Saturday, June 16, 2018

Vintage Glashutte diver cal 11-27

Owing to my love of history, I have collected a few of the Glashutte vintage watches mdae from the previous East Germany. There are a few models for the vintage Glashutte diver made in Germany. This model for me is the best looking Glashutte diver cal 11-27. 

It has a larger case: chrome plated; diameter excl. crown approx 38mm; lug to lug approx. 46mm; lug width 20mm. Vintage military diver wristwatch GUB Glashutte  with famous 22 jewels automatic Spezichron caliber 11-27, Only 72.000 movements of this type were produced in Germany in 1970s under the previously Eastern block GUB (Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe). The Glashutte company  was privatised to become Glashütte Original in 1994.


The Day Date movement was considered advance during the 1970s. The day indicator/disc is in German, it has never been made in English. The black dial and the bezel complete the look and making this the most attractive vintage Glashutte. Perhaps, one day the modern Glashutte "Original" will replicate this.












Talking about relaunching an old model, for a story on the Relaunch of the Glashutte , please see below:
  
https://monochrome-watches.com/glashutte-original-sixties-comparing-old-new/


For this story we have to travel back in time to 2007, when the German watch manufacture Glashütte-Original introduced a new model that was heavily inspired on a vintage model. It was more of a modern version of a vintage timepiece that was made during the GDR period (from 1949 to 1990 the eastern part of Germany was occupied Soviet forces), and it shared pretty much all of its looks right down to the smallest details; except now the materials used are of modern standards. We put them side by side… a vintage Glashütte Uhren Betrieb (GUB) hand-wound watch and a modern Glashütte-Original Sixties.
As a side note – that is certainly of some importance – I have to say that the vintage example is mine. I cannot recall the exact date of purchase, however it was early 2007, around the time when Glashütte-Original introduced the Senator Sixties at the 2007 Baselworld fair. When I bought it, I had no idea that the high-end watchmaker from Glashütte in Saxony, Germany, was about to launch a model that is not just inspired on, but almost a perfect modern iteration of the old watch. Today we’re going to review that new watch, and for history’s sake, we keep my vintage GUB next to it.
Glashutte Original Sixties
A bit of history
Glashütte Original as we know it today, was founded in 1994 by the privatization of VEB Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe , or short GUB. After the Russians took control over the Eastern part of Germany, shortly after World War II, GUB was formed in 1951 as an East German conglomerate comprising all watch companies based in Glashütte. Today Glashütte Original produces its own movements, and their watches are in the higher echelons of the watch market. Glashütte Original is currently owned by The Swatch Group.

Overview

Leaving my old GUB out of the equation, the Glashütte-Original Sixties (formerly known as Senator Sixties) is a charming, pleasantly priced, comfortably wearing, dress watch with a more than average nod to yesteryear. The Sixties indicates, as one might expect from a proper dress watch, hours, minutes and seconds. Time only thus. And with a diameter of only 39mm and a relatively slender profile of 9.4mm it also qualifies as thoroughbred dress watch. With these dimensions the Sixties also wears quite comfortably and while it’s not the biggest watch, it has quite some wrist presence. Maybe that’s due to the rather large, open and clean silver face with minimal writing on the dial. What it all comes down to, is that the GO Sixties is a very charming dress watch, with a very nice and reliable in-house movement, and a dose of interesting feats… let’s have a closer look!

Case and strap

The round 39mm 18K rose gold case measures 9.4mm thick, and part of its thickness is debted to the domed sapphire crystal. Although the domed crystal makes this watch thicker, it also resembles the domed plexi crystal of the old GUB. The lugs are more shaped than on the old GUB, however both the old and the new feature a quite thin bezel, leaving a large opening for the dial. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters, so not for swimming, showering or diving, however rain and washing hands should not harm the watch.
While 99% of all luxury watches with an alligator strap come on a alligator strap with large scales, GO opted for an alligator strap with small scales. Rather unusual, however I find it a much better fit on such a vintage inspired watch! The strap is closed by a tang buckle with the brand’s double-G logo engraved.

DIAL AND HANDS

The dial and hands are actually the parts of this watch that resembles the old GUB the most. Similarities go further than just the numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12. The dial is domed like on the old GUB, and the hands are baton style hands, and on both the old and new filled with luminescent material. The hour markers are applied stick markers and next to each hour marker is a small luminescent dot, for better legibility at night.
Glashütte-Original Sixtie
Several years ago, Glashütte-Original bought a dial making factory and now they are able to make their own dials. The result, besides more control over delivery times and quality, is that they can also play more with ‘funky’ colours and even patterns on the dial, like they did for the Sixties Iconic Collection (see here.)

MOVEMENT

Glashütte-Original’s in-house movement, calibre 39-52, is visible through a lovely ‘box’ sapphire crystal. This means that you can look through the side of the crystal as well, to observe the movement from various angles. On the down-side, the movement is quite a bit smaller than the case, and the movement holder (metal ring around the movement) is also clearly visible. Glashütte-Original used the ring not only to hold the movement in place, but also engraved with the word “automatic”. Altogether I think GO did something very nice and novel, with the box sapphire and I think it would not have worked very well with a larger movement.
Glashütte-Original Sixties
The movement finishing is really nice and features so-called Glashütte ribbing (the German equivalent of Côte de Genève) on the three-quarter plate, balance cock and skeletonized rotor. The latter features a 21k gold oscillator weight, for improved inertia, and is adorned with the Glashütte-Original double-G logo. The watch is regulated by a swan-neck fine adjustment.
The edges are bevelled and all steel parts are polished (by hand of course); even the rim of the balance is polished, and therefore looks much better than the average balance. The finishing is certainly on par with, if not above, most of its direct competitors in the same price range, and delivers outstanding value for money.
Calibre 39-52 only indicates time, by three central hands (hours, minutes and seconds), and has a power reserve of approx. 40 hours. This movement, part of the calibre 39 family, is a solid and reliable movement, which has been in production for a few decades.

Conclusion

In terms of styling, the Glashütte-Original Sixties is very close to my old GUB, and more importantly, it looks fabulous. Size-wise its more modern, with a 39mm diameter, and I’m happy that it’s not 40mm or more. In this rose gold execution the watch is a proper dress watch, although its ‘sixties style’ dial adds some flair to what could be a standard classic dress watch. The domed sapphire crystal in front, and the box sapphire as case-back also add a lot of flair, and that’s certainly something that will please those who like vintage dress watches, and want to enjoy it in a contemporary quality. It’s more water resistant than my old GUB, and probably better suited for daily wearing.
The Sixties also comes in 18K rose gold with a black dial, and in stainless steel with silver, black or blue dial. The price is very reasonable and starts at € 6.300 euro for the stainless steel models, and € 12.600 for both rose gold versions. Altogether a very charming watch, with great features that will certainly bring pleasure, and a very pleasant price point.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS – GLASHÜTTE-ORIGINAL SIXTIES

  • Case: 39mm diameter – 18k rose gold – domed sapphire crystal in front, box sapphire crystal in case-back – 30m water resistant
  • Movement: Calibre 39-52 in-house movement – self-winding – 40h power reserve – 25 jewels – 28,800vph – three centrals hands for hours, minutes and seconds – three-quarter plate with Glashütte ribbing – swan-neck fine adjustment – 18k gold oscillating weight
  • Strap: alligator leather strap with 18k rose gold pin buckle
  • Variations: 18k rose gold with black dial, and in stainless steel with silver, black or blue dial.
  • Price: € 6.300 EUR for the stainless steel version, and € 12.600 EUR for the 18k rose gold versions

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Lost Navigator W10

Information from net

由來自1965年至1976年間,Hamilton為英軍製造軍用手錶,其後就由CWC接手生產。
正值兩間錶廠替換的1976年,有一批為數2,000隻,由錶面,機芯至錶身都沒有錶廠名字的軍用手錶出現。世人只能憑著錶身後的軍用物資編號,得知是生產於1976年並分配予空軍使用,於是大家就稱其為「Sterile Navigator」。


設計與技術
Sterile Navigator,採用一貫軍用錶面的清晰設計,印上有象徵英軍的 Broad Arrow symbol,十二時則以三角形標誌代替及油上綠色的夜光,而最後有個圓圈並內有一個"T"字的符號- 則表示夜光是用上Tritium。
這綠色的夜光,是有別於分別由早期的Hamilton & 後期由CWC所供應的軍錶,兩者現時皆已變成漂亮的黃色;有一個有趣說法是,改用上綠色的夜光,在耐用程度上,是更勝於前面所提及兩間錶廠。
錶背也同樣印上象徵英軍 Broad Arrow symbol, 當中 ’6BB’ 代表分發予 Royal Air Force (RAF),隨後的13 個數字是表示NATO Stock Number(6645 99-5238290) 以及生產的序號與1976這個生產年份 (XXXX /76)
機芯方面,是使用 A. Schild, the cal. 2160, 17石,同樣有別由Hamilton & CWC所使用的ETA cal. 2750,改為提升至28,800 bph, 並且另外配上一個類似用於ETA 7750的微調裝置

謎團
這款軍錶與當時的Hamilton & 後期的CWC 所提供完全不同,既然如此,是誰製造這一批手錶?為什麼不印上品牌名字?
如果是Hamilton, 因為在1976年與國防部(MOD)之間的合約臨近結束而製造,但為什麼要改用另一批機芯另一批夜光顏料?
如果是CWC, 同樣是為什麼要用上另一款機芯與夜光,並與後期所生產的完全不同?
如果是國防部(MOD),自行用舊有的零件等組裝而成,有足夠的的人手嗎?有足夠的技術嗎?要知道的是,要製作一款供應給空軍使用的手錶有嚴謹要求,規定每日誤差為十五秒。
如果是由昔日供應商之一的Smith製造,但錶面卻印上了"SWISS MADE"。而Smith是一間英國本地的鐘錶公司,由其生產應該參照昔日般印上"MADE IN ENGLAND"
最後也有一個說法,這批手錶是由Precista or Newmark這兩間公司製造,皆因兩者於1980 & 1981向英國國防部,製造英國空軍的計時手錶。這兩間公司極有可能於70年代已經向英國國防部提供軍用手錶。
無論是誰製造也好,Sterile Navigator,令人充滿幻想的空間。

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Love the Rolex Bubbleback

This is one of the watches that the Rolex brand’s stellar reputation was built upon. The watch embodies two of the developments which Rolex perfected: the waterproof case and the automatic winding mechanism.

The waterproof watch case was a priority for watchmakers ever since the watch moved from being an object carried in the pocket, to an item worn on the wrist. On the wrist the watch is subjected to a far harsher environment than the cosseted pocket watch! Rolex’s solution to this problem was twofold: firstly they use a tightly fitted threaded case back, which solved the problems associated with the snap on backs of pocket watches. Secondly they developed a screw-down winding crown, thus addressing the other area of weakness in traditional case design.

The watch is also an automatic, which means it doesn’t need winding by hand every day, instead the mainspring winds up from the everyday movement of the wearer’s wrist. This was partly for convenience, but mostly because it meant the wearer would not need to unscrew the winding crown, except to occasionally re-set the time and thus prevent undue wear to the waterproof threads and seal.

This model is known as a bubbleback, the automatic winding module was considerably  thicker than a conventional hand-winding one and, rather than compromise the appearance of the case, Rolex created space for the movement within the bulbous case back.The Rolex Bubbleback is the first reliable automatic watch produced during the 1930s. It is this model that helped Rolex established its name in the horological world.

I have always love the Rolex bubbeback and during the late 1980s and 1990s, these watches are more collectible that the Rolex sports watches.Despite the ubiquitous name, Rolex never engraved “Bubbleback” anywhere on the watch or officially recognized the name.  However, the thick auto-rotor required a fatter case, and the decision was made to move the case out in the back rather than make the watch larger overall.  This led not only to the English designation of “Bubbleback” but the Italian ovettone or “Little Egg,” as well as the more sinister “Little Coffin” name in Hong Kong. Lately, the prices of these have slowly escalated as there are more and more collectors turning to find these values for money watches. May of the 3rd tiers brands watch prices have also escalated owing to the internet demand.






Wednesday, June 13, 2018

IWC Mark XI variations in dials

According to Horological Journal January 2004, there are a few versions of IWC Mark XI. My guess is that there are more than 4 versions. Even within the 3rd versions with the circle T, there are also variations in terms of the hook ''7" and normal 7, etc. In addition, there is also the service dial with the T SWISS T as well as the black dial civilian versions. As for the case back engraving, there are also many variations as well. 



Source : http://www.gregsteer.net/IWC/Mark_11/mark11a-en.pdf

According to the 'Man is Not Lost' article about the Mk 11 navigational wristwatch (Christian, Koenig and Steer), IWC sold, beginning in 1949, over 8,000 Mk 11 units for military use- 7,400 to the RAF, 600 to the RAAF, and an undetermined number (thought to be ~600) to other Commonwealth Air Forces like the RNZAF and SAAF. Included in this last number of ~600 were an undetermined number of Mk 11 units purchased by civilian airlines including BOAC.

When in 1973 the RAF introduced the Mk 11's successor, IWC then sold genuine civilian Mk 11s - 500 units in 1973 and another 500 units in 1983.

IWC Mark XI uses the famous IWC caliber 89, 17-jewel signed manual wind movement, hack setting, adjusted to 3 positions, with shock protection, round screw back case (36mm in diameter) with anti-magnetic zero gauss cage and dome. Fixed lug bars, original signed case for military and unsigned back case to distinguishes this civilian version from the military one. The civilian version is harder to find than the military one as only 1000 units were produced. I have managed to find the second and third versions as below. 

Second version is without the circle T and without the arrow and it's perhaps the civilian version (but it has the NATO engraving at the back). Watch may have been recycled during a certain period before it was decommissioned) We have to remember that MOD watchmakers were not thinking of us collectors but rather of ensuring a "tool" entrusted to them was put back in service and was fully functional and in good repair for re use.

 

Third version is with the circle T.


Just found this photo of a back case where the watch was reassigned to GAF  
Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) was the name of an aircraft manufacturer owned by the Government of Australia based at Fishermans Bend, a suburb of Melbourne in Victoria. It had its origins in the lead-up to World War II, during which it was known as the Department of Aircraft Production (DAP). In 1987, GAF was reorganised and renamed as Aerospace Technologies of Australia (ASTA) then privatised. ASTA subsequently formed the nucleus of Boeing Australia


http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showthread.php?46561-GAF-IWC-Mark-11&highlight=IWC+Mark+XI

http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showthread.php?37173-interesting&p=153057#post153057

IWC mark XI

This is my second IWC mark 11. The IWC Mk 11 is considered by many collectors and enthusiasts to be one of the finest military watches ever produced. Information from the net:

The Mark 11 was specifically manufactured to help RAF pilots to accurately pin-point their intended targets. RAF bombing raids throughout the Second World War had been notoriously inaccurate. An investigation conducted in 1941 revealed that only around a quarter of the number of bombers which claimed to have attacked their targets actually did so. Other investigations concluded that more than 95% of bombs missed their intended target by more than five miles. The cause of this was simply due to the lack of precise navigation.




Consequently, the old system of “dead reckoning” (determining your present position by projecting your course and speed from a known past position) was abandoned and the focus turned to astronavigation which required an extremely accurate timepiece.


The MoD put out requirements for a navigation timekeeping wristwatch, that would have a highly accurate movement with hack-device, an inner soft iron cage forming a shield to protect the movement from magnetic interference, a stainless steel waterproof case with a screwed ring in order to protect the crystal from sudden decrease of pressure, and a black dial with luminous hands.

Upon delivery, the Mk 11 was subjected to an exhaustive 44-day testing period for ‘Navigator Wrist Watches’. Each batch then had to be sent to the chronometer workshop of the Royal Greenwich observatory in Herstmonceux. All watches had to be sent there from active units for maintenance as well. These ‘fitness’ tests entailed a 14-day period rating in 5 positions and at least two temperatures, plus further tests for ensuring the antimagnetic and waterproof properties of each piece. After passing these tests, each watch marked for a 12 month interval were the tests had to be run again. The Mark 11 was originally reserved for use only by navigators while later on it was issued to pilots as well.

The Mk11 was introduced into the RAF and the FAA (Fleet Air Arm) in 1949 and into the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) in 1950. At first IWC and Jaeger Le Coultre (JLC) produced these watches. However, having bought 2,000 Mk 11s from JLC in 1949 the RAF decided to buy only the IWC Mk 11 from 1949 to 1953, when the last RAF orders were placed. The last IWC Mk 11 was delivered to the RAF in 1953 although it was not officially decommissioned until 1981.




Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Lemania “Majetek Vojenske Spravy” military watch

Lemania “Majetek Vojenske Spravy” military watch with rare military hallmark on the left upper lug.

At the time of the German invasion, some of these watches flew with their owner to France and Poland and accompanied them in the fight against Nazi Germany in the ranks of the Royal Air Force. In tribute to the bravery of these pilots, some "Majetek" will be marked with two crossed daggers engraved on the handle at 11 o'clock.This sign, presented as a sort of "cross of war", is traditionally marked on some Czech military equipment, a bit like the British "pheon" ( Broad Arrow ), usually followed by the last two digits of the year. staffing:

Source: https://chronographes.net/2018/02/22/eterna-type-majetek/


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox

This is a gentleman's stainless steel Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox ref 855 in lovely original condition with mechanical alarm in perfect working order - sounding loud and crisp. This is the much rarer large or jumbo 37mm sized version of the Memovox and is an automatic with date function.

The Memovox range is a signature Jaeger-LeCoultre model and one of the icons of 20th century wristwatch design. Over the decades the Memovox has been styled with a variety of different case and dial designs. 

The is an example in a classic Memovox design with a relatively large case, measuring 37mm in diameter. The bold, linear dial has gently tapering indexes which are centrally set with black inserts; the straight baton hands are styled to match with centralised luminescent tips mirroring the luminescent panels set at each hour within the track for minutes/seconds. To the dial centre, the alarm setting disc is finished with a circular satin grain which gives the dial a two-tone appearance – in fact, as the track for minutes/seconds is chamfered inwards it creates the illusion of a 3-tone dial, the eye perceiving three different dial finishes as it catches the light. 

Two Jaeger-LeCoultre crowns are set to the case side, the upper is for winding the alarm barrel and setting the central disc to the alarm time, the lower crown can be used for manually winding the watch if it is completely out of power and also for hand-setting. There is provision for semi-quick date change – the date will change each day around midnight but can be manually advance when required by moving the hands repeatedly between

Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre K825 automatic movement, lever escapement, 17 jewels, compensation balance, 18,000 BPH, Kif-Flector shock absorber, silvered two tone dial,  the chapter ring with sunburst satin finish and applied indexes with black inserts, inner black ring for minutes/seconds with luminous indications at the hours, flat baton hands with blackened tips centred with luminescent panels, central circular satin finished rotating disc for alarm indication with luminescent triangular indicator, framed aperture for date, stainless steel circular case, polished chamfered bezel, satin finished case sides, two Jaeger-LeCoultre crowns, the upper crown for setting and winding alarm, lower crown for time set, two-part satin finished case back with screw-down securing bezel, case, dial, movement and crowns signed. I have traded one of my bubbleback with cash top up for this beauty


Ad from Matthew


Its original bracelet made by Gay Freres







The Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox calibers
1. The Memovox was first introduced by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1950/51 with the manually wound Calibre 489. 
2. In 1956, the Caliber. 489 was replaced with the Calibre 815, making the Memovox the first automatically wound alarm wristwatch
3. With Caliber 825 Movement the most iconic Memovox movement, the Calibre 825, which is a cal. 815 with the addition of a date module. so-called "bumper" winding system and the hammer-based alarm


Saturday, June 09, 2018

IWC blue dial

International Watch Company Ref. 1828 steel vintage wristwatch, circa 1972

This IWC wristwatch has a captivating blue, satin finished dial with matching blue date ring and a finely drilled, perlé, minute/seconds track.

In the IWC dealer’s catalogue listing for the Ref. 1828, this dial was described as “blue sunray“. The applied indexes have black inserts to their centres which enhance their legibility and are matched in style to the baton hands.

Cased in a tonneau form case, the watch reflects design elements that were popular in the late 1960s and 1970s, yet this is a classically styled model with clean lines and an emphasis on visual clarity.

This watch is powered by the excellent IWC calibre 8541B automatic movement which incorporates a hack feature – when the crown is pulled out to adjust the hands, the seconds hand will stop, thereby allowing accurate synchronisation to a time signal. There is also provision for semi-quick date change – whilst the date will change automatically each day at midnight, it can be manually advanced by repeatedly moving the hands between 11.30pm and midnight.

Vintage Glashutte diver cal 11-27

Owing to my love of history, I have collected a few of the Glashutte vintage watches mdae from the previous East Germany. There are a few ...