Vintage Watch Update – 4th November 2016 | 4.11.16


Opening this week’s newsletter is an immaculate Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King-Date Ref. 5700 which dates to 1976. The dial’s distinctive Air-King font makes this an instantly recognisable model and has ensured its enduring popularity with Rolex enthusiasts and collectors alike. Cased in stainless steel, the Oyster design has a classic smooth polished bezel and screw-down crown and case back. Automatically wound and pressure tested for water-resistance to 100 metres, this is a classic every day wristwatch. The watch is fitted with a Rolex Oyster model 78350 link bracelet and is accompanied by a green leather and wood Rolex presentation case.


Photographed above is a superb automatic Vacheron Constantin Ref. 2045P vintage wristwatch. Made in 18ct white gold, this watch has a jet black onyx dial which gives the watch a fantastic monochrome look. Slim in profile, this model fits easily under a shirt cuff and its design is unfussy yet extremely stylish. The 18ct white gold case contrasts brilliantly with the stark dial which is made from a layer of jet black onyx. Being made from stone, the dial is of course not susceptible to damage from light or oxidation. Beautifully finished, the calibre 12”’-120 Vacheron Constantin movement is decoratively finished with Geneva stripes and the automatic rotor is edged in 21ct gold. The gold rotor edge increases the rotor’s weight, thereby increasing its oscillation and the efficiency of its winding.


Accompanying the watch is a Vacheron Constantin tan leather watch roll which has four compartments, three of which have individual zipped closures. Fitted with a black alligator Vacheron Constantin strap, the watch retains its original 18ct white gold buckle. The accompanying Extract from the Vacheron Constantin Archives confirms production of the watch in 18ct white gold with black onyx dial in 1974.


Next up are two supremely classic Omega models from the 1950s. To the left is a 9ct yellow gold Omega Ref. 920 from 1956 with, to its right, the steel variation of the same model, the Ref. 720 from 1954. The elegant cases of these models have chamfered bezels, gently down-turned lugs and each have a silvered dial with full applied Arabic numerals and dauphine hands. Vintage wrist-wear doesn’t come much more classic or stylish than this. The gold version is accompanied by its original Omega folding presentation case and both watches are fitted with Christopher Clarke for Black Bough handmade watch straps.


Above is a large 18ct pink gold chronograph wristwatch – this is a Chronographe Suisse model marketed under the Docker brand name and made in circa 1950. The pink dial is in superb original condition with a great lustre and crisp, engine-turned subsidiary dials. To the outer edge, scales for the chronograph seconds/constant minutes are all in black ink whilst there are scales in red for telemeter and dark blue for tachymeter. There are also contrasting hands for the subsidiary dials with a straight baton hand for the constant seconds to match the minute and hour hands and an elongated arrow-head hand for the minute recording dial which, together with the oval shaped boss to the base of the chronograph seconds hand, clearly delineates the watch’s time and chronograph displays. The large 18ct pink gold case measures 37.5mm in diameter and has a rounded bezel and there are gently down-turned lugs with polished tops and satin finished sides. We have fitted this watch with a Christopher Clarke for Black Bough dark brown lizard skin watch strap. 


Surely one of the most beautiful Omega Seamaster models, the Ref. 166.010 shown above was made in 1968. This model was named by Omega the Seamaster ‘Special’. The blemish free satin finished dial has crosshair detailing which quarters the dial, whilst the applied indexes and dauphine hands have bold black inserts. The stainless steel case retains excellent definition with a polished chamfered bezel and satin finished case sides which terminate in broad flowing lugs with polished upper surfaces. To the centre of the screw-down case back is the crisp Seahorse logo, emblem of the Seamaster. The watch has its original signed crown and Omega crystal with magnified date aperture. Retaining the original case finishes, this watch has intentionally not been re-polished during its servicing and there are some light scuffs/scratches to the case and the original crystal.


Reference 566.001 was first introduced by Omega in 1965 and the serial number of the example shown above dates it to the early period of the model’s production. A smart lady’s vintage wristwatch, the watch has a silvered, satin finished dial and applied, gilded, faceted baton indexes. Cased in stainless steel, the watch has a polished finish with faceted lugs and a screw-down case back which is centred with the Omega Seamaster logo. Automatically wound, the watch is powered by Omega’s excellent 24-jewel, calibre 681. The date changes each day around midnight but can be manually advanced when required by moving the hands backwards and forwards between 9pm and midnight.


In excellent condition, the Garrard watch shown above is hallmarked for 1967 and appears to have been only lightly used. The silvered dial is blemish free, with a good lustre and crisp, incised gilded baton indexes. The 9ct yellow gold case was made in Switzerland by Gindraux SA of La Chaux de Fonds and the movement is a 17 jewel manually wound calibre by Peseux. Entirely Swiss made, the watch was imported by Garrard and Co in 1967 and sold at their flagship store on London’s Regent street. The watch is accompanied by its original morocco leather watch box with silk lined interior.


We’ve just added an array of new NATO style military watch straps to the website – you’ll find them under the “Watch Accessories” tab. These fabric straps are priced at just £10 each and are really easy to change; there’s a video on the product listing which shows just how easily these straps can be added onto a watch case.

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