Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016


A few weeks ago I have put up for sale of a 5508 dial and someone from overseas contacted me. My friend originally wanted it but has not found a watch for it and is willing to return to me for the one who needs it. 

After several email correspondence with the collector who wanted the dial, I have taken the dial back from my friend for the overseas collector who later went MIA. 

In the internet age where email communication is easy, some just chose not to communicate. If he doesn't want it he could just send an email saying he has changed his mind right?

There are some with none

Watches gone & in

Doing a small stock check and realized that I didn't do a good job keeping the watches quantities down for 2016. Need to try harder

Tutima military chronograph 
Spaceman watch
Norexa moonphase
Venus watch
Lemania chronograph 
Nos citizens
Elgin ww2

Watches in:
Rolex explorer 1016 gilt
Rolex explorer 5501
Rolex 5508 gilt
Rolex 1601 pink gold bezel
Rolex 6083
Rolex 6424
ZRC type 2
ZRC type 3 Spartiale x 2
Kelek chronograph 
Lemania WW2
West end military
Gub Cal 28.1
Duward aquastar diver
Sandoz duplex
Juvenile slim
French diver
Omega Kim II Sung
Marshall Field and co
Thailand limited edition & King watch
Duplex pocket watch
Seiko Padi

Monday, October 03, 2016

Rolex Tropical

This perhaps shall be my last watch for the year. Originally I was intending on getting the ZRC but I receive no news from the seller. Came across this trropical 1016 by chance and was attracted to it and bought it on impulse.  My preference is always for good condition dial but this was an exception.

At certain angle, the dial looked brownish. At another, it looked abit Orange copper...can see some black remaining on the dial. Such watch is not not everybody as it looked old and aged but it has character. I was contemplating on selling it initially but it grew on me...slowly

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Rolex Explorers

The Rolex Explorer is often overshadowed by the Daytona , Subs, the GMT’s. However, the Explorer is one of the hidden jewel in the vintage Rolex world and one of my favourite. Even within the Explorer series, there are many models from 6610, 1016 plus the air king explorer 5500, 5504, and the made for Canada dress watch 5501 Explorer plus the Explorer 2, 1655,  16550

Even within the Rolex 1016, there are the Matt dial, the gilt dial and the tropical dials

You can quickly identify a 6610 from a 1016 Explorer by the script at 6 o’clock. A 6610 will say "Officially Certified Chronometer," while a later 1016 will read "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified."

Rolex 5501 & 1016 tropical 

Explorer 2, ref 1655, 16550

Friday, September 23, 2016

Watches that Aged gracefully 😁👍

Generally, my preference for watches is to find watches that are in as good condition as possible. However, there were exceptions when watch aged gracefully in its own way that have developed their own appeal. 

ZRC dial that has turned from blue to brown,

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

8171 auction

Catalogue Essay

Reference 8171, also known as “Padellone” (Italian for large frying pan) amongst Rolex collectors, is without exaggeration one of the most legendary, best proportioned and consequently sought after vintage wristwatches ever made by any manufacturer. If one were to ask the worldwide community of watch collectors which model, in their view, should be on the all-time top-ten list then, quite certainly, Rolex’s large triple calendar reference 8171 would quite easily make it into a top position. 

Thanks to the firm’s rich history full of technical innovation and blessed with a vast array of different sports models, Rolex models featuring a full calendar with moon phases are a little bit off from the firm’s core business, to describe it subtly. As a matter of fact, since its founding, Rolex only produced two models indicating the day of the week, the month, the date and the phases of the moon: the mythical reference 6062, featuring the signature Oyster-case with a large diameter of 36mm and its larger “brother”, reference 8171, boasting a surprisingly generous 38mm. Interestingly, both models were only in production during a very short period during the early 1950s and both were available in yellow gold, pink gold or stainless steel.

Reference 8171 impresses not only with its large diameter, in particular when considering that a large gent’s watch in 1950 was around 35mm, but in particular with its harmonious case proportion and razor sharp edges, facets and angles. As a consequence, the 8171 case excels when preserved in flawless and unpolished condition but equally loses much of its charm and original beauty when repeatedly and unprofessionally polished.

Amongst the world’s elite of collectors, auction house specialists and dealers, few can sincerely say to have ever held in their hands, yet owned, a truly mint, absolutely unpolished and unrestored example of Rolex’s celebrated 8171 series.

Whereas the gold version often ends up slightly rounded given the soft nature of the case material, steel examples are commonly seen in average to poor condition for two particular reasons: firstly, steel’s vulnerability to corrosion, consequently requiring extensive cosmetic interventions with the polishing machine. Secondly, due to the fact that the less costly steel version was more often worn carelessly, scratches and dents were inevitable (again making polishing necessary).

The present “Padellone” must be described as “better doesn’t exist”-condition as, in over sixty years of life, it has not only been spared from any polishing or other type of restorations but most certainly from any wear from being worn on someone’s wrist. Its owner can comfortably claim to own the world best-preserved stainless steel reference 8171 as, simply put, there is no better than virtually mint.

With the best intention we cannot think of more than two other examples that could match this 8171’s condition. These two other examples are both treasured by two uncompromising private collectors and, when acquiring them, both were delighted to volunteer paying an absolute world record price in order to secure them. One of them is prominently published in John Goldberger’s “100 Superlative Rolex Watches” on page 76 & 77.

The silvered grain-finished dial is highlighted by silver-colored facetted hour markers and the typical Arabic numeral 12, surrounded by the date ring with rich medium-blue colored numbers ranging from 1 to 31, all in the typical Rolex font. The needle-shaped date hand features an arrow-shaped blued tip whereas the hour and minute hand are in the timeless “feuille” (French for leaf) design.

The case preserves the perfect mirror-finished surfaces on the bezel and the top surface of the lugs while retaining an immaculate satin-finish to the band of the case and the sides of the lugs as well as the center of the case back. There, the demanding collector and scholar can admire the perfectly crisp Rolex coronet and 6-digit serial number. 

The inside of the case back displays the factory finish and shows only one watch maker’s inscription. This means that in nearly 65 years the watch has only been brought once to a watchmaker for oiling; consequently the movement does not show any trace of wear.

The expandable Gay Frères Oyster-style bracelet from the period beautifully completes this “Padellone’s" appearance.

During the last 30 years of auctions, less than a handful of stainless steel Rolex reference 8171 have been described as AAA quality, but during the same time period the number of savvy collectors and the level of scholarship has been multiplied one hundredfold. This equation makes it very evident to the collector of vintage premium watches that not only will it become more and more difficult to secure such a perfect ”Eighty-One-Seventy-One” but possibly, that this example here represents the last occasion to ever own such a gem.





Francis Phua
Director, Property Development
Luxury & Lifestyle

DKSH Thailand Limited
2533 Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok,
Phrakhanong, Bangkok 10260, Thailand
Phone +662 790 4499 Fax +66 2 7303183
Mobile +66 91 889 1218

Think Asia. Think DKSH.

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