Monday, October 16, 2017

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Restoration

Restoration of ZRC

Before:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vintage Le Jour ZRC 300 watch

I love the vintage ZRC watches and I have just found a rare LeJour branded ZRC 300 divers watch for the American market.  ZRC has a strong following for french and diving watch fans.  What makes this reference so desirable is the beautiful sunburst dial, this one being in excellent condition with perfectly matching patina on the dial and hands. Combine that will an all red day/date wheel and a faded two tone bezel and this makes for one uncommon, stunning vintage tool watch. I have always love restoring watches and I am now waiting for the watch to arrive and install a NOS bezel for it to bring it back to its previous glory.





I have already owned a ZRC spartaile but there are several differences: 


  1. The Day is in English while the other one is in French. 
  2. This one is named LeJour while the other is ZRC Spartiale 
  3. One is with 17 jewels and another 25 jewels
  4. One more unique feature is that there is a spelling mistakes for this as it is spelled Self "Wimding", instead of Winding. 



In addition, look at the advant garde design for its watch case, which makes it a timeless beauty. The constructions adhere to the principle of Forms follows Function and these are tools watches made for diving and very few of  these watches were made and it took me years to find another piece.









Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Vintage Rolex bubblebacks & datejust

A collection of Rolex from 1930~40s, 50~60~70s

南京钟 Nanking Clock

This is a late 1800s Nanking Clocck

南京钟,是跟雨花石、云锦一样能够代表古金陵特色的南京特产。 南京钟,又叫“本钟”、“苏钟”、“插屏钟”,是明末清初最早在南京根据西洋钟改制的一种南京地产钟表。后来制造工艺又流传到苏州、上海等地,这些地方造出的钟表在当时也被通称为“南京钟”。


1601年,意大利传教士利玛窦来到中国,他向明朝万历皇帝进献了一件自鸣钟,这是中国人第一次认识西洋钟表。由于当时人们不知道这件洋玩意的制作方式,所以从皇帝到大臣都备感新奇,把它当作玩物把玩。直到清康乾时期,从中国的宫廷到民间,才开始大量仿制西洋钟表。
一直对南京民间文化情有独钟的文史学家苏洪泉告诉记者,第一个改进并制造南京钟的南京人叫吉坦然。据清初刘献廷《广阳杂记》记载,明末江宁(今南京)人吉坦然制造过一件叫做“通天塔”的自鸣钟,其“形如西域浮屠,置架上自以银块填之,塔之下层,中藏铜轮,互相带动,外不得见。中层前开一门,有时盘如圆桶。”这就是最早的南京钟,而吉坦然也因此被奉为南京钟的鼻祖。
为了区别于西洋钟,南京钟又被称为“本钟”。
自吉坦然之后至太平天国时期,南京的造钟业迅速发展起来。据史料记载,在最鼎盛时期,南京城内曾出现过40多家造钟作坊,成为当时中国制钟中心之一。
但到了清咸丰三年,南京战乱频繁,造钟匠将造钟技术传到扬州,后来又传到了苏州、上海、宁波等地。 “南京钟在辛亥革命时期曾鼎盛一时,当时型号很多,大的有成人一般高,小的可以握于掌中。到抗战时期,南京钟全面停产,因此现在流传下来的南京钟都是很珍贵的。”说到南京钟的“英年早逝”,苏洪泉显得有些惋惜。

曾获国际金奖

“从零件到机芯,从机芯到外壳,南京钟全部都是由手工制造而成。”苏洪泉介绍说。
清同治年间,南京钟的外壳上为长方形的机箱,下为花式底座,上下可灵活拆装,俗称两托。到了光绪年间,一些工匠又吸收了中国传统插屏的造型,把钟表机箱上部改造为屏芯,机箱中插入屏架,下部则改造为花底座,俗称为三托,至此南京钟的造型基本确定。
南京钟的外壳最常见的制作材质是红木,另外还有一些紫檀、黄花梨等。其底座雕花装饰,常见纹饰有“葫芦藤”、“二龙戏珠”、“梅花枝”等。
有些讲究的工匠还在机箱上嵌螺钿、铜条或象牙,整体造型非常具有民族特色。家住城南孝顺里的陈仲仁,已经收藏了600多件钟表,是南京最有名的钟表收藏家。陈仲仁告诉记者,南京钟一般为中心大秒针,其机芯以两套发条盒、塔轮、链条为动力源,带动系统运行。常见的南京钟擒纵器为收割式擒纵器,俗称“走刀”。在功能方面,南京钟可报时、报刻,铃有单铃、双铃、3铃、4铃、9铃之分。
南京钟因其工艺精湛、用料讲究,一出现就深受当时中上层人士的喜爱,当时在南京很多人家把它与瓷瓶、镜子放置厅堂中,取其“终身平静”的谐音祈福。
1915年在美国旧金山的“太平洋万国巴拿马博览会”上,南京钟获得了金质奖章,从此中国制造的南京钟走向世界,在海内外名声大振。

价格暴涨

南京市收藏家协会一位叫刘正丁的收藏家告诉记者,作为老南京人他一直想收藏几个南京钟,但是搜寻了三四年只找到了几个清朝末期外国人造的钟表,南京钟至今也没有收藏到。“在我们圈里这东西可是好宝贝,没有个六七千元是拿不下来的。”
刘正丁告诉记者,在上世纪90年代,南京钟只卖几百元钱,由于奇缺价格也水涨船高了。
陈仲仁收藏的600多件钟表中,也只有15件南京钟。而这些也都是他在“文革”期间冒着极大危险保存下来的。
陈仲仁说对南京钟最大的一次毁灭性破坏是在“文革”时期,那时候南京钟也被列入“四旧”之列,很多人家里的钟表都被砸掉了,保存下来的基本都是那时被藏起来幸免于难的。

专家呼吁保护

在上海的多伦路文化街有一家“南京钟收藏室”,这是全国唯一专门收藏南京钟的收藏室,收藏室的主人刘国鼎老人解放前是专门从事制作和维修南京钟的。如今这个家庭收藏室作为上海的涉外旅游单位,里面收藏的南京钟深受国内外游客的喜爱。
几乎所有接受记者采访的收藏家、文史学家,都表示南京钟的绝世是南京人民的一大损失。专家们表示,作为曾经盛极一时的南京标志性地产,南京钟不应该像现在这样,在沉默中走向灭绝。苏洪泉说南京钟也是南京的城市文化名片,它应该跟云锦一样受到保护。
每一个流传下来的先辈的创造,都是古人智慧与勤劳的结晶,都是经过历史的风风雨雨淘汰后留下来的精品。“南京人应该重新认识和了解自己祖辈的杰作,并以此为荣,将其保护好。
Source : https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%8D%97%E4%BA%AC%E9%92%9F

Monday, October 09, 2017

Vintage Driva Quarter Repeater

There are many collectors who are speculating and buying various sports models, where the quantities are actually quite huge. Under the radar is a very rare Driva Swiss Quarter Repeater watch. Made in the 1930s. Gold filled and Stainless Steel "Staybrite" gentleman's wristwatch. 15 jewels. Straight line lever escapement, cut bimetallic compensa-tionbalance, blued steel flat balance-spring, repeating on gong by activating slide on the band. Full size of ~23mm wide by 48mm in height.



Truly once-in-a-lifetime chance to find a repeater with in-house movement. There were only 1500 examples made in the 1930s before production stopped. What made this quarter repeater unique is that its movement is a square movement versus a standard round shape movement.

http://www.watchnet.co.jp/p-eyes/products/detail.php?product_id=3569&PHPSESSID=4485831a899c08e8ad7c8480f7cc962a

video







Past auctions:








1930-40年代製造 DRIVA レクタンギュラー 大変希少なクォーターリピーター モデルです。右サイドのレバーをスライドさせる事により鐘で時を告げる、この時代の腕時計としては大変希少な品で、厚みのあるステイブライトケースや、ブルースチール針を備えるブレゲナンバーのホワイトダイヤルなど、腕時計としてのサイズ感やデザイン性にも優れた逸品です。

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Helvetia pilot watch

1930s pre-WWII to early WWII era German Luftwaffe pattern Fliegeruhr or pilot's watch. This is the large 41mm case (excluding the crown) with the double clamshell back and 15 jewel signed Helvetia movement.

Information from the internet 
When Louis Brandt and his brother founded Louis Brandt and Fils in 1880, their firm would go on to produce watches under, among other names, "Omega" and "Helvetia." They founded a second watch firm, "La Generale" in Bienne and in 1895 transferred quite a few of their "Brandt & Fils" marks to the new company - Helvetia being chief among them. As late as 1900, Omega advertisements also heralded the quality of their "Helvetia" watches.

"La Generale" - or "General Watch Company," produced timepieces for more recognizable brand names than any other major watch firm. Makers for such names as Eterna, Mido, Longines, Oris and Helvetia, they became known for their attention to detail and ability to manufacture good timepieces in reliable quantities - just the qualities needed by a burgeoning military. It was because of this standard that the German military approached General Watch Company to make wrist and pocket watches for the "Deutsches Heer" - the German Army.

During the mid to late '30s, Helvetia produced aviator's wristwatches that were retailed in Germany, featuring high-grade 15 jewel "shock protected" mechanisms. Such models were designed to be worn over the sleeve of a flying suit and were fitted with a thick leather strap. These timepieces also were used by administration because, like the Army, the Luftwaffe had timepieces that were distributed to ground based personnel.

Apparently, examples of this model were used in 1937 in the Reich Luftwaffe's flying school in Oldenburg, similar to the Zeniths used in the flight school in Brandenburg-Briest during the same period. Today, such models are quite sought after by both horological collectors and military historians.




Wednesday, October 04, 2017

中秋节快乐

Vintage Droz Super compressor

I love diver watches and I have been looking for a Droz Super compressor for a while. A super compressor is a design that was patented by case manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. (EPSA). The name refers to this case’s feature where, because of the spring-loaded caseback, the case actually becomes sealed tighter as water pressure increases. According to the information from the net, since EPSA only made the cases, there were many different manufacturers that used these cases for their dive watches and the most notable brands that used the dual crown design include: Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, IWC, Droz, Girard-Perregaux, Hamilton, Bulova, Enicar, Universal Geneve, Wittnauer, Benrus, Hamilton, Lip, Blancpain, Bucherer, Tissot and Benrus etc.  I am not an expert in super compressor but has decided to keep one for a start.


Just found one in Hong Kong at a good price. This is a classic 36mm case with dual crowns and a unique internal rotating dive bezel. The purpose behind this internal bezel was to avoid accidental rotation, a problem that divers had occasionally with the external rotating bezel.

Happy Mid Autumn mooncake festival!








When I was in Thailand, I was looking at an ebay auction selling the Droz  in December 2016 but I have missed the auction. Someone must have won it and decided to let it out in the HKG market and some how it landed in my hands! Great joy!





For details on Super compressor watches, please see

http://www.woundforlife.com/2015/12/30/face-off-vintage-super-compressors/


Monday, October 02, 2017

Rolex 1016 Dial

For those looking for Tropical dial, there is one on ebay now (not mine) ...


Rolex Bubbleback Pink dial

Despite the trend for big sports watches, I have always love the Rolex bubbleback Recently, I have been in luck for Pink as following the Datejust pink gold bezel watch with Pink Buckley dial, I have just found one Rolex Bubbleback with the pink dial and mercedes hands from Texas.





Sunday, October 01, 2017

Vintage Omega constellation

Just traded a Rado day date plus a diver watch for this lovely Vintage Omega Constellation in nice condition



Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fidel Castro Rolex 6542

Castro`s favourite watch. Rolex 6542