Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rolex Explorers

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

Rolex Waffle dials hand Winding version versus automatic

Even for the Rolex Waffle dial there are variations:

(Borrowed Photos from the net)

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 by Frank Muller

This is Rolex Perpetual Calendar modified 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,  Reference 6062: "Bao Dai.

Rolex rare Waffle dial:

Rolex rare sector pie pan dial

Friday, May 12, 2017

Titus Calypsomatic watch ref 5913 and ref 7110

I have always wanted to collect the Titus Calypsomatic diver watches. There are 4 models of the Calypsomatic that I have known. The first one is the ref 5913, second is ref 7085 and the third is the ref 7986. There is a slight difference in the casing and case back and the 5913/7085 have holes on the lugs through and through. The dials and bezels of the 5913/7085 look identical and with with the big crown. The 7986 dial have bigger hour markers and the crown is a bit smaller. The 5913/7085 also has lollipop hour hands while the 7986 has Mercedes hour hands. There is also a junior model 7110.

Even within te 5913, there are two versions. The 5913 with the star is the very first one and the only one with "SWISS MADE" at the bottom. There are references with non-signed crowns : late 5913 and 7085, but also the 8031.

As my friend Kow plans to expand his collection of chronograph, I am lucky to be able to inherit these two lovely Titus from him. At 38mm, the 5913 is the perfect vintage diver size, and will be wearable in just about any situation. 

Posters of watches are images from the net.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Breguet Type XX

From the military Pilot watch point of view, the Type XX occupies an importance part of aviation history. There are a few manufacturers of Type XX and most Type XX watches share a lot of obvious similarities. They are black dialed chronographs, with luminous hands (most were using radioactive radium) and Arabic numbers. They house manual wind flyback movements, their diameter is in the 37 to 39 mm range, and they are equipped with a bi-directional rotating bezel.

From the internet, the specification of the type XX includes:
  • a black dial, with two registers at 3 and 9 o'clock able to count up to 30 minutes;
  • a diameter of approximately 38 mm;
  • the flyback function;
  • a watch accurate to at least 8 seconds per day
  • a power reserve of at least 35 hours;
  • the ability to operate satisfactorily at least 300 times.
Breguet was commissioned to produce 2,000 “Type 20” chronographs by government contract in 1954. On the visible face of the caseback is generally engraved BREGUET / TYPE 20 / 5101/54, where the last 2 numbers are the contract number and the year (in 2-digit form). 

I am not an expert in Chronograph watches as my focus were mainly the Rolex bubbleback, Princes at that time. I was fortunate to find a Breguet Type XX many years ago by swapping watches with another collector. The reason for my collection of Breguet was because I was working for the Swatch Group at that time and I was keen to collect some of Swatch group's brands (Breguet, Omega, Longines etc).

In addition, there is the second generation Breguet with three register. Although the very first military Breguet Type 20 did not have any brand on the dial, the later second generation civilian versions (with either 2 or 3 registers) did sport the Breguet logo. This is my second generation three registers chronograph with bekelite bezel.