Vintage Watch Update 14th October 2016 | 14.10.16


Opening this week’s update is a stunning, mid-sized Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch which dates to circa 1948. The watch has a wonderfully rich 18ct pink gold case which has a beautiful coppery tone and, whilst modestly sized at 30mm, it’s beautifully proportioned, with handsome splayed lugs and a slim recessed winding crown. The silvered dial has matching, raised pink Arabic and dot numerals and sword-shaped hands. In lovely original condition throughout, the case retains great definition and the dial has an excellent lustre with very light and even oxidation to the surface. Manually wound, the movement is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s calibre P480 which the watchmaker first introduced in 1948, the same year as the present watch’s production. This watch is fitted with a handmade lizard skin leather strap made by Chris Clarke, and talking of which…


We’re excited to be launching our new range of handmade wristwatch straps. Our initial range includes 7 different styles, all made by Chris Clarke in Shropshire. The leathers are all of the highest quality and have been sourced by Chris from England, Scotland, Italy and America. All the leathers are vegetable tanned and each strap is lined to the inside with un-dyed Kangaroo skin which is both soft, supple and durable. The range includes traditional leathers for watch straps, such as pig and wild boar skins – these have a fantastic texture which gives these straps a uniquely rugged appearance. There’s also a tan coloured Shell Cordovan strap which is wonderfully smooth in finish and will develop its own patina over time. Other styles include lizard, stirrup hide and calf leathers. The buckle and fixed keep are hand sewn onto the strap using linen thread coated with beeswax and the straps are reinforced at the case ends using carbon fibre. You’ll find much more information about these straps on the website here:
We’ve used 5 of the straps on some of this week’s watches so, in addition to the one on the Jaeger above, I’ll point these out as we go through the newsletter.


Shown above is an early example of the Omega Ref. 720 which dates to circa 1947. This watch has a wonderfully patinated dial with silver foil Arabic numerals, a large engine-turned subsidiary seconds and feuille hands. We’ve fitted this watch with one of Chris Clarke’s tan coloured Pig Skin straps which I think sets off the patinated dial brilliantly and is extremely comfortable to wear. The watch is powered by a manually wound Omega calibre 30T2.


Next is a classic Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 1002. This watch dates to the mid 1960s, the dial is a Rolex service replacement dial dating to the mid 1980s which has a handsome, light champagne satin finish and applied stepped indexes. This watch is fitted with Chris Clarke’s Shell Cordovan strap. Automatically wound, the watch is powered by a Rolex calibre 1560.


Pictured here is an Omega Constellation Chronometer Ref. 168.018. This watch is directly from the family of the original owner and was purchased new in the late 1960s. The watch has a very flat silvered, satin finished dial with applied indexes which are highlighted with black inserts. Powered by the chronometer rated Omega calibre 564, this watch is automatically wound and also has provision for fast date change. This watch is fitted with its original, detachable, Omega steel link bracelet.


Also by Omega is this large Seamaster Ref. 166.032 from 1968. Measuring 36.5mm in diameter, the stainless steel case has a variety of finishes with a sunburst satin finished bezel, straight grain to the tops of the lugs and a polished finish to the sharp chamfers of the case sides. The attractive grey dial is unusual with a circular grain, satin finish and has bold applied indexes with black central inserts. The watch retains its Omega crown and crystal and is powered by the automatic Omega calibre 752. This watch is fitted with a chocolate brown, Wild Boar leather strap by Chris Clarke.


Next up is one of the most comprehensively documented vintage watches I’ve seen in a long time. This watch is an ‘Aero’ model that was marketed by G. M. Lane & Co, London. The company were predominantly jewellers and silversmiths but they produced a range of watches that they branded as ‘Aeroplane’ watches. This was clearly a good marketing ploy in the midst of the growing interest and glamorous associations of flying during the 1930s. In 1937, G. M. Lane were listed in the Aeroplane Directory of Aviation and Allied Industries and, in 1938, there were several advertisements taken out by the firm with the tag line “The Watch that Pilots Trust”. This watch comes with a whole plethora of documentation, including a letter from G. M. Lane to the original owner, the original bill of sale, insurance document and warranty all dating to 13th January 1938. The movement and case were supplied to G. M. Lane by The General Watch Co and these have interesting patents associated with them. The first, for the case, is patent 155825 which relates to a rare and early form of waterproof case – this patent was granted on 15th July 1932. The second patent concerns an early form of shock resistance within the movement itself.


Photographed above is a great example of the Omega Ref. 131.5045 in 9ct yellow gold,which is hallmarked for 1964. The watch is in unpolished condition and retains excellent definition to the facets of the bezel, case back and steps of the lugs. The silvered dial has applied gold indexes with stylised Arabic numerals at the quarters. Manually wound, the watch is powered by Omega’s calibre 286 movement with 17 jewels. This watch is fitted with a chocolate brown Stirrup Hide strap by Chris Clarke.


An unusual Omega de Ville Ref. 111.5085 is next. This watch is also in 9ct yellow gold and is hallmarked for 1969. In immaculate condition, the watch has a satin finished case and a vertical satin finished dial with applied gold baton numerals. At the quarter hours, there are twin baton indexes with bold, black inserts. This is a manually wound model and the watch retains its original Omega pin buckle and signed crystal and crown.


Continuing with Omega and here is a Seamaster Ref. 165.009 from 1962. This watch has an evenly patinated dial with a handsome combination of Arabic and baton numerals. The stainless steel case has a broad bezel and lugs with polished finish and the screw-down case back features the embossed Omega Seamaster emblem. An automatic model, this watch is powered by Omega’s calibre 552.


Dating to 1969 and shown next is a stainless steel Omega Genève Ref. 135.070. This is a stylish version of the model with an unusual brush textured dial which is in excellent original condition and features an applied Omega emblem and indexes. The two-piece stainless steel case has a solid upper body with chamfered bezel and a screw-down satin finished case back. This watch is manually wound via an Omega calibre 601.


Made in the mid 1960s, the Omega Seamaster Ladymatic watch shown above is a Ref. 565.001. In lovely overall condition, this watch has a bright satin finished silvered dial, applied indexes and a robust stainless steel case with screw-down back. This watch retains its original Omega crown and crystal and is powered by a manually wound Omega calibre 671.


There’s a couple of new accessories that have been added to the ‘Watch Accessories‘ section of the website, including a new £5 spring bar tool and a blackened metal 10 x magnification loupe.

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