And now on with the watches! Opening this week’s newsletter is a wonderfully charismatic vintage Rolex Oyster Ref. 6082 from c. 1951 – this wristwatch has a highly distinctive two-tone dial. The dial’s centre has a silvered finish with even oxidation to the surface, whilst the chapter ring has a matt surface that has developed a rich patina and carries the recessed pink gilded hour markers which are composed of faceted Arabic, square and pointed baton indexes. Below the 12 o’clock position, the Rolex crown emblem is styled to match the numerals and is also recessed into the dial’s surface. Cased in stainless steel, the upper body is composed of a single block of metal with moulded, chamfered bezel and separate screw-down back.
A fabulous looking Seamaster, the Ref. 2846 Omega shown above dates to c.1958 and has a stunning two-tone dial with dramatic contrasts between its silk-matt silvered centre and high sheen outer edge. There is an excellent lustre to the dial and the applied multi-faceted indexes are bright and crisp. Cased in stainless steel, the watch has broad lugs with chamfered edges and the case back is centred with the Omega Seamaster logo. This is an automatic model powered by Omega’s calibre 501 movement.
Next is a very attractive Heloïsa steel and chrome, triple calendar wristwatch from c. 1950. The watch has a great looking two-tone dial, the main body of which has a silk-matt silvered finish, whilst the edge of the dial has a contrasting higher sheen and is calibrated with red numerals for the date. The hours are indicated by gold foil, stylised, Arabic and lozenge-shaped indexes. The Swiss firm of Heloïsa SA was founded in 1907 and based in Lengnau, to the north-west of Zurich.
Pictured here is a crisp Ref. 8888 stainless steel Longines from c. 1962. A relatively large vintage Longines with a case diameter of 35mm, this watch is in very good original condition with an excellent lustre to the dial, clean chamfers to the edges of the lugs and the original winding crown. The dial has a handsome combination of raised Arabic numerals at the quarters and incised pointed batons at the intervening hours. To retain the clean definition of the case’s angles and edges, it has not been polished during servicing and there are, therefore, some light scuffs and scratches to the case’s surface. The leather strap is a new Hirsch strap but fitted with the watch’s original Longines pin buckle.
Photographed above is a rare and small 18ct yellow gold cocktail watch by Universal Genève. Dating to c.1951, this watch is in lovely original condition and features a concealed dial beneath a hinged cover. The cover is of stylised flower form with overlapping concentric gold ‘petals’ which are formed from concave, engine-turned discs. Opening the cover reveals the silvered dial which has applied gold Arabic and dot indexes. Manually wound, this watch is powered by an especially crisp Universal calibre 106 movement with 17 jewels. This watch is also accompanied by its original Universal presentation box.
Jump hour or ‘digital display’ wristwatches quickly gained in popularity during the first half of the 1930s. Attribution for the brand or model of the watch shown above is difficult since both the case and movement are unsigned – the movement itself appears to be, or is closely based upon, a Fontainemelon calibre. A number of brands advertised jumping hour watches during the 1930s and the design of the case and form of the apertures of this watch are typical of the period. At the time of this watch’s production, it was still not unusual for there to be no brand or model name inscribed to the dial or case of a watch. Such a great Art Deco design – there’s no mistaking those stylised numerals. It’s really satisfying to watch the seconds aperture constantly moving in the lowest aperture and the hours jumping forwards at the top of each hour.
Above is a smart Omega Seamaster Ref. 165.65003 made in 9ct yellow gold and hallmarked for 1964. The silvered dial has applied gold hour indexes which are heightened with black strips to their centres and the dauphine hands are styled to match. Automatically wound, this model is powered by Omega’s calibre 552. There is some light oxidation to the surface of the dial, the case has been re-polished and the watch has a new, unbranded crown.
Up next is an Omega Constellation Ref. 168.042 from c. 1969. This model has a lightly textured, silvery grey dial with applied baton indexes which have broad and bold black inserts. Unusually, the Omega signature is to the lower portion of the dial with the Constellation designation filling its place at the top of the dial. The stainless steel case has a pleasingly flat, tonneau/cushion shape and the screw-down case back is centred with the embossed Constellation emblem. Automatically wound via Omega’s calibre 1001, the movement has two crown settings allowing rapid date change either forwards or backwards and there is also provision for hack feature – when the crown is pulled out to its second position to set the hands, the second hand will stop, thereby allowing accurate synchronisation to a time signal.
Rounding off this week’s newsletter is a Tissot ‘Camping’ Ref. 51012 made in steel and chromed metal and dating to c. 1957. Tissot’s Camping models were manufactured for a number of years and in a variety of designs. The present example is a classic mid-century model with raised Arabic numerals and slim dauphine hands. A handsome vintage wristwatch, there is light oxidation to the dial and some wear and pitting to the chromed metal, but this is largely to the underside of the upper case, whilst the top retains generally good definition overall.
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