Monday, August 29, 2016

Jaquet Droz


Sunday, August 07, 2016

Kelek calibers 1369 & 1376

Keleks with calibers 1369 & 1376 introduced in 1973-4

In 1973, the Valjoux 7750 was launched which became one of the most used chronograph movements. Four years after,  the automatic chronograph pioneers El Primero, Cal. 11 and Seiko 6139 were launched.

In addition, another automatic chronograph caliber was presented by a consortium constituted by Tenor Dorly, Brac and Kelek in collaboration with Dubois Depraz who developed the chronograph module. The initials TDBK represent the four companies that were involved in its development. Tenor-Dorly, Dubois-Depraz, Brac and Kelek. The base caliber an automatic with date was developed by Brac and Tenor-Dorly, the chronograph module was subsequently added by chronograph specialist Dubois-Depraz, and Kelek were responsible for the production.

The new TDBK calibers were presented in two versions: the 1369 and the 1376. The 1369 is easily recognizable by the odd localization of subdials (running seconds at 6, the minutes register between 2 and 3 and the hours register at 11). Also the date window was placed unusually: at 9. 

The 1376 is, if possible, even more peculiar: “instead of the normal group of hands, two discs with printed hours and minutes were used. To make sure the time could be read accurately, the hours were jumping. But this was not the only change to the movement. The totalizers were also different. The subsidiary seconds at 6 o’ clock was sacrificed for the date display, wich in turn relinquished its place at 9, since that is where the hour disc turned. The minute counter between 2 and 3 o’clock had to make way for the rotating minute disc. To prevent the caliber 1376 from becoming a chronograph, a 60-minute counter replaced the hour counter”. – description from Classic Wristwatches 2014/2015

This caliber was initially used in watches branded Kelek and Tenor Dorly but many other brands also started to use it: Waltham, Nivada, Precimax, Mikado, Lov, etc and, even, the historical chronograph maker Minerva.

Despite all the effort evolved in his development, reliability problems, the quartz crisis and a strong competition by the Valjoux 7750 made the success achieved by this caliber very limited and only 23000 units of both versions (1369 and 1376) were made, making it rare and collectable for the chronograph collectors.

The 1369 is a 17 jewels modular column wheel chronograph caliber which runs at 21600bph. The 1376 is a mechanical digital with a 60 minute chronograph module. The 1376 can be seen as an attempt of the Swiss watch industry to combat the onslaught of the digital Quartz watches from Japan. It is most likely to be the first world jump hour chronograph.

With a diameter of 24.8 cm and a height of 7.6 cm, they were the smallest automatic caliber on the market, considerably smaller and thinner than the Heuer cal 11/12 and Zenith 3019 El Primero counterparts. For history remains the smallest automatic chronograph ‘till date and in the following 20 years.The case from both watches has 36mm wide without crown, 45mm lug to lug and is 15mm thick.

These two watches have potential in price escalations owing to the rarity in quantities and uniqueness in watch dials placement...

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Vintage Enicar

Tutima military chronograph

Tutima Military Chronograph, West Germany, Tritium dial and hands, signed bracelet, is an  early production 80's pre-unification Tutima Bund NATO L5100 chronograph... 
Size: massive 43mm bead-blasted case and terrific Presidential-style bracelet... this is a civilian model but signed Tutima W. Germany... There is no Tutima on the dial or bracelet, as it was with the earliest examples... overall excellent vintage condition! Tutima W Grmany engraved at the back case.
Tutima Military Chronograph steel case stainless steel automatic watch , Case diameter 43mm without crown, case-height 14.8 mm). Stainless steel bracelet, stainless steel security deployant buckle . Dial black with applied indexes, Arabic digits. Automatic watch movement chronograph, caliber 5100 Lemania, Running great and all functions well. Display of hour and minute hand over from the middle, small second with additional second-second setting the time on the 9 o'clock, date and weekday indicator display at 3 o clock, 24 hours at 12 o'clock. Stainless steel screw-down crown & caseback, engraved. 

There are a few versions namely:
-  Military Chrono 'civilian' version 
- *BUND*
- U.S Property
- Jakarta Military 

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Time to regroup

I have promised myself to streamline and bring down the number of vintage watches in my collection so that I can get my dram Grail ZRC diver. So far, to be exit watches includes the Seiko vintage, Elgin military and Enicar worldtimer GMT.

Spaceman watch



Saturday, July 09, 2016

Norexa triple calendar Moonphase using Valjoux 90 movement

Norexa triple calendar Moonphase using Valjoux 90 movement. Traded my Benrus diver for this. 

Monday, July 04, 2016

Rolex 5508 early gilt service dial

I love the early Rolex submariner without crown guard 5508. Both my 5508 are the serviced dials from different generation. I have always wanted to have a gilt dial 5508 and I have been looking for a gilt dial for a while and the closest I can find is the early gilt service dial as below.

According to an expert, this is one of the earliest gross finished service dial. Please see below..

I now have a spare NOS 5508 service dial... Anyone who is in need of an original Rolex 5508 dial can contact me..

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Vintage wAtch direction

I have been moving away from vintage watches that are being speculated by the auction houses or dealers for a while. In particular, the Rolex sports watches have been so speculated that prices have started to fall especially for the auction led. Together with the economic uncertainties, many buyers who have paid premium prices will have to hang on with the watches until prices recover. With the increasing number of mixed parts have made verification of authenticity tough. Unlike Patek who will issue archives for their watches, Rolex do not offer such services. One way is to get a Rolex service paper. However, Rolex do not care about whether the dial is type 1 or type 5 as these classifications were done by collectors and not Rolex. We have to remember that during the 1960-70s, Rolex like any Swiss watch companies, faced the challenge from the Japanese watches. Moreover, dials manufacturing were often outsourced to different companies and variations will therefore happened.

I was lucky as many of my vinatge sports watches were bought before the hype and prices were very reasonable. Whenever possible, I have sent most of my vintage sports models to Rolex center for service and change of parts, as give it another few more years, the spare parts for the 1960-70 watches will be depleted. Many collectors do not have to send their Rolex centers as they prefer to keep them in original conditions. However, mechanical watches like cars needs servicing. As such those ghost bezels, damaged spider dial, faded dials if continues to deteriorate, will definitely undermined the values..

Since vintage watch collecting is one of our hobbies, we should expand our horizon beyond the Rolex Sports watches...right??