Vintage Watch Update – 4 August 2023 | 4.8.23

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Ref.16030 circa 1985

Headlining this week’s newsletter is a stunning Rolex Datejust with black satin gloss dial. Rolex introduced the Ref.16030 Datejust in 1977 and the model was manufactured with the automatically wound Rolex calibre 3035 movement until 1988. One of Rolex’s all time classics, this stainless steel model has a typically robust Oyster case with screw-down crown and case back and a finely milled and fluted steel bezel. The watch shown here is fitted with its original Rolex Jubilee link bracelet with adjustable folding clasp. The automatic movement incorporates a fast date change facility, allowing quick and easy adjustment of the date and there is also a hack – when the crown is pulled out to adjust the hands, the seconds hand will stop, thereby allowing easy synchronisation to a time signal. The watch is accompanied by a plastic Rolex document wallet, a Rolex calendar card for 1986-87, Datejust instructions and Oyster booklets.

Omega Chronostop Genève Ref. 145.009 circa 1969 | steel vintage chronograph

Omega Chronostop Ref.145.009 circa 1969

A handsome example of the Chronostop model, this Omega has a matt grey dial which is in excellent condition. The luminescent dots above the numerals have an attractive, warm tone with perfect colour match to the luminescent panels within the hands. The stainless steel case retains good definition and has an Omega signed crystal and crown – there are some light scuffs and scratches to the case.

Tudor Oyster Ref. 4453 circa 1945 | steel vintage mid-sized wristwatch

Tudor Oyster Ref.4453 circa 1946

This smart 1940s Oyster model has a silvered dial that is in great original condition.  The robust, polished steel Oyster case has a solid upper body with moulded bezel and a screw-down case back. As an Oyster watch, the case has the typical screw-down crown and case back and the winding crown is embossed ‘Oyster Patent’.

Omega De Ville Ref. 166.085 circa 1971 | steel vintage automatic wristwatch with bracelet

Omega De Ville Ref.166.085 circa 1971

A large sized vintage wristwatch, this octagonal Omega model has a steel case with satin finished bezel and curved case back. With a mid-grey tone, there is a bright vertical satin finish to the dial. The watch is powered by the automatic Omega calibre 1002 which has a hack feature and quick-set date facility. This watch is fitted with its original model 1173 Omega link bracelet with adjustable folding clasp.

West End Watch Co 'Sowar' with Taubert Fils Case circa 1940 | steel mid-sized vintage manually wound wristwatch

West End Watch Co. ‘Sowar’ circa 1940

This mid-sized wristwatch has a lovely matte cream dial and bold, blued steel hands. The West End Watch Company was based in Geneva and St Imier in Switzerland. Originally part of Alcide Droz & Fils of St Imier, the West End Watch Co. also had a major presence in Bombay and Calcutta. In Bombay, the West End Watch Co. were the agents for Longines. 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. The inner movement cover is stamped is stamped with the coding CS(I) denoting that this watch was supplied to the British Civil Service in India.

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.

Asprey silver travelling watch, hallmarked 1937

Asprey travelling watch hallmarked 1937-38 | Silver

A stylish purse watch with a pleasing, dual-action sprung closure, this watch was retailed by Asprey of London. The movement and dial were supplied by the watchmaker Crusader (a sub brand of the Swiss firm Henri Sandoz & Fils). The silver case was a collaboration between the Birmingham based silversmiths, Adie Brothers, and the watch case makers Dennison. The silvered, two-tone dial is in lovely condition with black Arabic numerals and blued steel hands. The inner case is hinged into the outer and ‘clicks’ into place with a lip at its lower edge allowing the inner case to be easily lifted to gain access to the winding crown. The main outer case has lizard leather covering the silver casement – the front is opened by sliding away to release the sprung cover which flips up to reveal the dial. To close, the cover is pressed down and slid back towards the user to secure it. Please note that due to lizard leather covers and CITES restrictions we are unable to export this Asprey watch outside the UK.

Smiths Imperial Ref. I.505 hallmarked 1960-61 | 9ct gold vintage manually wound wristwatch

Smiths Imperial Ref. I.505 hallmarked 1960-61 | 9ct Gold

In 1958 Smiths introduced their new improved movement calibre which they named the Imperial. This example from the Imperial range is the Ref. I.505 which was advertised in the watchmaker’s 1960 and 1961 product catalogues – this dating matches the hallmark years stamped to the inside of the watch’s case back. The Imperial calibre 0104 was made at Smiths’ Cheltenham factory, and with 19 jewels, was more highly jewelled than their previous manually wound models. The 9ct yellow gold case was also made in England by the specialist case makers Dennison. Accompanied by the original Smiths Imperial purple velvet lined fitted box – the front edge of the presentation box’s lid is missing.

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