Friday, September 23, 2016

Watches that Aged gracefully 😁👍

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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rolex 1601 Pink gold bezel

Rolex 1601 Pink gold bezel

I have realised that I have two Rolex 1601 in pink gold bezel with the first one bought in June 2015. Even though both has the same reference, the dials have slight differences with one having the door step markers. I must have love the pink gold so much. According to some, for every 5000 yellow gold bezel, you see one pink.. ..,,

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rolex 1601 pink gold bezel & gold door step markers

Rolex 1601 pink gold bezel and gold door step markers

This Saturday morning, I went out for my usual once a week watch hunting. This is a good Saturday as I have managed to trade my Tutima military chronograph for a nice early 1965-6 Rolex DateJust in fluted Pink gold bezel and Pie pan dial with the early door step markers at 6 and 9 and plastic crystal. 

Even though the Rolex 1601 Oysterdate is a common model, a pink gold bezel one is not often seen. One online dealer estimated that there is only one steel and 18k rose gold DateJust model 1601 for every 5000 steel or steel and yellow gold models.

The overall condition is nice and the 1570 caliber is a work horse that can serve a few generation. I have decided to refine my watch collection as the 5100 chronograph did not seemed to fit in my existing collection 😁🌹

Replacement of crystals

Kelek Damaged glass replaced...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Kelek 1369

I have sent in my Kelek 1369 chronograph (left photo) to my watch maker for a replacement of the scratched and cracked glass. Hope to receive it soon...

ZRC Diver watches

Vintage ZRC diver watches

These French diver watches were made famous by Jacques-Yves Cousteau ; commonly known in English as Jacques Cousteau & his team of divers.  He was a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He co-developed the Aqua-lung, pioneered marine conservation and was a member of the Académie française.

Cousteau described his underwater world research in a series of books, perhaps the most successful being his first book, The Silent World: A Story of Undersea Discovery and Adventure, published in 1953. Cousteau also directed films, most notably the documentary adaptation of the book, The Silent World, which won a Palme d'or at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. Besides the ZRC, there are many other interesting diving watches worn by the team

For who love bigger watches, this ZRC Spatiale will be the ideal one as its bigger then the version 1,2.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Kelek chronograph

This must be one of the prettiest and sexiest vintage chronograph watch. The watch is unique in many ways. Firstly, it has an automatic movement with chronograph with "digital" hour and minute discs to tell time. Secondly, the dial has an unique design and textured V plus the black white blue colour contracts. I predict these unique Chrono prices will escalates in the future

Saturday, September 10, 2016



Even though this non sports Rolex is not in the trend right now, those with original dial is still hard to come by. This is a hand wind ROLEX OYSTER Ref.6083 Cal.710, two tone Cream dial Men's SS/YG, 34mm from the 1940-50s. Traded my Moonphase watch for this beauty...

Return of the classic...

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Pan Am

Time to regroup

Time to regroup

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, I have sold the Seiko vintage, Elgin military and Enicar worldtimer GMT. Next to go is the Tutima and the Moonphase watches. While waiting for my ZRC, the Rolex 5501 dress watch Explorer appeared instead...which is a pleasant surprise as it helps to consolidate my collection of the Explorer series consisting of the ref 5500, 5501, 6610, 1016, 1655, 16550...

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Rolex 5501 Explorer

Rolex 5501 Explorer

This ROLEX watch is commonly referred to as the “Dress Explorer" versus the steel tool watch or sports Explorer as they have a gold bezel and gold winding crown. 
The reference 5501 stainless steel ROLEX OYSTER case dates the watch to 1958. As many know the reference 5500 (steel) and 5501 (gold bezel and crown, two-tone) also appear in the ROLEX AIR-KING line of watches from the same era. The EXPLORER versions are much rarer of the two types. The case on this EXPLORER measures 34mm. and houses a butterfly caliber 1530 or 1560 rotor depending on the ages, automatic winding super precision movement. The original raised gold markers and original Dauphine hands with steel sweep second. 

My preference for Explorer has always been for the sport model black dial with the 3,6,9 markers. Previously, I will not take a second look on the Dress watch explorer owing to my own prejudices. However, I have come across this rare CANADIAN version ROLEX EXPLORER PRECISION dating to 1958 that captured my attention owing to its black dial and raised 3,6,9 markers as well as the fact that it is a gilt dial plus having the old 1530 butterfly rotor. Recently, I have moved to explore the various diver watches and it's a good feeling to come back to the good old Rolex. This 5501 Explorer will fit in nicely with my other 5500, 1016, 6610, 1655 and 16550. Missing in the pack is the 5504 Explorer I guess...

There are two types of 1530 movements with the earlier butterfly movement being more desirable.

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...