Monday, May 30, 2011

Patek 1950s price historical value and now

In 2010, the relative worth of $800.00 from 1955 is:

$6,510.00 using the Consumer Price Index
$5,340.00 using the GDP deflator
$8,470.00 using the unskilled wage
$10,500.00 using the Production Worker Compensation
$15,100.00 using the nominal GDP per capita
$28,300.00 using the relative share of GDP

Patek 3445 white gold with date

With the help of Candy, I have managed to find a Patek Philippe White gold 3445 with date in very good condition. The 3445 was produced from 1961-1981 in solid yellow and white gold. Since I already have the 2552 and 3433 in yellow gold, it become natural for me wanting to find a white gold. The simple design is really timeless and nice. This is the second auto movement produced by Patek and is also one of the most beautiful rotor Patek ever built.

History of famous company Patek Philippe began 160 years back, in 1839, when to Geneva officer of the Polish cavalry Antoni Norbert Patek arrived Philip de Pravdzhich, taking part in a revolt during occupation of Bel'vederskogo of palace in Warsaw. Since it was cruelly low-spirited, Patek Philip, as well as thousands of other Poland, rescued from pursuit, was forced to abandon Motherland. Some time he gets a lesson describe vividly for the known landscape-painter A. Kalama, and then carries with horology. Teaming up with other Polish emigrant - watch-maker Fransua Chapekom, Patek Philip registers a sentinel firm, the task of which consisted of that, to survive in a cutthroat competition with other Swiss brands which by that time already were the acknowledged authorities of business sentinel. A young company spares basic attention a design: partners buy for the best producers mechanisms and place them in own corps. In 1845 Chapek walks away from businesses, and Antuan de Patek as a result of searches of new partner meets with Adrienom Filipppom - by the talented French watch-maker, which a revolutionary on sentinel business invention - development of mechanism, led unassisted key belonged to. Partners swore to devote the lives “creation only of the best and dear clock”. Since exclusive design, dear materials, perfection and exactness of the most difficult mechanism, collected by hand, all and singular distinguishes clock of legendary firm Patek Philippe. Exactly combination of these undeniable dignities overmastered the hearts of famous clients of Patek Philippe. In the number of first were Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, in future Patek Philippe became the possessors of clock more than 30 reigning monarchs and four chapters of Roman Catholic Church. At different times works of sentinel and jewelers art of Patek Philippe were owned And. Einstein, Vagner, м. of Curie, Kipling, Sh. Bronte.

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Patek family

The family members of Patek reuniting themselves.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vintage Patek 2552 & 3433

These are my 3 little vintage pp using the 09/90 movement and the first generation and second generation automatic movements. Vintage pp is a class of it's own. With many giant size watches around, these classic watches are timeless in design.
In addition, what made these watches different from the current Patek is the watch dial ( known as "Siew Ching" in cantonese means burn porcelain). In closer examination, you can see a layer of light lacquer like coating on the dial which helps to keep the dialing perfect shape for many years.

Ref 3433 & 2552

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Explorer data from the net

The Rolex Explorer

The watch that witnessed the first ascent of the world's highest peak, Mt. Everest, is the Rolex Explorer. Even today, this watch is one of the most widely sought after Rolex models. In addition, its successor--the Rolex Explorer II--has done very well in its own right in light of its improved functionalities.

Currently, Rolex offers a 36mm sized case Explorer in steel. This model features a polished bezel, Oysterlock bracelet and a black dial engraved with numerals 3, 6, and 9. It is known for its high visibility dial, an extremely strong case, and the ability to withstand temperatures from -20 degree to +40 degree Celsius.

History of Rolex Explorer

The Rolex Explorer was designed to suit the extreme conditions of a variety of different expeditions. It is evident from the fact that the two prototypes of the Explorer, numbered 6098 and 6150, were given to the members of the British Himalayas expedition team on May 29 in 1953, when they set out to conquer Mt. Everest's 29,035 ft. The soon to be released Explorer, model 6098, was given to the expedition member Tenzing Norgay, and it performed without fail. The name “Explorer” was adopted for the model after the widely publicized success of the expedition.

Initial Design

An attribute that makes the Rolex Explorer one of the most recognizable models is its dial. The earliest Explorer, model 6098, featured a white dial with arrow-shaped hour markers and hands while model 6150 looked exceptionally distinct with its black “Quarter Arabic” dial with only the 3-6-9 marked with numerals. In addition, it featured large Mercedes style hands. Later, model 6098 (renumbered as the 6298) was equipped with the famous black Quarter Arabic dial, although retaining the arrow shaped hands. The name “Explorer” appeared for the first time on the dial of model 6150 (renumbered as the 6350), positioned just above the numeral 6. In addition, these models used the “big bubbleback 10-1/2” A.296 movement. The early 6350 dials had a honeycombed texture with “Officially Certified Chronometer” signed just above the number 6. However, the popularity of model 6150 overshadowed the look of model 6350. The former was larger than the latter by 2mm and was only available as a precision model.

Essential Changes and Advances Over the Years

Many changes have come about since the inception of the Rolex Explorer. The first major change came in the form of model 6610--which looked almost identical to model 6150. However, it could be recognized by its flatter back due to the new 1030 calibre movement. In addition, its dial bore the sign "Chronometer." In all the new models of Rolex Explorer, the most visible change was a shift from the pencil shaped hands to the more popular Mercedes-style hands of today. By the late 1950s, the dial began to read "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified". In addition, the bottom of the dial bore Swiss T
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Later, Rolex used certain attributes of the Rolex Explorer with a few other models, not easily recognizable as Explorers. For instance, in the late 1950s, Rolex introduced a version of the Air King with model number 5500 which had an Explorer dial. These watches were believed to be targeted at British military officers. This dress watch had a slightly smaller size and featured a 19mm bracelet instead of the 20mm in standard Explorer models. In addition, the dial was marked "Precision" or "Super Precision" above the number 6. Rolex also released the standard Oyster Perpetual in steel or gold with white or black non-Explorer dials. These were signed "Explorer".

One of the most sought after collectible models of the Explorer line has been the Space-Dweller with the model number 1016. The words Space-Dweller were marked clearly on the dial below 12. These watches were produced in limited numbers that were primarily sold in Japan. This decision was on account of the model being introduced in 1963 to commemorate the visit of NASA's Mercury Astronauts to Japan. It featured a new 1560 calibre movement. The second version of the model 1016 was equipped with a "hack" feature in movement. It stops the hand at the 12 position when the winding crown is pulled out to the hand setting position. This makes it easier to synchronize your time with a known source. With a change in movement, Rolex introduced the new Oyster bracelet for its Explorer model, made from solid stainless steel as opposed to the previously folded steel sheet links. This revised form continued until 1989.

A New Explorer Introduced in 1990

At the beginning of 1990, Rolex rolled out a brand new version of the Explorer with model number 14270. This completely redesigned model sported a new movement, case, dial and sapphire crystal. Only the hands and the name were identical to that of model 1016. The attraction of this revised model lies in its white gold skeleton markers with luminous Tritium fillings. It boasts of the very powerful 3000 caliber movement.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rolex 5508 submariner

The Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner is an example of Rolex's commitment to create a special watch that overcomes any national boundary and continues to perform. To this very day, no wristwatch nearly as effective in terms of water resistance has been produced by any other watch company. This model has also been successfully tested in an expedition to Antarctica where it withstood temperatures of -45 degrees Celsius. Many of the early models of Submariner were in fact used in several James Bond movies like "Dr. No," "Live and Let Die," "License to Kill," "The Man with the Golden Gun," and many more. The popularity of this model made it one of Rolex's flagship models.

Early Models of Rolex Submariner

The first prototype Rolex Submariner, known as the "Deep Sea Special," was successfully tested to a depth of 10,336 feet on September 30, 1953. Some of the earliest Submariner versions included model numbers 6200, 6204, and 6205, and these models were put into different categories based on their depth ratings because not every recreational diver needed a watch with a depth rating of 600+ feet.

The model 6200, believed to be the first Rolex diving watch (released in 1953) was powered by the A.296 movement, unlike models 6204 and 6205 which were both fitted with an improved version--the A.260 movement. In addition, the model 6200 featured a bi-directional bezel and a dial that strongly resembled that of Explorer prototypes. Its case was thick and coupled with an over-sized crown. Nowhere was the word Submariner engraved on the watch; rather, the crown was marked with the word "Brevet" under the coronet. The model had a depth rating of 660 feet.

It was the model 6204 that was officially introduced as the first Submariner at the Basel Spring Watch Fair in 1954. It had a depth rating of 600 feet. It also featured a new dial that had round hour markers with rectangles at the 3, 6, and 9 positions. What was special about this model was that it was the first version to carry the name "Submariner" in very small print on the dial. Another model that made its appearance in 1954 was the 6205, almost similar to the 6204--the only difference being that the 6205 was rated to a depth of only 330 feet under water. All these early Submarines used gilt printing on glossy black dials. In addition, Radium paint was used for the luminous indices.

Major Facelifts During the Mid and Late 1950s

The earliest models 6204 and 6205 were renumbered as 6538 and 6536, respectively, in 1955. Along with these changes, other prominent updates included the following:

All these models were marked with "Submariner" in large print (as opposed to the previous smaller print) above the 6.
The new 1030 movement and Mercedes hands were introduced in the model 6536.
The model 6200 received the Mercedes hands in 1955 and was made available with both the standard Submariner dial and the Explorer-styled dial.
A key change came in the form of a redesigned Submariner bezel in 1956. It now started featuring individual minute marks for the first 15 minutes. This gave the watch a unique look. In addition, the triangle positioned on the bezel was painted red. However, these changes did not continue for long as the bezel was redesigned once more--this time featuring squared font numbers and a triangle that was no longer red. Some other notable changes during this period included the addition of a thicker case and a larger Brevet crown. In addition, in 1958 the model 6200, renumbered as the 5510, was fitted with the new 1530 movement.

A New Wave of Submariners in the 1960s

The new wave of Submariners started with a chronometer version--model 5512. Launched in 1959, it was fitted with the 1570 movement and was the first model to feature the crown guard (or shoulder) with squared ends. These shoulders were added as a protective measure for the winding or setting mechanism. By the early 1960s, the crown guards had a more pointed appearance at the ends. Later, in the mid-1960s, the crown guards started looking rounded. Also, the 1560 movement replaced the earlier 1570 movement and the words "Officially Certified Chronometer" appeared on the dial.

Another major Submariner model making its way to market during this time was the 5513, powered by a non-chronometer 1530 movement. The main attribute complementing the 5512 and 5513 models had been their over-sized crown that later became a standard feature of the Submarine line. The model 5513 was worn by Roger Moore in the movie "Live and Let Die," and to this day is the most popular and memorable Submariner.

Another major change was a shift from Radium paint for the luminous indices to the Tritium-infused paint. In addition, Rolex discontinued the use of gilt or silver gilt dials and in their place introduced white printing on the Submarine watches. The chronometer Submariner models were also engraved with the words "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified."

In 1966, Rolex introduced yet another masterpiece: model 1680. It was the first Submariner to be equipped with a date feature. It was a significant development because it transformed the image of the Submariner from a specialist watch to one that could be worn by anyone. The word "Submariner" was painted in red in this model. Also, the bubble-shaped crystal in earlier versions had given way to the thicker yet flatter crystal in this new model. This change allowed the Cyclops magnifying bubble to be positioned over the date aperture.

Early Rolex Submariners for Military Use

The first Rolex Submariner was issued to the British Royal Navy in 1954. It was a version of the model 6204. Later, a version of the 6538 was specially adapted for the British Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy. The most popular version issued to the British Royal Navy had been the model 5513 in the year 1968. What made this special was its large diamond-shaped hour hand; the tip of the second hand had a similar shape. In addition, the letter "T" was engraved inside a circle on the dial, just above the word "Submariner," signifying the switch from Radium to Tritium as the luminous material used on the dial and hands. A model identical to the 5513 had also been designed for the British Royal Marines in 1972. It was numbered 5517. It was different from 5513 only in one aspect--it featured a bezel that had individual minute markings all the way around. In model 5513, the markings were restricted to the first 15 minutes.

All the models described above look quite different from the ones that are available today. This may be the reason why these are the most sought-after vintage models. People are passionate about collecting them, their popularity is not restricted to their profile of a diver's watch, and they sell for very high prices. People also love to collect them because of their stylish, sporty look and the ongoing connection to the legendary James Bond.

Reference 5508 appeared about 1957-58, and this watch is actually the reference 6536, but with the new 5508 reference number. This reference number change was made to evolve all Submariners into 55XX reference numbers starting in the late 1950s... which would last through 1990, when the last 5513 models were last produced. The ref. 5508 was guaranteed waterproof to 100m/330ft and existed with and without the inscription of "Chronometer" on the dial.

I have sent the Rolex 5508 submariner to the Rolex center and is now waiting for the quotation for thorough check and servicing.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Special dials

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Rolex bubbleback

The Rolex Bubbleback

One of my favourite and the most popular Rolex models is the Bubbleback. Launched in 1933, it was also one of the early Rolex models. The creation of this model was a significant event for Rolex because it featured the first Auto-Rotor. The Auto-Rotor signified Rolex's success in developing a self-winding movement. Today, the Bubbleback is one of the most sought after and collectible wristwatches in the world because production was discontinued in the early 1960s.

How Did Rolex Succeed in Creating the Bubbleback?

In the 1920s, numerous watch-making companies were trying to create a self-winding movement. They kept attempting to incorporate slight modifications to Harwood's self-winding watch that featured a no winding stem. However, Rolex was following altogether a different path. It experimented with its existing movements and looked for a new solution to the old challenge. Finally, in 1931, Rolex created the Auto-Rotor movement from an existing Aegler movement (subsidiary seconds Hunter 8-3/4"). This invention resulted in a "perpetual motion" wherein the winding mass could turn smoothly both clockwise and counter-clockwise and pivot a full 360 degrees on its staff in the center of the movement. In 1932, Rolex patented its first successful self-winding perpetual wristwatch. One year later, the Rolex Bubbleback was introduced into the market. Due to unsuccessful attempts in the past and the resulting skepticism in the public eye, Rolex tried to publicize this new model as "the watch sensation of 1934".

The fascinating historical marker is the watch never had "Bubbleback" engraved anywhere on it, and was never officially designated that title. Instead, it bore "Rolex Oyster Perpetual" just below the 12 o'clock position. How did it come to be known as "Bubbleback?" The answer lies in its bubble-shaped, thicker case back. The thick Auto-Rotor led to an over-sized mechanism which needed a thicker case. Another nickname for this model had been "Ovettone," an Italian word meaning "little egg." In Asia, these are called" Koon choi chye".

Notable Changes Introduced Over Time

The first Rolex Bubbleback was the model 1858 powered by the Ref.520 movement. The sweep versions were powered by the Ref.530 movement. The earliest Bubbleback models featured a 3-piece case and a deeper case back. In 1936, Rolex rolled out two new models: 3131 and 3132. Both these models sported a new 2-piece case and new modified movement 9-3/4". The only difference between the models was that while the Model 3131 was powered by the Ref.620 (subsidiary seconds), model 3132 was powered by the Ref.630 (sweep seconds). It is interesting to note that the early Bubbleback watches were the first Rolex models to be made available in the stainless steel material known as Steelium. Some models were also made available in Rolesor (steel and gold combination). The two terms, Steelium and Rolesor, were coined by Rolex and subsequently patented in 1931 and 1933, respectively.

A significant breakthrough took place in 1935 when the Bubbleback models were equipped with a new streamlined balance wheel known as the "Super Balance." This improved the functioning of the Auto-Rotor. Rolex went one step further by marketing its Bubbleback models in three sizes so that they could appeal to men and women alike. In 1941, a ladies Bubbleback model was launched, powered by the Ref.420 movement. However, no sweep version of the model was made available for ladies. Later, in the 1950s, some Bubbleback models--such as model 5018--were introduced featuring "Bombe lugs".

Many other modifications, cosmetically as well as technically, were introduced over time, finally leading to the development of a new Rolex model called the"Big Bubbleback”. The Big Bubbleback led directly to the development of the Rolex Datejust, which eventually became one of the flagship Rolex models.

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Vintage Patek Philippe ref 3433

As you know, I have always been a fan of vintage Rolex. I first entered the world of vintage Patek in 2002 when I first acquired the rectangular Patek using the famous 09/90 movement.

However, after that, my momentum stopped. Following my acquisition of my second Patek Philippe Ref 2522 (from the 1950s) using the first generation automatic last week, I have been totally addicted with the world of Patek. It is interesting to note that this watch is considered "big" (at 35mm) during the 1950s since most watches then were 30 - 33mm in size. The modern watches are now very big at 40-45mm making these watches looked small. Nevertheless, these classic designed watch really looked elegant and timeless..

Having found the first auto movement, i have set myself the mission to search for the second. The second generation Patek movement is the 27-460M movement and I was lucky to have found the ref 3433 (from 1962) in near mint condition together with the Patek achieve paper.

Originally, my thought was to go for the Ref 3445 Patek with a date function. However, I was told that the ref 2522 is a much rarer find as it was still using the special "lacquered" dial that has a shine and dial that will not get tarnished or getting spotted.

To get the Patek in such a short time, I have to let go some of my precious hifi gears... : (

I am looking forward to my 4th Patek, the ref 3445 with date and hopefully, find one in white instead of yellow gold. The search is on... : )
Photos of my dream watch

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Patek 09/90 movements

This was my first Patek bought in 2002 from Taiwan. It has a rare rectangular 09/90 movement and makers in diamonds.

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Location:Princess Margaret Road Link,,Hong Kong

My dream watches: Patek

My first encounter with Patek watch was with my Sifu, Mr. TK Lee who first showed me the Patek jump hour in the early 1990s. As I have just graduated, I could not afford these nice Patek watches.

I have 4 dream watches: vintage Rolex moon phase, Patek Philippe ref 2552 and 3433 and 3445

1. Patek ref 2552

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this reference, it has been affectionately coined the "Disco Volente; flying saucer, due to it's beautiful stepped case. It has the quintessential patek dial lay-out; dauphine hands, faceted hour markers, and sub-second track.. The case size is approx. 35-36mm. In addition, the watch is equipped with one of the most beautiful Patek movements ever made the 12-600AT. This movement is lavishly constructed with no expense sparred; magnificent guilloched rotor, beautifully finished swan neck regulator, Gyromax, with breguet overcoil. The 12-600AT is truly a horological piece of art with a very nice solid gold rotating wheel.

According to pp records, only 7'100 movements cal. 12'''-600 AT have been made from 1953 to circa 1959 and were mounted in wristwatches bearing the references 2526, 2540, 2551, 2552, 2583, 2584, 2585, 3403, 3415, and 3425.

此款機芯是百達翡麗第一代自動上鍊機芯、它的特點是能穩定的自動上鍊不易損壞經久耐用、是Patek Philippe百達翡麗經典具代表性自動上鍊古董錶機芯、特別訂做18K金旋轉式防水底蓋並裝有弧形藍寶石水晶玻璃、18K金帶扣、手工製龍頭、錶殼.面盤及錶肉均有簽名.

2. Patek 3433

From 1959, Ref. 3415, 3425, 3428, 3429, 3433, 3443, 3435, 3438, 3439, 3440, 3441, 3444 and 3454 were equipped with the second generation auto movements cal. 27-460 as well.Cal. 27-460 became the movement which was used for all automatic wristwatches and 27-460 Q for perpetual calendar wristwatches with automatic winding.Circa 1960, Ref. 2526 was equipped with cal 27-460, the latest automatic movement by Patek Philippe at the time and became the Ref. 3428.

3. 3445 is the watch with date using the caliber 27-460 as well.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mystery dial collection

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Location:Princess Margaret Road Link,,Hong Kong

JLC military Mark X

While the other manufacturers of Mark X (Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, IWC, Lemania, Longines, Omega, Record, Timor, Vertex) simply used their best complying stock movement, JLC actually designed a new caliber, Caliber 479 used exclusively in their Mark X watches. The population of both IWC and Omega's military and standard watches housing Cal. 83(IWC) and 30T2 (Omega) movements respectively probably runs into the millions, JLC's Caliber 479 is believed to be closer to only 10,000.

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Location:Princess Margaret Road Link,,Hong Kong

Vecheron & Constantin/Le Coultre diamonds galaxy mystery dial 1950s

This watch is a 1950s Vacheron & Constantin/LeCoultre Diamond “Galaxy” Mystery Dial in White Gold. The Diamond “Galaxy" Mystery Dial dress watch was a joint venture between LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin.

This beautiful 1950s double-signed Vacheron & Constantin/LeCoultre Diamond “Galaxy" Mystery Dial dress watch is in Excellent all-original condition. The “Galaxy” is the deluxe version of these Mystery Dial watches and features an amazing 37 diamonds on the dial.

VXN signed, K480CW Swiss made calibre 17 jewel manual winding movement. The fully signed two piece snap top-bezel case (33mm). The distinctive 37-diamond black dial, which has a unique rotating center disk for the hour hand and a rotating clear disk for the minute hand and of course genuine diamond markers, has been nicely kept. It has a clean acrylic crystal.

I have kept quite a nos of mystery dial and this must be the Rolls Royce of the mystery dial watch.

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Location:Princess Margaret Road Link,,Hong Kong

Vintage Glashutte diver

This is the vintage Glashutte diver made in Germany. Case: chrome plated; diameter excl. crown approx 38mm; lug to lug approx. 46mm; lug wid...