Vintage Watch Update – 26 November 2021 | 26.11.21

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King Ref.5500 dated 1962

Opening this week’s newsletter is a smart early 1960s Air-King which retains its original guarantee booklet. Rolex launched their first Air-King models in the mid 1940s and, in 1957, the Ref. 5500 was introduced. Until the mid 1960s, the Ref. 5500 was manufactured with a variety of different dial designs. The present example has a silk matt finished silvered dial which is distinct in appearance and differs from the satin, sunburst silvered dials of later versions of the model. The dial has a numeral configuration rarely seen on the Air-King: twin indexes at the quarters with multi-faceted surfaces and pointed tips, interspersed with multi-faceted triangular indexes. These early 5500s had the designation ‘Super Precision’ printed to the dial above the 6 o’clock position – on later examples, this would be shortened to ‘Precision’. The dial retains a good lustre and there is light oxidation spotting to the surface and a small scratch to the centre. The Alpha-shaped hour and minute hands have oxidation spotting to their surfaces. Cased in stainless steel, the watch incorporates the typical Rolex Oyster screw-down crown and case back; there are scuffs and scratches to the case. The original, detachable steel Rolex Jubilee bracelet was made in England under licence from Rolex – there is stretch to the links and the bracelet has been refreshed and re-satined.

Longines Admiral Ref.2304 c.1973

A really great looking and relatively large vintage Longines model, the steel tonneau-form case of this model measures 36.5mm in width. The light grey silvered dial has great clarity and the  unusual luminous rectangles beneath the quarter hour markers add a subtle hint of warmth to an otherwise monochromatic design. With its original Longines presentation box, the watch is in excellent condition – the dial retains a rich lustre and the steel case remains crisply defined with some light scuffs/scratches. The watch is still fitted with its original Longines leather strap and steel pin buckle. This model incorporates Longines’ calibre 6952 which has an unusual hack feature – when the crown is pulled out to the hand setting position, the seconds hand will stop when it reaches the 12 o’clock position, the user can then push the crown back in upon a time signal or when synchronising to another timepiece and the seconds hand will start immediately; a demonstration of the hack feature is shown within the product’s listing on our website.

Omega Ref. 720 circa 1945 | steel manually wound vintage wristwatch

Omega Ref.720 c.1945

Dating to c.1945, this is one of the earliest examples of this model that we have offered. The watch incorporates Omega’s famous 30T2 movement, one of the watchmaker’s most highly regarded vintage calibres. The handsome silvered dial has very distinctive silver foil hour markers with a combination of Arabic numerals at 12, 3 and 9 o’clock and flag-form indexes at the intervening hours. Advertised within Omega’s catalogues for the UK market as a Ref. 720, the case was made for the watchmaker by the Dennison case company and is one of their most classic designs, featuring a polished chamfered bezel, gently down-turned lugs and flat, snap-on, back.

Telda circa 1950 | chrome & steel triple calendar vintage wristwatch

Telda Triple Calendar c.1950

Next is another example of our new/old stock Telda triple calendar watches which dates to c.1950. Bright and gleaming, this is a true time capsule – the watch appears exactly as it would have done when it left the Telda factory some 70 years ago. The days of the week and date automatically advance at midnight and the months require manual advancement at the start of each month via the pusher to the case side at the 2 o’clock position. Two further pushers at 4 o’clock and 10 o’clock respectively allow the quick manual advancement, if required, of the date and day.

West End Watch Co. 'Sowar' circa 1940 | steel vintage manually wound wristwatch

West End Watch Co. Sowar c.1940

This mid-sized wristwatch has a stylish silvered dial with bold blued steel hands and centre seconds. West End Watch Co’s trademark of a ‘W’ within a 6 pointed star was registered in 1938 and appears on the outside case back and movement of this watch. In the same year (1938), West End Watch Co. registered the model name ‘Sowar’ which appears on the dial of this watch. Around this time, the West End Watch Co. became one of the first brands to introduce the newly patented Incabloc shock absorbing system to their watches. For the construction of the case, The West End Watch Co turned to the specialist watch case making company Taubert & Fils. From the late 19th Century, when it existed under the name Frères Borgel, Taubert & Fils was one of the finest Geneva based case makers and specialists in the manufacture of high quality dirt and moisture-resistant cases.

Omega Genève Dynamic Ref.135.033 sold 1969

With a dark blue dial and contrasting light blue centre seconds hand, this sporty Dynamic model dates to c. 1969. The large elliptical case is made from a single block of stainless steel and measures 41.5mm in width. This watch is accompanied by its red Omega plastic wallet containing the numbered guarantee booklet and You & Your Omega instruction leaflet. The dial is in good condition with a rich tone, there are light scuffs and scratches to the case and bracelet – there is some stretch to the bracelet links. The watch is fitted with a signed Omega crystal and crown.

Omega Genève Ref. 166.041 circa 1969 | steel automatic centre seconds wristwatch with date

Omega Genève Ref.166.041 c.1969

Reference 166.041 was first introduced by Omega in 1968. The model incorporates the excellent automatic Omega calibre 565 movement with 24 jewels and precision regulation. The calibre 565 includes provision for fast date adjustment via a secondary crown setting. This example of the model features a satin finished, silvered dial with applied indexes, each centred with black inserts. The stainless steel two-piece case has a satin finished upper body, polished sides and a screw-down satin back – there is a personalised engraving to the outside case back.

Seiko Ref. 8222-8000 circa 1981 | steel quartz vintage wristwatch

Seiko SQ Ref.8222-8000 c.1981

Seiko are renowned for their classic quartz wristwatches and this model dates to 1981, a period in which affordable quartz watches were still a relatively new concept. The design follows in the footsteps of case and dial styles established during the 1960s and 1970s. The dial has a vertical satin finish and is in excellent condition. There are light scuffs and scratches to the case and bracelet. The movement incorporates a hack feature and there is quick date adjustment via a secondary crown setting.

Seiko Ref. H448-5100 Alarm Chronograph | steel quartz vintage wristwatch

Seiko Alarm Chronograph Ref.H448-5100 1980s

Although the design had originally been released some years earlier, in the late 1980s the dual analogue/digital watch seemed the height of cool to my teenage self and I was desperate to get my hands on one…which I finally did in 1988….although mine was by Limit, my savings not quite stretching to the Seiko version. This watch is therefore a bit of a flash back for me with its angular, perhaps slightly brash (in a good way!) 80s vibe. In excellent condition, the watch appears to be almost unused and is fitted with a black Seiko strap and pin buckle. The LCD display has two alarm functions, a chronograph, day and date indication, hourly ‘beep’ function and a light – what more could you want?

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