Monday, May 29, 2017

Vintage ZRC dive watches journey

I have started to collect the rare ZRC vintage Diver watches one year ago with the first with the ZRC Spartiale 300, as a reward. The vintage ZRC is a cult brand and the hunting for it has been a tough one as not many vintage watches are out there for sale. Many collectors tended to hold on to them as the distribution was limited to France in the past.

Moreover, these are the tool watches used by professional divers, not many are available to people who are non divers. These were sold in the professional diving equipment companies and therefore has limited circulation. In addition, as a result of its small circulation, be prepared that the parts such as the hands, bezels etc may have been switched as the owners (Not collectors) then were not particular of the state of so called originality of the watch as long as it was usable and functioning. My ZRC Spartiale is a NOS in full original mint condition while my series 2 had the hands changed. As a vintage watch collector, I am fine with these changes as if anyone wants all perfect watch should get a re-issued ZRC instead. One way is try to find NOS spare parts for them, which is a fun and challenging project. 

Later, I ahve managed to find the ZRC Series 2 from France.

There is a very attractive Series 2 with the large hour and minutes hands as well as a dotted Bakelite bezels. I have been looking for it for over one year and it is getting closer...

My Dream watch & photos of watches from the internet

Titus Calypsomatic 7085

Titus Calypsomatic

When I bought the watch, I thought it was the earliest version of 5913 but this is a 7085 and not a 5913, my mistakes. In the end, I have decided to keep it as the price is really attractive.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tudor 7928 bezel serviced

I must thank Ms Kim Van for helping me to service my Tudor 7928 bezel as it was very tight and difficult to turn. Even though this 7928 is very aged, I like it very much as the dial has already turned to tropical brown.

Jaeger Lecoultre memovox TURLER alarm watch Caliber 489

This is a JLC memovox with dual name Turler. The Türler company was founded as a watchmaking manufactory in Bienne Switzerland on Monday, February 5, 1883. In 1893 the family Türler also founded a specialized shop for watches and jewelry in Zürich. In 1907 the shop located in the Savoy-Hotel at Paradeplatz in the heart of Zürich was opened. 

The Jaeger Lecoultre memovox TURLER alarm watch has been serviced and the alarm works well with a cricket sound. The Memovox was first introduced by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1950/51 with the manually wound Calibre 489. The two separate crowns allowed you to manually wind and set the alarm and timekeeping parts of the movement separately. The name Memovox is a composite of two Latin word, Memor (remembering) and Vox (voice), meaning "the voice of remembering," a perfect choice for an alarm watch. A few years after, in 1956, the Cal. 489 was replaced with the Calibre 815, making the Memovox the first automatically wound alarm wristwatch.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Vintage Rolex 1601 with Coat of Arms of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, white gold bezel

I have always love the 1601 and I have one in Rose gold bezel and steel and another in yellow gold bezel and steel. This is a white gold bezel Rolex with the rare dial made for Saudi Arabia (with the Coat of Arms of kingdom of Saudi Arabia : Palm tree and two swords logo).

The Saudi Arabian national emblem (Arabic: شعار السعودية‎‎) was adopted in 1950. According to the Saudi Basic Law, it consists of two crossed swords with a palm tree in the space above and between the blades.

The two swords represent the Kingdom of Hejaz and the Sultanate of Najd and its dependencies, which were united under Ibn Saud in 1926.[3] The palm tree represents the Kingdom's assets which are defined as its people, heritage, history, and resources natural and non-natural. Thus, the palm is shown to be guarded by the two swords, which represent the force to be used in defence of the nation. As a former history and political science student, these details often fascinate me. As you can see, the Rolex wording and fonds sizes are also smaller. There are a few versions of the dials.

Variations (Photos from the net)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Vintage military W 10 watches

W10 military watches

Throughout the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, Smiths watch has held contracts to supply watches to the UK Ministry of Defense, with the W10 being perhaps the most iconic. The W10 would become the last serially produced British watch with all of its components including the movement to be manufactured in the UK.

The W10 is 35mm with an approximate lug-to-lug height of 40mm. The lug bars are fixed, a common feature amongst mil-spec watches, so the W10 is an ideal match for most nylon mil-straps.  The W10 black dial features traditional aviator configuration found on numerous mil-spec watches: a legible hours index with a triangle at 12, sword hands, and an outer railroad track for the minutes. Right under 12 oclock is the “SMITHS” logo and an encircled T indicating the presence of tritium.

At location above 6 is the pheon (broad arrow), the official mark designating property issued by the British government dating back to the 17th century. Right below 6 along the inner perimeter of the minutes track is a proud “MADE IN ENGLAND,” a small element that differentiates the W10 from scores of other mil-spec watches. The W10 uses the cal. 60466E, a 17-jewel manual movement produced in-house by Smiths, which has a beautiful golden bronze coloured movement.

CWC W 10 (Cabot Watch Company)

Besides Simths. the W10 pattern was manufactured by CWC, Hamilton. Hamilton ceased production in the early 1970’s and production was continued by Cabot Watch Co better know by the initials CWC. It is a very robust with a thick steel case, good quality accurate Swiss jeweled movement, hacking function, easy to read dial, fixed strap bars & extra thick tough plexi.

This style of watch replaced the Smith's W10 and was the last general purpose mechanical watch ever issued to the military in the UK. This "Tonneau" shaped case watches were issued to all 3 branches of the M.O.D Army Navy and RAF from 1973-1980.

Case-back markings markings:

W10 indicates Army issue.
6645 Nato code for Timepiece.
99 country code for UK.
523-8290 = General Purpose wristwatch.
/|\ Arrow = M.O.D property, and the last set of numbers (e.g.)

1XXX/ 76 are the serial number & year of issue.

CWC, Smiths together with the Hamilton W10. This is my 3rd attempts in collecting the W10. I have my first Hamilton W10 in the 1988 in Singapore and sold it later. My second attempt was a few years back when I found another Hamilton W10 in Hong Kong but sold to a friend as it was not fitting into my collection. This 3rd attempt was a success as I have managed to find all 3 variations. I am now hunting for the Lost navigator...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rolex Explorers

My Rolex  Explorer series is slowly growing covering both the Explorer 1, 2, and dress watch Canadian Explorers.

NOS Seiko 8306 8000

To find a Seiko 8306 8000 is not difficult. However, to find a NOS Seiko with rare blue dial takes a bit of luck. This is a NOS Seiko 8306 8000 Seikomatic watch with 30 jewels. I was immediately captured by its "Patek" Blue dial and its near mint condition.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Angelus Chronodato Chronograph Cal 217

The prices of vintage watches are on the upward climb. All kind of large vintage sports watches chronograph watches, military watches, diver watches and small brands are getting ridiculously high prices now. In the past, for Rolex sports models, only the steel versions are collectible. Owing to high demand, even the half gold ones are in demand now. This is perhaps also due to some online sites that educate the masses and indirectly created the demand.

One of the important manufacturers of mechanical chronograph's golden era, the Angelus Watch Company was founded in Le Locle Switzerland in 1891 by Stolz Freres S.A., and won many awards for it's highly complicated watches. This brand was among very few companies produced its own in-house high-end chronograph movements, that are considered among the 10 best mechanical chronograph's movements of the last century, very collectible nowadays. 

I am not a big fan of chronograph watches but owing to the influence of my friend Kow, I have started to slowly collect affordable chronograph. This is a Angelus Chronodato chronograph. The movement used in this watch is a hand built, manual-wind, 17 jewels Angelus caliber 217, an own development of Angelus Watch Co. Every technical luxury  present on this movement, including column wheel and carrying arm. 

The dial has two subdials: left for the constantly running seconds, right is the 45-minute chronograph's counter. The watch has the capability to measure one 5th of a second intervals via dial calibration.  The watch is a triple-date calendar watch, the remarkable achievement for that time, and shows the month and the day of the week in English in unusually located up-down apertures, and the date by the red arrow-end hand on the outer scale. The size of the wtach at 38mm was large at that time but is perfect for now. These watches are still affordable but with rare dials, the prices can be as high as US$6000. I came across an original dial Angelus Chronodato in Peru and I am happy with the condition and price.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Seiko 6217

Prices for vintage watches are escalating. Even the Seiko 62 MAS is now Yen 310,000/ US$2751 in Yahoo Japan.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Rolex upgraded by Franck Muller

This is Rolex Perpetual Calendar modified and upgraded by Frank Muller many years back (not mine : )).

Please read:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Vintage Rolex & the question of spare parts

I have just realized that Vintage watch collecting is not for everyone. There are many new collector who wants to collect vintage watches. Often they seek the opinion of second hand watch dealers who will advice them that there will be no spare parts from Rolex center. That is half correct. An experience dealer would advice the customer to get a good working condition watch as the maintenance will be easy as it will only needs oiling once every three years as long as the mechanism are not broken. I have know many watch collectors who has hundreds of watches. Some collect even the antique pocket watches and there is no worries of spare parts as these pocket watches are over 200 years old and are still ticking.

To get into the vintage watch hobby, one needs to have the correct mind set and right advice. Even the Rolex sports models from the 1960s have already ran out of spare parts but the collectors are not worry. Recently, there was a vintage Rolex watch that sold over 5 million dollars and the buyer is not worries about Rolex center not having spare parts.

The watch that sold for $5,060,427 is a legendary timepiece,  

Rolex rare Waffle dial:

Rolex rare sector pie pan dial

Spy watch

Israel’s Secret Operation to Recover the Watch of a Legendary Spy Eli Cohen in Damascus, Syria, in the early 1960s, wearing the watch that ...