Saturday, June 21, 2014

Vintage Military watches

Vintage Omega

I started collecting vintage Omega by focusing on the Omega constellation. Later I was lucky to find the 1956 Omega Olympic watch and the range expands to Seamaster with chronometer certification and ultra big Seamaster case back logo. When collecting Omega, one also needs to have the sport Omega Seamatser 300. It took me a long time to collect the Seamaster 300 owing to the huge quantities of fake 300. 

The Omega speedmaster Profesional has many versions and calibers that I was rather confused. With My friend's Paul knowledge I bean to understand the various generation and decided to trade my watch with Paul for his Omega Speedmaster Pro using the early caliber 321.

With the acquisition, there are two more Omega on my lists namely the Square Moonphase and the www 1940s Omega military watches...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

321 PRE MOON SPEEDMASTER OMEGA 105.012 from 1966

With the building up on the small collection of Omega watches, one of the classic Omega speedmaster using the cal 321 is a must for any fans of the Omega moon watch. This is the watch that Neil Armstrong worn to the moon with 105.012. I have met up with my friend Paul this evening and I was happy that I could trade using the Grand Seiko 61 with cash top up for this classic speedmaster.

The first generation is Omega speedmaster reference is the board arrow CK2915 and second 2997, 3rd generation ST.105.003 known as the Ed White speedmaster without the crown guard.

The 4th generation is the ST.105.012-66
Following which is the 6th generation ST.145.012

The speedmaster Zander the Omega seamaster 300 have similar looking case.

Information from the net:

"The Omega Speedmaster Professional, otherwise known as the "Moonwatch", is a manual winding chronograph introduced in 1957 and made famous by its selection by NASA for the Apollo Program. The Omega Speedmaster was the first watch worn on the moon, as Buzz Aldrin wore his Speedmaster 145.012 fitted with the Omega 321 caliber on 20 July 1969. It is the only watch flight-qualified for EVA use by NASA. It is also the watch chosen for use in outer space by the Russian space agencyNPO Energia.

When the step-by-step procedures of the Project Gemini space-walks were first mapped out, NASA realized that they did not have an approved wristwatch for space travel. The normal procedure of soliciting bids for the design, manufacture and testing of special “Space Proof” wristwatches was a time consuming process. To save time, NASA sent two systems engineers into downtown Houston“incognito” to purchase several reputable “off-the-shelf” chronographs to be tested for possible use in space. A manual-winding watch was preferred to an automatic watch, as it was assumed that zero-gravity conditions would render the self-winding mechanism ineffective.

Five different brands of chronographs were purchased and returned to NASA for testing. The Speedmaster passed NASA's numerous tests, which included exposure to extreme temperatures, vacuum, intense humidity, corrosion, shock, acceleration, pressure, vibration and noise, whereas the Rolex, Breitling, Bulova, Longines and Tag Heuer, notably, all failed.

The tests were completed on March 1st, 1965. At the completion of the tests, three of the chronographs from different manufactures were still running, but only the Speedmaster had passed without any of the serious discrepancies encountered with the others. The Omega Speedmaster was adopted by NASA as the “Officially Certified Wristwatch For All Manned Space Missions.” At this point, Omega was completely unaware of these activities.

The Omega Speedmaster was re-certified in 1972 and in September 1978, for the Space Shuttle missions.

Today, all NASA-issued wristwatches are government property and must be turned in once the astronauts return to Earth. Astronauts are permitted to check out the watches before launch and take them home to familiarize themselves with the watch’s operation.

Interesting article:

Interesting note concerning "the moon watch" :

The Omega speedmasters engraved "the first watch on the moon" are fitted with 861 movements , and the previous models have only the sea monster logo : anybody might think viewing thoses backs that the speedmasters fitted with the 861 are "the moon watch"

In fact NASA qualification took place in 1965 at this time the 861 movement was not available and the purchasing for the astronauts speedmasters where bought before the 861 introduction. So the Speedmasters of Apollo missions which goes on the moon where not equipped with 861 movement

Very curiously Speedmasters fitted with "the first watch on the moon" engraving are NOT the moonwatches , the previous ones without the engravings ARE the moonwatches ! , refer to the NASA section of this site for more details

Life is wonderful!

Please read :

To see if your bezel is a replacement , please see below: 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My blog has been hijacked

Rolex 1016 explorer

My friend Explorer from 1974..
Watch end up with me..
Even though the Jubilee braclet is comfortable to wear, it looks kind of old fashion. I have tried to modernize it by changing it to a python skin straps..

After trying the watch with a jubilee bracelet and later to python snake skin strap without much satisfaction, I have decided to get a proper vintage oyster bracelet 7836 to match with this 1016. The classic Explorer 1 is simple in design but it has its unique timeless design. In the end, the classic watch has to be fitted with an Oyster bracelet in order to make it look perfect..

Rolex 6444 Royal quartered dial

The simple Rolex Royal and Speedking were watches that commands much respect during the 1980s-90s among many vintage watch collectors. With the increasing popularity of sports and larger watches, these smaller watches have to some extent been sidelines.

I have found a simple Rolex Oyster Royal Shock Resisting, reference 6444 with manual wind movement and 31mm case excluding crown with special dial. The watch has a serial nos of 206,XXX serial number circa 1956. at 31mm, it is consider small at today's standard but it will be a comfortable watch to wear. As these watches are not in huge demand, the prices have become very reasonable. I can already see a trend among collectors towards smaller and more refined watches vis-a-vis the larger and sporty watches.  

What make this watch unique is the special waffle designed dials in its original condition.

Military & Explorer

I have changed the leather straps for the military watches. With the added leather padding, it helps to give better protection for these wastes as well as gives he 36mm watches a bigger look.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Iwc military Mark X & XI

I have heard of the IWC Mark X for many years but I have never seriously consider to keep one as my focus in the past has been on Rolex watches. My recent new attempts  at collecting military time piece has prompted me to study and understand the world of IWC. There are many fakes, or Frankenstein watch around especially for such collectable piece. 

Luckily, I did my home work and managed to get valuable information from the net:

With the acquisition of the IWC Mark XI, it is natural that I will have to pair it with the IWC Mark X from the 1949s. Even though the watch is 36mm and 35mm (small in todays's standard), ther are very comfortable to wear. The dials design are so simple and timeless.. Life is good!
I have just sent the watch for servicing...

Monday, June 02, 2014

WWW Military IWC Mark X (The dirty Dozen)1944-48

This vintage IWC is one of the worlds most important military issue timepieces from one of the worlds most important manufacturers. This is a hand wound watch from WW II which was issued to troops in the early part of 1945. Only six thousand examples were made starting with case number 1,131,001. 

As one of the Dirty dozen military watches, this one is unique as instead of screw back, it  is a two part steel case with a snap on back, satin middle body and polished bezel which has fixed (spring) bar. The watch Measures 35 mm wide (not including the crown) x 42.5 mm long x 10 mm thick. 

I was lucky to find this lovely IWC mark X from Roeland from : 

For those of you who wants to look for nice vintage watches, you can write to Roeland, a very reliable seller. Remember, when buying vintage watches, you buy the seller's reputation.

Dirty Dozen :

WWW Military Vertex (The dirty dozen)

Following my acquisition of the JLC Marx X, I have added another WWW military Vertex wristwatch dating from the 1940s, it has the WWW arrow mark on the rear numbered A12487 3525403 there is a number stamped on one of the lugs "4.87"  nice clear dial, it is fitted with a A.F.0210  webbing wristwatch strap the watch fitted with a 15 jewel vertex movement stamped 59.

The Dirty Dozen list :

JLC (Found)
Vertex (Found)

Spy watch

Israel’s Secret Operation to Recover the Watch of a Legendary Spy Eli Cohen in Damascus, Syria, in the early 1960s, wearing the watch that ...