Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rado Starline 999

Rado Starliner 999

I am into Day date watch after collecting the Rolex 1803 recently. I came across this Rado Starliner 999 form the late 1960s- early 70s and I have decided to trade my Mido for this. The back case has the Rado water shealed and 3 sea horses logo and markings 11778-T while the dial features a rotating anchor as well as with open windows for day date. The rotating Anchor logo has been used in Rado automatic watches since 1958. The case masures 43MM LUG TO LUG X 37MM without crown making it an attractive sizes compares to the other vintage Rado.This model is perhaps made for the Far East market. 

Vintage watch collecting should be fun and this is my attepmpt to bring back the fun element in collecting and learning something new. Many collectors often neglect Rado watch collection but I find it interesting as they have many unique dial designs..

Advertisement from 1967

Monday, January 30, 2017


IWC Mark 11


Not all my financial decisions have been impeccable, but I did make one very sound call. I bought vintage watches before the current craze commenced. Given my too-small pension, the increases in value are reassuring: $500 paid for an early Rolex Explorer 20 years ago has turned into something like $7,000 today; ditto for the same spent on a 1952 IWC Mk 11.
The rebirth of the mechanical wristwatch in the late 1980s has created a mature collector’s culture. If you accept the arbitrary definition of a “vintage watch” as one that’s over 25 years old, then the earliest examples of the “new wave” mechanical wristwatches are now soaked in the desirability and gravitas of age. By contrast, watches less than a quarter of a century old are referred to, sniffily, by the trade as “pre-owned”. The $1.4m paid in May 2015 for an ultra-rare 1971 Rolex Daytona once owned by Eric Clapton represented a new benchmark.
“Vintage watches” used to mean pocket watches, and wristwatch collectors had no network to speak of, no magazines or collectors’ guides to help them appreciate what was worth pursuing. Aside from the perennial yen for Patek Philippe, Rolex and Cartier, there was no hierarchy of desirability. That trio had earned cult status by virtue of their reputation and the good taste of their customers. When auction houses like Antiquorum started to devise wristwatch-only auctions, vintage watches began to attain the credibility in horological circles that had been previously reserved for clocks and pocket watches in the mid-to-late 1980s.
Those early auctions ran concurrently with the recovery in sales of brand-new mechanical watches, after quartz had nearly killed off the entire Swiss watch industry in the 1970s. Visionaries such as the late Günter Blümlein, saviour of IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, A. Lange & Söhne, Gerd-R Lang, founder of Chronoswiss, Nicolas Hayek senior of the Swatch Group and a host of “auteur” watchmakers including Franck Muller, F.P. Journe and Daniel Roth, kept the mechanical faith. Then, as now, they valued authenticity above all.
Watch enthusiasts know that, within reason, any mechanical wristwatch can be serviced, repaired and maintained in perpetuity by a skilled watchmaker. With the exception of certain cosmetic details, and ignoring the obsession among certain collectors for original parts (like the apocryphal Japanese car collector who expects to see the original tyres on a 1928 Bugatti Type 35), a watchmaker can reproduce or adapt a component to keep a watch running.
A quartz timepiece, by contrast, becomes scrap when its electronic parts become obsolete. Pity those who bought solid-gold quartz watches in the 1970s, and now find that they’re about as serviceable as a Betamax VCR. Some of the larger brands may have kept stocks of parts, but eventually the only solution will be to find a replacement movement – quartz or mechanical – that might fit with some modification.
Part of the lust for vintage is clearly about rarity: anyone with enough money can buy the latest watch, but a new model will always scream “arriviste”. I once attended a dinner in 1998 – nothing to do with watches – and seven of the eight gents at the table were wearing Panerais, then considered screamingly rare. Any thoughts of coolness or discernment vanished.
Vintage watches, by virtue of age and – usually – much lower production numbers, tend to survive in the wild by being in the right place at the right time. The chances of finding a dream watch decrease with specificity. You want a vintage Rolex Day-Date? At any given time, there are a few thousand for sale. But you want one from 1968, because it’s your birth year? And you want it with a “Stella” dial? And in coral? Expect to hunt around, to scour the auction catalogues, to put your name on a waiting list at David Duggan, Somlo Antiques, Watch Club and with other specialist dealers.
As for chance finds, think lottery-level odds. Unlike the glory days, when a visit to a Salvation Army store would yield a 1930s Gruen Curvex for $5, or a pawn shop in Atlanta could provide you with a 1950s Girard-Perregaux Gyromatic for $35, everyone and his brother is now an expert. Between the ludicrous results at auction – which have turned vintage watches into a cash cow on a par with rare wines – and the increase in the number of collectors worldwide, the odds of turning up a rare piece in a car-boot sale are lengthening with the same rapidity as finding a lost Turner in your loft.
As the finest watches were usually kept in the families that first owned them – because only the well-to-do ever bought Vacheron Constantins, Audemars Piguets and Patek Philippes – such pieces do not turn up in jumble sales. They enter the marketplace only when someone dies. Bonhams is in the middle of a series of sales of over 2,000 watches amassed by “a European nobleman”, and most entries in top-level auction catalogues have a note somewhere in the description along the lines of “property of a gentleman”. Less common is “found by some lucky schmuck in a garage sale”.
Certainly, the biggest money is still found in pocket watches, such as Patek Philippe’s Henry Graves Super Complication, which sold for $24m in 2014. More frequently, though, wristwatches – especially Patek Philippe minute repeaters and perpetual calendars – are topping the $1m mark, while Rolexes are getting there too. Aurel Bacs, a fashionable auctioneer working as a consultant to Phillips, conducted a sale made up solely of 60 Rolex Day-Dates, and another of 88 stainless-steel chronographs. Six- and seven-figure bids are his norm.
“Don’t buy anything you won’t want to wear” remains a good watchword; but for those with an eye to investment, the blue-chip brands remain Rolex, Cartier and Patek Philippe, while Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin are curiously undervalued but still highly desirable. Omega is on a high, and Longines is – at last – in the ascent. Elder Breitling, Lemania, Heuer (before TAG) and Universal Genève chronographs are coveted by enthusiasts; watches issued to the branches of the armed forces – especially from IWC and Rolex – always hold their value; classics like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso never go out of fashion.
Those buying for long-term pleasure or investment should ask themselves a useful question: if a new watch is bizarre, and the manufacturer is tiny, and it features bespoke technology, is the company likely still to be around in 20 years’ time? Watch brands are not guaranteed immortality, and a dearth of parts is a deal-breaker.
Do not pay attention to price guides. They have the shelf-life of a croissant. Last year, nobody expected $1.4m to change hands for Clapton’s Rolex, let alone 375,000 Swiss francs ($389,410) for a unique but brand-new Tudor with a retail value a 100th of the price. Both sales caused an upward trend in the prices of similar, more common models. And you never know when an influential pundit is going to fall in love with some minor brand and push up its prices with a mouse click.
My good fortune 30 years ago was down, I guess, to a mixture of a taste for beauty and dumb luck. I was lucky to be living before prices went stratospheric, and vintage watches were easier to come by. I once bought a fabulous Leonidas calendar chronograph from a guy in Las Vegas for $900. While I was walking along and looking at it, a collector I knew buttonholed me and offered me first $1,000, then $1,500, then $2,000. Watch-dealing, it seemed, offered an even faster way to make a buck than all the vices of Sin City.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Longines & Lemania WW2 military

Lemania military

8171 auction

Lot 34 

Rolex. An Extremely Rare and Fine Stainless Steel Automatic Triple Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases and Tropical Dial


Price realised USD 161,000
EstimateUSD 100,000 - USD 200,000
Rolex. An Extremely Rare and Fine Stainless Steel Automatic Triple Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases and Tropical Dial
Signed Rolex, Perpetual, Precision, Ref. 8171, Movement No. 56'924, Case No. 686'258, Circa 1951
Automatic jewelled lever movement, tropical silvered dial, applied Arabic, square and dagger numerals, outer blue date ring, central date hand with blued steel arrow tip, two windows for day and month in English, subsidiary dial for moon phases and constant seconds, large circular case, snap on back, stainless steel Rolex buckle, case, dial and movement signed 
38mm diam.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Breguet Type XX Civilian Aeronavale by Hondinkee

Breguet Type XX Civilian Aeronavale
This is just a beautiful example of a Breguet Type XX in the 1960 Aeronavale style, but without the military engravings on the caseback, suggesting it was meant for sale to civilians. This particular example appears very nice and unpolished. Man, I love this watch. It is available from Time Titans for a Buy It Now of $29,500 or you can make an offer.
Please see source: 

Monday, January 23, 2017

1950s Breguet Type XX by Hodinkee

There is another nice article on Type XX by Hodinkee,,..

Please see : https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/whats-selling-where-an-original-breguet-type-xx-a-heuer-autavia-decompression-and

There are Type XX's and then there are watches that dealers call type XX's.  This, friends, is a legitimate and seemingly original Type XX from Breguet.  It went into service in 1954, was sent into service a handful of times, and then decommissioned in 1980, all of which you can tell by the caseback engravings.  This watch has an original UNSIGNED dial (as it should be), true to form onion crown, and a case in nice clean shape.  The folks at ClassicWatch are asking about $14k for it, which considering how many crappy wanna-be Type XX's sell for the same range, isn't too bad (we think, but again, onus is completely on you to do your research).  (Original Listing)

Breguet museum tour by Hodinkee

Another interesting articles from Hodinkee that talks about the Breguet museum. What is interesting are the Breguet Type XX watches found in the museum.

Source : https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/revisiting-breguet-museum-paris-2

Breguet Type XX from Hodinkee

There is an interesting articles from Hodinkee that talks about the vintage Breguet type XX. For me, the Breguet type XX is a severly under value chronograph watch as it is much rarer then the Rolex Daytona. Moreover, many of these were made for the French Pilot. Given the high brand positioning of Breguet versus Rolex, the prices of these vintage Type XX chronograph are very cheap now. Look at the number of vintage Rolex Daytona in the market versus the Breguet Type XX as the latter is for the real connisseur who knows the history behind the watch.

Please see Source: https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/bring-a-loupe-april-29-2016

The Type 20 is the proof that Breguet offers more than elegant dress watches with guilloche dials. Jack went all in with the modern edition here, but here you see a transitional version offered after the original 38 mm chosen by the French army in the 1950s. Indeed, Breguet released it after the luxury house Chaumet had taken control of the brand in 1970. On that occasion, the Type 20 got a larger 40 mm compressor case and a sleek black bezel. This version existed in both two and three-register layouts, with, respectively, the caliber Valjoux 235 and 725, both offering the flyback function that the original military contract stipulated. Note that this version never made it into the French Armed Forces, as its cost was judged excessive at the time. Finally, in 1995 Breguet released the current version of this chronograph, named Type XX instead of the original Type 20 borne out of the eponymous military specs. I wish this listing had a better picture, but nonetheless it seems the lume dot has disappeared from the bezel.

This Type 20 from the 1970s can be found for 13,000 Euros (or around $14,500) on a French forum here; it comes with the two last service invoices from Breguet, the last one dating only from a few months ago.

1 OF 9The Type 20 is the proof that Breguet offers more than elegant dress watches with guilloche dials. Jack went all in with the modern edition here, but here you see a transitional version offered after the original 38 mm chosen by the French army in the 1950s. Indeed, Breguet released it after the luxury house Chaumet had taken control of the brand in 1970. On that occasion, the Type 20 got a larger 40 mm compressor case and a sleek black bezel. This version existed in both two and three-register layouts, with, respectively, the caliber Valjoux 235 and 725, both offering the flyback function that the original military contract stipulated. Note that this version never made it into the French Armed Forces, as its cost was judged excessive at the time. Finally, in 1995 Breguet released the current version of this chronog

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mido Commander

This is a very interesting, rich and stylish looking time piece. Mido launched its Commander model in 1959. This utilized a one-piece case design, the very first of its type, as well as a novelty in the time. The one-piece case revolutionized the market at that time and enhanced the life span of watches considerably. The Mido Commander has survived to today, and it is among the world's most acknowledged watches with numerous unique designs, including an eighteen karat solid gold model. This model is unique as it comes with diamonds markers.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Tiffany dial from forum : yes or No ?

The  Tiffany dial has alsways beeen a subject of discussion as there were many fonts used during the period.

Other dial from the net for sharing..

Friday, January 20, 2017

The challenges of Vintage Rolex watch collecting

The challenges of Vintage Rolex watch collecting

Recently, there are much debates with regards to dials in the various forums. Take for example the Ox Blood 1803 dial and it has invited many comments with half of the collectors saying its genuine and half saying its fake or reconditioned dial. This is the result of escalating prices for special models.

When I first started collecting watches many years ago, prices were not high and dial reconditioning technology is not so advance making it easier for hobbyist to know. Now, with the advancement of technology in printing, one has to be careful. Bearing in mind that when I first collected Rolex sports watches in the 1980-90s, these are watches costing between US$900-1000 each for all models. Moreover, Rolex has no standization in terms of crown logo designon dial as a result of outsourcing of dials, bezels etc. As a result variations existed. We have to remember that during the 1970-90s period was a depression period for the Swiss watch industry as a result of the advancement of the Japanese quartz. Moreover, many Rolex spareparts produced during these period were interchangeable.

Only in modern days, the colllector started to differntiate the mark 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7 and started to split hairs in the collection. As a result of the forum, many arguments started. In the end, who is to say its genuine of fake or reconditioned? This issue is especially important when one decides to sell the watch after many years. The sellers and forum contributors may be gone and new collectors coming into markets. As such, to try to avoid such happending, I try to send as many watches to Rolex center for service and for record as possible as they are the ultimate brand owner even though the costs are very high. Moreover, i can ensure that the parts are all geninue if needed to change. Rolex center, they will first verify the watch, serial nos and make before providing service, making it a form of authentication.

I have been very discipline and I ahve not added any new collection so far... Enjoy 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Vintage military watches

Vintage military watches

I have made several attempts to collect vintage military watches and have failed several times to build up a nice collection and this is my new efforts.

The Dity Dozen is everyone's dream but so far can only find these fantastic four.

Vietnam war era: managed to get the Benrus Rype 1, Type 2A & 2B

Plus some chronos..

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Revisit Lemania “Majetek Vojenske Spravy” military watch

Revisit Lemania “Majetek Vojenske Spravy” military watch

I have tried to limit the number of watches for 2017 and so far so good. The Lemania WW2 watch dial is slowly turning brown with time..

There are two kind of finishing for the movement namely the copper finish and the steel one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Rolex 寶光帶

Rolex 寶光帶,是泛指 60 - 70 年代,由瑞士勞力士公司授權的 OEM Rivet 釘帶。
當時勞力士原廠, 因各種生/關稅等原因亦有授權美國,日本,墨西哥等當地產商做代工錶帶。由代工廠如 Gay Freres / Mecan 等生產. 寶光帶於 ~70 年代早期停產。而家所指嘅'寳光帶',其實普遍泛指仿品。曾經聽過一個粉飾呢類仿品嘅說法,話當年喺香港生產呢D所謂勞力士錶帶嘅器材至今仍健在,原有生產方法仍可利用及後有人以昔日製作寶光帶的機器及模版

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Rolex 1601 Blue dial

First watch for 2017

This is a 1971-2 Rolex 1601 in rare blue dial. The more common 1601 pie pan dials are white, gold and silver. Not sure why but the blue dial in Rolex during these period tended to have issues and tended to peel off. 

I just Love the blue with gold markers contrast. The 36mm size watch is comfortable to wear and Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust might just be the perfect watch for everyday use. Coupling perfect proportions, simple dial layouts, and robust movements making this a work horse, The datejust is Rolex's most prolific model and is an icon of timekeeping that has been in continuous production for decades. 

All watches in the blog belongs to me unless otherwise stated.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Rolex 1803 service

Rolex 1803 service

Just sent my Rolex 1803 to Rolex center for service and ensure that all parts are genuine. I have made it a point to do so in order to ensure a record is kept with the Rolex center and to ensure that my vintage watches have all new original rolex parts. Some of these watches' spare parts may be running out in years to come...

Now I have two watches with the Rolex center (the Rolex 16800 Tiffany & Co and this 1803)...

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Rolex Ref 1803 President (Day/Date) Pie Pan Taupe faded browish polar dial

Rolex Ref 1803 President  Day/Date Pie Pan Dial  Faded Browish Polar Dial

Hello 2017!

I have promised myself to keep the number of vintage watches down for the year 2017. As such, the focus shall be on upgrading on existing watches by way of the upgrade of dial.  Originally, I was looking at an exotic Ox Blood dial but the price is so high! I will keep this as a later project..

For now, luckily, I have managed to find a Rolex Ref 1803 President  Day/Date Pie Pan dial  in Taupe beige-brown colour dial (with white print) faded polar dial for my 1803, At a certain angle, one cannot see the wordings thereby giving the loud watch a low profile. I am lucky to find the original Chinese calendars discs as well.

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...