Its coming to the end of the year and time for some reflection and refinement of my watch collection.
My top 11 star buy for the year 2016 are:
1. Rolex Eaton (Nov 2016)
Found my first winding Eaton more then 20 years ago and now managed to find an automatic version from Canada.
2. Rolex Explorer gilt tropical dial (Oct 2016)
Love the Tropical colour!
3. Rolex 5508 gilt dial (2016)
The gilt dial for 5508 gave it a unique feature!
4. Rolex 5501 gilt dress Explorer (Oct 2016)
A dressed watch Explorer but with a unique gilt dial!
5. Rolex Pink gold top DJ (Oct 2016)
This is my extra..
6. ZRC Type II & 7. ZRC Spartiale
A little deviation from my norm
8. Omega made for Kim II Sung
A hostorical timepiece !
9. Lemania military (December 2016)
10. Rolex 6564 Gilt dial pie pan dial (Dec 2016)
11. Rolex 1803
Last minute find
Looking at the huge nos of watches I have accumulated over the years, there will be a need for me to do a reduction exercise next year as it has become complicated to manage and service the watches. That will be the project for 2017 to reduce the quantities by at least 30% target.
This is my second 1803. I have one in early 2002 but has I
have sold it away as it was with the gold braclet and is too bling bling for me
to wear. I have never planned for this but came across this 18k Rolex 1803 pie
pan dial non quick set with condition that is superb despite being a 39 years
old watch. Moreover, it has the Rail dial.
To ensure that my total watch quantities are not growiung too
quickly, I have traded my Tudor plus cash for it. The Rolex Day-Date was
patented on 23rd July 1955 and officially released in 1956. The Day Date earned
the nickname the "President" when Rolex reportedly gave one to the
then 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Since then, the
Rolex President has been found on the wrists of many prominent celebrities and
dignitaries worldwide. Several other U.S. presidents are known to wear the
Day-Date including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson,
Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan. These gold watches are a real
bargain buy now as many people are chasing after the over prices sports models.
There are a series of Day date. The first model of Day-Date
(6511) with Day Date wording in red and dial markings include 50m-165 ft, (Superlative Chronometer by Official Test for 1st generation, Officially Certified Chronometer for 2nd), lasted just over a year before it was
replaced by the externally identical 6611. This
model featured the new caliber 1055 movement with its free sprung Micro-Stella
balance and was the first to be labeled "Superlative Chronometer
Officially Certified" on the dial.
In 1959 caliber 1055 was replaced with
caliber 1555 in model 1803 (18,000bph) and later
in year 1965 - model 1803 received caliber 1556 (19,800bph). In 1977 caliber
3055 (quick-set) was introduced in model 18038
and in 1988 caliber 3155 (double quick-set) was introduced in model 18238.
My 1977 1803 non quick set was the last of the
series before the launched of the 18038. Many vintage collector loves the Ref 1803 is that this model allows the use of leather strap versus the later model 18038 etc...
In Popular Culture (from Wikipedia)
Arms-dealer Yuri Orlov from Lord of War wears a platinum Day-Date model.
Alec Baldwin wears a Day-Date in Glengarry Glen Ross.
Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta in the classic crime flick Goodfellas owns a Rolex Day-Date.
In Rain Man, the egotistic character played by Tom Cruise pawns a Day-Date.
Sean Penn as lawyer David Kleinfeld wears a golden Day-Date in Carlito's Way.
Tony Soprano wears a yellow gold Rolex Day-Date throughout the series, which is his trademark item.
Rocky Balboa in Rocky II,
Steven Seagal's character in Marked for Death
Sonny Crockett of the vintage 80s series Miami Vice who wore a golden Day-Date
John Candy as Buck Russell in the 1989 comedy Uncle Buck
This is a 6564 from the 3rd quarter of 1956 using the cal 1030 butterfly movement. Key unique features are the black pie pan gilt dial. The watch is comfortable to wear at 34mm and its movement is also in very nice condition.
Rolex vintage watch collecting is a challenge especially since the early Rolex watches dials were done by different dial manufacturers making standization a challenge. We have to remember that during the early years Rolex brand is not as big as it is today. Moreover, during the 1960-70s, the Swiss watch industry was being threatehned by the Japanese digital watches and were at a brink of extinction.
Having been working with the Swiss watch industry for more then 10 years, I have gathered sufficient understanding with regards to how it work. Many of the top brands in the 1960-90s were using subcontractor for their watch nands, dials, bracelets as well as for cases. As such, even with the dial design, there are much variations depending on the dial manufacturers.
The Tiffany & Co dial has always been a subject of contraversies and discussion. As such, I have decided to send in my Rolex 16800 watch for a complete service and the Rolex Center has acknowledge it as legitimate dial and have key the watch details into their system for the updated records. If the dial is good for Rolex center, it is good for me as the brand ultimately belongs to them.
It has put my mind at ease as I now can confirm that my 16800 watch with Tiffany wording dial has a record with them and verified so that in the long future, in the event that my son wants to sell it away, at least the new buyer can have some records to keep.
Lately, my key project is to bring back life for old watches that are either missing cases or movements. Bring together these missing parts often will take much time and energy but the satisfaction in seeing the revived watches are incredible..
This is my second piece of Lemania military as I have sold one away a few years back. “Majetek Vojenske Spravy” stands for “property of the military administration”: it is cleanly written all over the caseback, with a unique number, usually 3 or 4 digits. This watch was never sold to the general public, there are no markings on the dial so collectors call it the “Lemania Majetek”. This watch was a model used by the Czech Air Force (CAF), during late 1930 and mid 1940 and was produced by three different manufacturers at the time. Longines, Lemania and Eterna. There is some variations between the brands (Longines Majetek was distinctive with its coin-edge bezel and Cathedral hands), the Longines also had a turning bezel. There are two sizes of watch cases, the smaller 37mm and the larger of ~39mm.
Finally found one back after several years of searching...
A rare steel automatic centre seconds wristwatch. The reference 7809 is a rare Tudor model. Interestingly, examples of this reference were used during the British North Greenland Expedition of 1952-1954. The expeditionary team consisted of 30 members, all of whom were sponsored by Rolex with a Tudor Oyster Prince which Hans Wilsdorf (Rolex’s founder) had especially chosen for the mission. On 24th November, 1953, J. D. Walker, Captain of the Royal Engineers, wrote to Rolex to express his gratitude and admiration for his Tudor Ref. 7809 which he said had been highly reliable and accurate throughout the expedition, despite being exposed to extremes of temperature from +70°F to -50° F, heavy daily use and immersion in water. A copy of Walker’s letter to Rolex and illustrations of one of the Ref. 7809 Tudors used during the expedition can be found in Isnardi, A., Tudor Anthology, 2013, pp.232-235. The Tudor cal 390 was often called the butterfly movement.
After, in 1954, it has been used in the submariner Tudor references 7922 , 7924 , 7928. other references with 390 are: 7808 , 7909 , 7949 and 7950.
Just traded my Marchsall Field diver watch for this beauty...