After 119 years in business, J. Press can finally give you the time. The classic haberdasher’s online shop is now hosting a collection of vintage watches, ranging from a 1952 Rolex Oyster Perpetual to a ‘70s Seiko diver, curated by collectibles dealer Foundwell.
“I love the character in these watches,” Foundwell’s founder Alan Bedwell tells Robb Report. “There’s a fun, preppy playfulness to them.”
Bedwell sourced the timepieces specifically for this collection, with an eye to the type of watches that would fit into the J. Press aesthetic. “That can be a polo shirt and chinos, or it can be a beautiful tweed jacket and an oxford shirt, or even something a little bit more formal,” Bedwell says.
The selection is diverse both in its range of makers—Seiko features prominently, in a nod to Take Ivy and the Japanese love affair with all things Ivy style—and its prices, which in this inaugural batch range from $575 to $4,450.
“I tried to make this collection a little bit more friendly and less intimidating,” Bedwell says. “But at the same time, they’re all great watches, they’re beautifully made. They all represent great examples of their eras as well.”
The 12 watches currently online are just the first course. Bedwell says that another 10 to 15 will be added in the next few weeks and dangles the possibility that the collaboration may be ongoing with fresh vintage pieces added on a bi-weekly basis. Springtime will see another collaboration between Foundwell and J. Press, this time focusing on non-vintage watch straps and watch cases.
In the meantime, we’ve asked Bedwell to highlight the idiosyncrasies that make these one-of-a-kind pieces the horological equivalent of a flap-pocket OCBD. Here are six of his favorites.