time for the end of the Tokyo Olympics.
The partnership got underway after Wind was introduced to the company's co-founder and CEO, Matt Taylor. Years earlier, Taylor came across a vintage Breitling stopwatch that belonged to his father-in-law, a longtime high-school track and cross-country coach, and asked if he could keep it on his desk as a talisman of inspiration for his company.
"We talked about putting something together since 2018, but really began focusing on this in 2019," Wind told us. "Then, obviously, the Olympics were postponed. It allowed me to have some time to reflect on the types of replica watches that should be included, and also the brands. And obviously it gave me some extra time to hunt."
Just looking at the replica watches below, it's pretty easy to see their charm and appeal, but I called Eric earlier this week to ask him what he personally found so compelling about each of these watches. Below, he walks us through the collection.Breitling
"I like this model because of the red quarter dial. The condition is basically like new and it was found in the box. It has the May 17th, 1974 date stamped on the front of it, which is kind of funny and cool. Breitling was an important player in the stopwatch market, but it didn't have nearly as many offerings as Heuer. I thought it was cool to make Breitling part of this selection."Favre-Leuba From The 1950s
"This one was a special find because of it being in the box and for the Indian market. It's in spectacular condition. I wanted this collaboration to have international approaches for the stopwatches, not just the American market. This fake watch was clearly for the Indian market, like most of Favre-Leuba's offerings, with Bombay and Calcutta on the front of the box."Gallet by Racine From the 1970s
"Gallet was an important stopwatch manufacturer, particularly for the US market. It was kind of a smaller version of Heuer of that time period. This fake watch has a sort of sandblasted finish to the surface, whereas all the others have kind of a mirror-polish finish. I like the look. It feels very industrial."Heuer By Abercrombie & Fitch Split-Seconds
"I absolutely love this watch, both the look and feel. Unlike the others that store energy when they're wound and only begin ticking once you activate them, the design of this one is that it begins once you wind. So it doesn't have the power reserve that the others have, which kind of store energy perpetually until you start them. So it's got a really loud classic stopwatch tick. The way 'Abercrombie & Fitch Co.' is laid out on the dial, spaced out like that across, is very cool and the red numerals really pop."Heuer Stopwatch From 1960s For The NYC Board of Education
"I love these watches. It was one of the first stopwatches I was really enchanted by when I first got started with vintage watches. It's very cool to see a large sans serif engraving on the back that's austere but very beautiful at the same time. They were probably issued to gym teachers across New York City. They are very simple but awesome watches."Heuer Clubmate 1980s Stopwatch
"I like this one because it's much more modern. You have this olive-green button on the right side to start it, red stops it, and then black resets it. With the black minute register against the white dial it's a very beautiful piece. This one winds differently as well ?almost all the rest wind by the top, this one winds on the back."Heuer Stopwatch With Jumping Hour Counter From 1970s
"I like the jumping hour counters. It's kind of unusual for stopwatches. We see it more with the Heuer dashboard clocks and chronographs. It's basically taking that technology and putting it in a stopwatch. Most of these stopwatches can only time up to 30 or 60 minutes, but this can go up to 12 hours, for a longer running race."Heuer Supertrack 1970s Stopwatch
"This was from the ?0s era, when things were getting less expensive. It has a very simple movement and it's chrome-plated. I love the look of the red, green, and black buttons, and then the grey supertrack dial within the white really pops and kind of reminds me of Tracksmith because they have a Greyboy shirt. Plus having the word 'track' on the dial felt very appropriate for the collaboration."Heuer Trackmate For The US Government 1970s Stopwatch
"I love these US Government watches. It's such a cool thing to have 'US Government' across the dial. Most of them you see are slightly older but this is a ?0s version where it says 'Trackmate,' and I like having 'track' on the dial given the collaboration. It may still technically be US Government property, but I am not sure they are in need of mechanical stopwatches."Minerva 1960s Stopwatch
"I love the look of this one with the orange minute counter underneath. The font of the numerals is great, with the open six in 60. Minerva was obviously known for their chronographs, and has a strong legacy today with Montblanc, so I thought it was very important as one of the brands here."Omega 1950s Stopwatch
"Omega has a strong legacy of timing at the Olympics, but their vintage stopwatches are not so common in this style. So I thought it was a really nice utilitarian look with the triangular markers. I thought the hand-inscribed 'Miner 1958' on the back was kind of charismatic. I like seeing things like that. Someone was really using this for some purpose, and I thought it was cool."
A mechanical stopwatch has all the toylike appeal of a chronograph ?just try not to push those buttons! ?but usually comes at considerably lower cost. While you can't wear it on your wrist, you can have it on your desk or in a drawer, wound and ready to time a lunch break, trip to the mailbox. Or just start, stop, reset, and repeat.Shop this story
For more information on all of the replica watches here, visit Tracksmith.Omega Breitling Heuer Gallet Vintage Minerva Vintage-minerva Olympics Favre-leuba Stopwatch Eric Wind Teams Up With Tracksmith For Vintage Stopwatch Collection 5353