Saturday, April 22, 2017

Rolex Smooth bezels

Twin watches with smooth bezels. In earlier days, most consumers would prefer to have engine turned bezels or coin/milled turned bezel. It is strange that many unpopular models will become highly collectibles owing to the scarcity.

Rado lapis NCC 101

Rado in 1970s launched the first NCC model in series NCC 101, which was a new concept watch case, NCC means New Case Concept, some say New Case Construction. Movement is placed first and the metal cover and the rubber coating ,the glass is placed on it, all inserted in a steel housing case.

The watch was based on the image of Star trek Enterprise NCC 1701 with a futuristic image and this one is the very first of its series The NCC101 in special blue Lapis dial. 

Happy weekend 22nd April 2017

Happy weekend

This weekend was an eventful one as I have traded my Rolex handwind Datejust tropical for a smooth bezel 1600 which is quite rare as it has a special dial too. Datejust Ref 1601 comes in fluted bezel or 1603 crenelated bezel while the 1600 is quite rare as it looks ordinary those days with the smooth bezel.

In addition, it has a dial which have fonts "O T SWISS T O" towards the bottom area, denotes that the markers are made of white or yellow gold. The word sigma dial is used because the letter O's in the O T SWISS T O appear to look like the the 18th letter in the Greek alphabet σ or the Mathematic symbol for sigma.

In addition to the trade, I have also managed to find a nice Rado NCC101 in Blue Lapis dial. It is a massive watch and the lapis dial immediately captured one's attention. I didn't know that this model of NCC 101 is in demand until I serf the net forum.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mercedes Gleitze Oyster watch patent

Mercedes Gleitze Oyster watch patent

Mercedes Gleitze or Mercedes Carey (18 November 1900 – 9 February 1981) was a British professional swimmer. She was the first person to swim the Straits of Gibraltar and the first British woman to swim the English channel. The name of Mercedes Gleitze was used to market Rolex's new diving watch, "Oyster". This is the watch where Mercedes Gleitze used when swimming across the English Channel.

Similar watch from the era

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Rolex 6104 Big bubbleback

I was looking for a vintage military watch when I went to the vintage watch shop but my attention was immediately drawn to a bubbleback, a Big one. Initially, I thought it was a heavily used 6105 until I use a loop to see the engraving as 6104.

This is a rare 36x44mm (not counting the crown) 14K/ss ROLEX Ref 6104 BIG Bubbleback Oyster OVEVTTONE ca 1952. Research shows that about 1000 of these combined ref 6105 and 6104 Ovettone models were made. The ref 6105 model is with the coin/milled turned bezel is more common than the very rare 6104 model with smooth bezel. This 6104 is even more rare as it is in rose gold bezel and crown. This is the largest of the early Oyster Perpetual Models and this one is with red datewheel. The Ovettone model unlike the earlier and smaller Datejust is larger and is not distinguished by the name Datejust on the dial. The Ovettone Big Bubbleback is also distinguished by the ref numbers 4467, 6031 and 6105, 6104. They are all 2 Star or rare watches as designated in the Shugart price guide to watches.

The big bubbleback date just wasn't using the cyclops magnifying lens, because the cyclops magnifying lens hasn't appeared until 1954. I was lucky as the Italian traders were busy trading his watches with the Thai traders. As he needs to trade for other watches, he was willing to let me have it at a special price! This is indeed a lucky find and the winding crown is an old one with the "+".

From 4467(1945-1949) to 5030503150756031(1949 - 1950)60756074(1950 - 1953)61046105(modified A2961951 - 1953) and early 6304 and 6305(A2961953 - 1956) all once has the crown mark.

Now, the Rolex big bubbleback can join its family 4467, 6305, 6104, 6031

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Vintage French Diver watch

This is a 1970-80s vintage diver in good condition. It has a simple movement and a dust cover for movement. Not bad for a cheap diver watch.

Vintage watches are Good investment

Initially, I was hoping to streamline and tighten my watch collection to two to three categories. However, I was unable to resist getting and learning about other brands and varieties of watches. My collection has now includes the Rolex and Tudor, some vintage Omega, Vintage Seiko, Vintage Military, Moonphase watch and Divers watches and some special dial watches. I have attempted to reduce the varieties with Project RT but failed.

Nevertheless, I think collecting a varieties of vintage watches may not be a bad idea as one could spread out the portfolio and reduces the risks when one needs to sell one day. In retrospect, Vintage watches are good investment. Look at the recent ebay transactions on the Seiko 6217 and the Benrus Type 1 military where the prices have escalated. For me, its also a form of forced saving.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Vintage Enicar

I have always love simple watches. This is an example to show the affordability of the hobby. This Enicar was  bought in JJ Mkt in Thailand in very good condition with original bracelet and crystal. The design is timeless.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rolex 5701 dress watch Explorer with date

This is my latest find, a Rolex 5701 dress Explorer made for the Canadian market. The seller has posted an unclear photo and I have to take my chances when bidding for it. Perhaps its due to the poor quality photos that the prices bid were not high.

Luckily, the watch turned up to be with the rare black dial, which require some TLC. There are scratches across the crystal which I think the scratches could be easily polished off using some toothpaste. Now, I will need a 5504 Explorer..

Before and after cleaning

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Rolex Eaton bubbleback fully serviced

I am glad that my stainless steel Eaton Rolex bubbleback is back from complete overhaul and service after seating in the cupboard for 50+ years. My watch maker has updated me that the rotor, mainspring etc are all original and nothing has been changed except the back cover rubber that is used for water proof.

I have started my vintage watch collection in 1988 with the Rolex bubbleback and after so many years, I still love this simple watch and even thought its size is only 32mm (small for todays standard), it is a very comfortable watch to wear and for everyday use. Now this bubbleback is united with the other bubbleback.

The boom in interest in vintage Rolex is fascinating for having been largely autonomous as Rolex as a watch company does not seems to care or not only did Rolex not have anything to do with it, the company rather charmingly didn't seem to know what to make of it at first. Only recently years, Rolex seems to revive their old collection into the new. Patek Philippe on the other hand provides Archive paper for all their vintage collection.

Seiko Bullhead III 6138 0040 5Sports SpeedTimer (Brown/Red);

Previously when I was collecting vintage Seiko Divers, I have seen several Seiko bullhead passing by. As I was not a chronograph collectors, I tended to neglect them. With the blue black Bullhead, it is natural for me to move and try to collect the brown version as well. When one first look at the watch, one will be very often be "put off" by the unique (or weird?) design. However, when one put a bullhead on one's wrist, I can guarantee you that your perception will changed. My perceptions have changed totally and I am truly in love with these weird monsters now.

There are 3 brown versions namely:

1. With Seiko 5Sports SpeedTimer" at the top of the dial (Made for Japanese Domestic Market).

2. With SpeedTimer at the Top of dial (SpeedTimer Bullhead variants were those produced for the Japanese Domestic Market. They were sold in Japan and the surrounding areas).

3. With Chronograph Automatic Bullheads produced for the rest of the world wore the standard "Chronograph Automatic" markings (can be marked either as "6138-0049" or "6138-0040" depending again on what market the watch was originally sold in).

Last night, I have managed to find my first brown Seiko from Japan. The overall condition is good except some scratches at the bezel with the correct yellow Tachymeter word and dots with silver numerals. This is one that is made for the Japan Domestic Market with the Seiko 5Sports SpeedTimer at the top of the dial. It has the correct hands that have no lume on the hour/minute hands as well as the correct maroon colour sweep second chronometer hand.

Unlike vintage Rolex, these are very affordable vintage watches and real value for money. It will not burn a hole in your pocket. Find one and wear them and you will agree with what I say.

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...