Category Archives: Vintage Watch Update

Vintage Watch Newsletter No. 113

This week’s newsletter opens with an incredibly charismatic vintage Omega. A Ref. 2504 made in c.1948, this wristwatch has an exceptional and highly attractive two-tone dial – the main dial body has a silk-matte, silvered finish, whilst the chapter ring for minutes/seconds is calibrated in a higher satin sheen. The hours are composed of silver foiled Arabic numerals at the quarters with raised triangular indexes at the intervening hours. A large vintage wristwatch, at 36mm in diameter it is one of the largest models produced by Omega during the 1940s. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful wristwatches we have offered for sale, this Omega exemplifies the enduring allure of rare vintage watches.

Next is a pretty sensational Longines pocket watch that is in outstanding original condition. Made in c.1934, this watch has a 14ct yellow gold case. Surely one of the most beautiful examples of the period, the black dial has a wonderfully rich, deep tone that is perfectly complimented by the gilded Arabic numerals and feuille hands. To the base of the dial, the subsidiary seconds has a very finely engine-turned centre and gilded calibrations.

The gold case has the sharp chamfered bezels and slim profile so favoured by the Art Deco period, yet, interestingly, the cast decoration to the case sides is composed of flowers and foliage and harks back to an earlier period; similar motifs are found, for example, on many English watches of the early 19th century.  The manually wound Longines movement is one of the finest produced by the company with decoratively damascened plates and precision, snail-form, cam regulation (detail shown above left). The cuvette (movement cover) is decorated with engraved medals which celebrate the prizes awarded to Longines for their achievements at the various international exhibitions held at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. This is a fabulous watch in a condition rarely seen from this golden era of watchmaking.

Photographed above is a very smart Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch from 1960 which has a solid 9ct yellow gold case with smooth chamfered bezel and a satin finished screw-down case back. The dial has a minimalist design with applied, slim gold baton indexes and matching hands. Automatically wound, this watch is powered by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s excellent calibre K880 which has decoratively finished, damascened plates. Calibre 880 was first introduced by LeCoultre in 1959, the year before this watch was made.

Next is a sporty looking Omega Genève Ref. 166.041 from circa 1968. Omega produced this model with a range of different dial options, the present watch features one of the more unusual variations with broad raised indexes which have blackened surfaces with blue centres. The Omega signature and dial texts, together with the outer track for minutes/seconds and frame for the date aperture are all calibrated in blue – this is all in contrast to the standard 166.041 dials which feature black ink for the calibrations and dial texts. This model incorporates the excellent automatic Omega calibre 565 which has 24 jewels and precision regulation.

The Tudor Oyster Date wristwatch shown above is a ref. 7962 which dates to the mid 1960s. Ref. 7962 is a slim Oyster model and is similarly proportioned to the Ref. 7960 ‘Elegante’. During the period of this model’s production, Tudor’s parent company was also offering the Rolex Oyster Ref. 6512, which they called the “Oyster Veriflat”. The “Veriflat” was reputedly only available in gold and the proportions of its case (most notably its depth) appear to be very similar to those of the Tudor Oysters 7960 & 7962. As the 1950s advanced towards the 1960s, slim dress watches were becoming increasingly popular and these slim Oyster models offered the option of a classic model with a slimmer profile, yet with all the advantages of the robust and iconic Oyster case. In good condition, this Tudor wristwatch has a smart silvered dial with applied wedge shaped indexes at the quarters with finely satin finished surface; the intervening baton numerals are centrally faceted with polished surfaces.

A classic lady’s Omega Seamaster model is next. This wristwatch, a Ref. 535.001 dates to c.1966 and is complete with its original Omega presentation case. The watch has a silvered dial with applied indexes and both the hands and numerals are centred with black panels to enhance legibility. Manually wound, the watch is powered by Omega’s calibre 630.

And rounding off this week’s newsletter is a 9ct yellow gold Record wristwatch which is hallmarked for 1965. The silvered dial has an excellent lustre and is handsomely arranged with raised, gilded, Arabic numerals and an engine-turned subsidiary seconds. The 9ct gold case has slim but substantial down-turned lugs and a smooth chamfered bezel.

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Vintage Watch Update No. 112

First up this week is an Omega Ref. 2292 made in 1944 for the British Government. During the Second World War, the Air Ministry ordered watches from a number of different manufacturers, these included the Ref. 2292 from Omega. The dial and hands were specially made by Omega for this model and were designed for use by pilots and navigators in the R.A.F. The cases were composed of a steel back and an upper case made of ‘Duralumin’ which is an alloy consisting of aluminium, copper, magnesium and manganese. Duralumin has a more matte, silvery white appearance than steel and is much less reflective, therefore helping to prevent distracting glare from the upper case whilst the watch is in use.

The watch is accompanied by an Extract from the Omega Archives which confirms the watch’s supply to the British Government on 17th May 1944.

Photographed next is an Omega Speedmaster Mark II from 1970. This watch is fitted with its orignal stainless steel link bracelet which is detachable and can, as the photographs above show, be replaced with a leather strap if preferred. The massive tonneau-shaped case and matte black dial are a great combination and the case measures 41mm in width.

Above is an 18ct yellow gold Cartier Vendôme wristwatch from c. 1975. This is a most attractively designed wristwatch which dispenses with the traditional arrangement of extended lugs, thereby allowing the pure circle of the case to be interrupted only by the ends of the strap. The white dial is a signature Cartier configuration with black Roman numerals and blued steel sword shaped hands, known as epée.  The gold case is rich and warm in tone and provides excellent contrast to the dial and hands. This watch is accompanied by a modern Cartier fitted presentation case.

Shown here is an automatic Omega Ref. 2402 from 1953. This watch has a very rare champagne dial with a highly unusual numeral configuration which comprises applied gold, faceted hexagonal and losenge shaped numerals, together with an Italicised Breguet ’12’. The outer minute track is in a rarely seen ‘mono-rail’ style rather than the standard single dash or full ‘rail-track’ style. The steel case has stylised tear-drop lugs.

The stainless steel automatic Omega Ref. 14776 shown above dates to c. 1958 and has a silvered dial with raised indexes and alpha-shaped hands. Cased in stainless steel, the lugs have faceted edges and the watch is powered by the 20 jewel, calibre 471.

Pictured next is an Omega De Ville Ref. 166.5020 which is hallmarked for 1972. This classic solid gold Omega dress watch incorporates Omega’s excellent automatic calibre 565 which has precision regulation and provision for quick date change via a second setting to the crown. The dial has a matte, cream finish with applied gold indexes which, like the hands, have blackened inserts to enhance their legibility.

And rounding off this week’s newsletter is a Tudor Royal from 1953. A very attractive lady’s wristwatch, the matte silvered dial has raised gilded Arabic numerals and contrasting blued steel hands. The solid gold case has stylish, gently flaring lugs. Tudor’s ‘Royal’ models were, during this period, fitted with 17 jewel movements, rather than the 15 jewel movements fitted to their standard models. The watch is fitted with a new leather strap and a gilt-metal Rolex buckle.

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Vintage Watch Update No. 111

Headlining this week’s newsletter is a very handsome, mid-sized, Rolex Oyster Speedking Ref. 4220. Dating to c. 1946, this watch has a silvered dial with an attractive combination of Roman and baton indexes. The gilded, leaf-shaped hands contrast effectively with the blued steel centre seconds hand. Cased in steel, the watch has a polished finish with chamfered bezel and typical screw-down Rolex crown and case back. The dial is in good original condition with a couple of scratches towards the dial centre.

Next is a great example of the Movado Ermetophon which has a surprisingly loud alarm feature. The alarm version of the Ermeto range was launched in 1955 and the present example dates to c. 1958. Complete with its original fitted presentation case and instruction booklet, this travelling watch is in excellent original condition. The superb two-tone silvered dial has four hands for hours, minutes, centre seconds and an additional red-tipped hand for alarm indication. The watch has an integrated stand which allows it to be placed on a desk or bedside table and there is a ring loop allowing it to be attached to a chain if desired.

Shown above is an automatic steel Jaeger-LeCoultre which dates to c. 1958. This wristwatch incorporates the company’s automatic calibre 812 movement which was first released in 1954. The movement is of ‘bumper’ type with a semi-circular oscillating weight which buffers off springs within the movement and is geared to wind the watch. The silvered dial has a handsome configuration which is typically LeCoultre in design. This watch is also fitted with a steel Jaeger-LeCoultre branded buckle.

Photographed next is a lady’s Cartier Santos bracelet watch from c. 1985. The Santos is one of oldest vintage wristwatch models. Designed in 1904 by Louis Cartier for his friend, the Brazilian aviator, Alberto Santos Dumont, it is recognised as one of the most iconic of all wristwatch designs. Cased in stainless steel, this watch has a satin finished body with polished flat bezel that is secured by 8 screws. The automatic movement winds itself as it is being worn and incorporates a hack feature, when the crown is pulled out to adjust the time, the seconds hand will stop, allowing the watch to be accurately set to a time signal.

Whilst a sense of panic spread throughout the traditional Swiss watchmakers as the invasion of the quartz watch gathered pace during the 1970s, the period also saw the Swiss introduce some incredibly inventive and unusual watches in an attempt to fight back. Made in 1974, the Tissot Seastar Ref. 44834 shown above is unique to its period with a design that would have been unthinkable a decade before. The fancy two-tone dial has a black gloss body and two elliptically shaped, silvered, satin finished sectors which reflect the watch’s bracelet and case design. There are applied indexes which have stepped centres with white inserts to match the elongated white printed track for minutes/seconds. The large stainless steel elliptically shaped case has a matching integrated cuff-form brushed steel link bracelet with adjustable folding clasp. Automatically wound, the Tissot calibre 2481 movement also has a practical date advance facility. Whilst the date will change each day at midnight, when required, the date can be quickly advanced by pressing in the crown towards the case.

Above is a classic Omega Genève Ref. 131.019 from 1969. Omega first introduced model Ref. 131.019 in 1962 and the present example dates to circa 1969. The watch has a relatively slim profile and a handsome silvered dial with a satin finish. Manually wound, this model is powered by Omega’s calibre 601 movement.

Made for the UK market in 1971, the lady’s Omega Ref. 565.5003 shown above has a solid 9ct yellow gold case. The watch is automatically wound via the Omega calibre 671 which has 24 jewels. The satin finished dial has black inserts to the gold numerals and blackened hands which were designed to increase legibility.

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Vintage Watch Update No. 110

Kicking things off this week is a crisp Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King Ref. 14000M which was originally sold in 2002 and is complete with all of its original accessories. Introduced by Rolex in 2001, the Ref. 14000M features a sapphire crystal and what was at the time, Rolex’s new calibre 3130 automatic movement with 31 jewels. The ‘Air-King‘ model name was first introduced by Rolex in the 1940s, but it was not until 1957 when Rolex launched the Ref. 5500 Air-King that a ‘template’ for the Air-King’s design was set, this template determined the model’s styling right up until its temporary withdrawal in 2014. In 2016, the Air-King was re-launched with a dramatically different look but retaining the iconic ‘Air-King‘ script signature.

The sapphire crystal is extremely resistant to scratches and features a tiny etched Rolex emblem just above the base of the dial. Included amongst the watch’s accessories are the original punch numbered certificate, boxes, booklets and numbered swing tag. The dial has Super-Luminova luminescent dots above the numerals and to the hands which are bright and clear in darkness. As part of this Rolex watch’s service it has been pressure tested for water-resistance for depths up to 100 metres.

Next is a very handsome Omega Ref. 121.5400 in 9ct yellow gold which is hallmarked for 1964. Reference 121.5400 appears to have been introduced around 1963-1964 to replace the previous model Ref. 923 which was still advertised in the UK market’s Omega catalogue of September 1962. Like the 923, the 121.5400 has a substantial gold case and handsomely down-turned lugs with stepped edges. This watch has an attractive, bright silvered dial with vertical satin finish and applied gold Arabic and faceted baton indexes. The watch is powered by Omega’s calibre 269 which is from the excellent Omega ’30’ series.

Shown above is a superb lady’s 18ct yellow gold wristwatch by Record, Genève which was made in c. 1935. The watch has an exceptional three-tone dial with eccentrically positioned Arabic numerals for the hours. Avant-garde in design, the dial is highly influenced by the Art Deco movement and demonstrates the extraordinary inventiveness of the finest early wristwatch dial makers. The main body of the dial is composed of a silvered satin finished surface, with a ‘mirror’ finished outer rectangular ring with central circle which is calibrated with black baton indexes for the hours. The centre of the dial is rendered in a third matte tone which is surrounded by the minute markers.  The 18ct yellow gold case was made for Record by Ponti Gennari & Cie who were Master Jewellers based in Geneva – their key mark (No. 2) can be seen to the inside case back. The case is in lovely overall condition with well defined angles and edges to the faceted upper case and substantial articulated lugs. Ponti Gennari are particularly well-known for their high quality gold watch bracelets which they supplied to, amongst others, Patek Philippe. Interestingly, the Patek Philippe Museum is now housed in the former Ponti Gennari factory building at 7, Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers…a handsome building by the way…conveniently located around the corner from my old apartment in Geneva.

Continuing the 1930s theme and next up is a purse watch by Moïse Dreyfuss. Made in 1934, this travel watch has a body made from sterling silver which has been covered with shagreen. The shagreen to the case of this watch is colour dyed ray skin. Shagreen is a very attractive natural material that is extremely hard wearing yet malleable and easily dyed, it was a traditional and popular covering for the outer cases of pocket watches, especially in the 18th century. Although popular in the Art Deco period, where the use of shagreen may be found on a variety of small objects such as cigar boxes, lighters and brushes, it is relatively unusual to find its use on a purse watch. The cover of this watch slides backwards to reveal the dial which springs upwards when opened, making it an ideal travelling time piece which can also be stowed in a pocket or placed on a desk or bedside table.

Heading into the 1940s next and shown above is an 18ct pink gold lady’s cocktail watch made by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1948. Jaeger-LeCoutre are renowned for their ability to produce both small and slim calibre movements. This wristwatch incorporates one of the watchmaker’s smallest movements which was introduced in 1948 and is an 8 ligne, calibre 496 with a diameter of 15mm and a height of 3.4mm. The watch is cased in 18ct pink gold and the winder is concealed to the case back. The rim of the winder forms a slight lip to the right case side which allows the watch to be wound with ease using just one finger. The two-tone silvered and champagne dial is in excellent original condition with applied faceted pink gold triangular indexes and black painted Arabic numerals at the quarter hours.

Dating to a year later than the Jaeger is the 1949 Omega wristwatch shown above. A Ref. 920, this is a 9ct gold wristwatch which has a patinated dial with combination gilded Arabic and raised triangular numerals. Omega’s Ref. 920 is an archetypal vintage wristwatch model with a handsomely proportioned case featuring a polished chamfered bezel, gently down-turned lugs and flat, polished, snap-on back. The model was available with a variety of different dial designs and our research suggests that the Ref. 920 was introduced alongside the steel Ref. 720 around the mid 1940s – the earliest example we have previously sold at Black Bough was hallmarked for 1945 and the latest, hallmarked 1956. This watch has been fitted with a handmade Christopher Clarke for Black Bough traditional pig skin leather strap.

Pictured above is a classic 1958 Omega wristwatch in stainless steel with a handsome combination numeral dial. The applied Arabic and faceted triangular numerals are almost certainly made in white gold, being free of oxidation and remaining bright and clear, they contrast with the hands which have a chromed finish that has lightly spotted with age. Omega catalogues from the 1950s detail similar dials on steel models in which they note “silvered dial with 14 carat solid white gold raised figures.

And rounding off this week’s newsletter is a special edition Longines Admiral, Ref. 2304, which was made for the 1972 Munich Olympics. The dial is in excellent original condition with a very handsome mid-blue metallic finish and unusual luminous rectangles at the inner quarters. With an angular, tonneau form design, the stainless steel case remains in original, un-polished condition, with excellent definition to its combination of finishes and the Olympic commemorative engraving to the case back.

The movement is a Longines calibre 6952 which incorporates an unusual hack feature: when the crown is pulled out to adjust the hands, the seconds had 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 immediately re-start. A quick date set feature is also incorporated via a second setting to the winding crown – when the crown is pulled out to the first position, the date can be manually advanced.

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Vintage Watch Newsletter No. 109

With a fantastic two-tone dial and incorporating one of the finest Swiss chronograph calibres, this week’s opening watch is a superb vintage Ebel which dates to c.1950. Like many watchmakers, Ebel used specialist ‘complication’ movement manufacturers for their chronograph mechanisms. In this instance, the movement is the legendary Lemania calibre 27 (pictured below) used by, amongst others, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and Omega. All these watchmakers finished the cal. 27 to their own specifications, for example, in addition to their meticulous hand finishing, Patek Philippe modified the calibre with the addition of a perpetual calendar mechanism for use in their Ref. 3970, whilst Omega used the Lemania variant CH-27 C12 with additional hour counter, known to collectors as the Omega calibre 321 and used in the vintage Speedmasters.

The Ebel’s dial is in very attractive original condition with a silvered surface and a beautifully finished high sheen track for minutes/chronograph seconds. The numerals have a pink gilded metallic finish and the outer tachymetric scale is calibrated in red. Two subsidiary dials are placed at 3 and 9 o’clock, they are finely engine turned and count constant seconds to the left and chronograph minutes to the right. Within the minute register, the three elongated markers represent the post office fees that were once charged when making telephone calls – calls were frequently charged in 3 minute intervals and thus by running the chronograph, it could quickly be seen if one had run into the next unit fee.

Next is a classic Rolex Oysterdate Ref. 6694 from 1968 – a great example of the model, this watch has a satin finished, silvered dial with applied indexes and a robust stainless steel case with smooth, chamfered bezel. Manually wound, the watch is powered by a Rolex calibre 1225 with 17 jewels. As part of this watch’s service and overhaul it has been pressure tested for

water resistance for depths up to 100 metres. Accompanied by agreen leather and wood Rolex presentation case with padded lining, we have also fitted the watch with a handmade Christopher Clarke for Black Bough traditional wild boar leather watch strap in chocolate brown.

Continuing with Rolex and above is a mid-sized Rolex Oysterdate Ref. 6466 which was originally sold in 1967. This watch has a lovely black glossy dial and the model retains its original numbered guarantee detailing its purchase at ‘Elka’ on the prestigious Kalverstraat in Amsterdam on the 16th of September, 1967. Also accompanying the watch is a green suede Rolex pouch.

In excellent condition for its age and photographed above is a great looking mid-sized steel Omega watch which dates to circa 1938. As the wristwatch became more widely adopted during the 1930s, in the early part of the decade, Swiss exports outgrew those of pocket watches for the first time. It was during this period that the first truly ‘classic’ wristwatch case and dial designs began to emerge and the present watch, with its circular case, polished chamfered bezel and gently down-turned lugs, is a style that remains popular to this day. The silvered dial has black Arabic numerals, a ‘rail track’ minute ring, finely engine-turned subsidiary seconds and blued steel hands. The dial is in very good original condition with light oxidation spots and a small patch of discolouration within the subsidiary seconds dial. This watch has been fitted with a Christopher Clarke for Black Bough shell cordovan watch strap.

Shown next is a Tudor/Rolex Prince Oysterdate Ref. 7966 which was made in 1962. This watch has a stainless steel Rolex Oyster case with an unusual and distinctive, polished and fluted bezel. The screw-down case back is detailed with the typical Rolex legend reading ‘Original Oyster Case by Rolex Geneva‘. Automatically wound, the watch is powered by the Tudor finished ETA calibre 2462 which also has provision for semi-quick date change. This watch has been fitted with a handmade Christopher Clarke for Black Bough traditional stirrup hide leather strap in chocolate brown. As part of this watch’s service and overhaul it has been pressure tested for water-resistance for depths up to 100 metres.

The Longines wristwatch photographed here is a 9ct yellow gold model which was manufactured in 1964. With a silvered dial and handsome, raised and gilded Arabic numerals, this watch also incorporates Longines’ excellent calibre 30L, manually wound, 17 jewel movement. This watch is accompanied by a Longines presentation case.

Complete with its original Omega guarantee booklet and presentation case, the Omega Genève Ref. 136.041 wristwatch photographed here was originally sold in 1972 and is in lovely original condition. The steel tonneau form case has a satin finished bezel which compliments the satin finish of the sunburst patterned, silvered dial. The dial is in excellent condition with a bright finish and has linear baton numerals with black inserts to their centres.

The final watch to be added this week is another Omega Genève model, this one, a Ref. 972, was made in 9ct yellow gold in 1961. The fashion for slim gold dress watches gathered momentum during the 1960s and this example has a champagne coloured dial which is in excellent original condition, with a vertical satin finish and applied gold indexes with black inserts. Manually wound, the Ref. 972 is powered by an Omega calibre 600 with 17 jewels and precision regulation.

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Vintage Watch Newsletter No. 108

Opening this week’s newsletter is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Ref. 1500 from 1966. This watch retains its original paperwork, including numbered Chronometer Certificate & Rolex Guarantee booklet and is also accompanied by a Rolex presentation box.

Reference 1500 is a classic automatic Rolex model that was first introduced in 1962. The robust stainless steel case has a smooth, polished bezel and typical screw-down Rolex Oyster crown and case back. The silvered dial is in excellent condition and has applied indexes with finely ribbed edges and faceted centres. The inside case back is stamped for the year 1965 and the accompanying numbered chronometer certificate notes that the watch’s chronometer tests were completed on 1st October, 1965. The numbered Rolex guarantee booklet shows the original date of sale, just a few months later, in July 1966.

Next up is an 18ct pink gold Universal Genève Ref. 18501 which dates to circa 1942. A period of great creativity and innovation in wristwatch design, the 1930s and 40s witnessed the production of some of the most beautiful rectangular wristwatches ever made. The Art Deco period, as a whole, greatly influenced the watch industry and coincided with the wider adoption of the wristwatch as the timepiece of choice, with Swiss exports of wristwatches overtaking those of pocket watches for the first time in the early 1930s. Dating to c. 1942, this Universal model is an extremely attractive rectangular watch with a stunning three-tone dial. The main dial body is composed of two contrasting silvered finishes, whilst the calibrations for minutes are held within a high sheen, pink gilded track.

Pictured above is an 18ct yellow gold lady’s Cartier Santos which dates to the mid 1970s. The Santos is one of oldest vintage wristwatch models. Designed in 1904 by Louis Cartier for his friend, the Brazilian aviator, Alberto Santos Dumont, it is recognised as one of the most iconic of all wristwatch designs. Cased in 18ct yellow gold, this watch has a satin finished body with polished chamfers to the upper edges. The polished bezel is secured by 8 screws which are affixed from beneath, thereby giving the appearance of small pins to the front of the case. This watch is fitted with a maroon Cartier leather strap with 18ct gold Cartier deployant buckle and a red Cartier presentation case.

This stylish purse watch by Texina has a high quality sterling silver case with engine-turned covers and is hallmarked for 1931. The cover has a pleasing action: the user slides the cover backwards to reveal the time on the dial contained within and, when released, the cover springs closed along its concealed runners. During the 1920s and 1930s, a variety of different so-called ‘purse’ watches appeared on the market as an alternative to the wrist and pocket watch, the most famous of these was the Movado Ermeto. In the early 1930s when the wristwatch was still not universally accepted by the consumer, purse watches offered an alternative travelling timepiece that was at once stylish and contemporary, yet could still be carried in the traditional manner in a pocket, rather than placed on the wrist. The construction of the case of this watch provided protection to the glass as well as acting as a secondary casement for the movement itself.

Photographed above is a great example of the Omega Seamaster Cosmic. This watch, a Ref. 166.036, was manufactured in c. 1969. The model features an elliptically shaped case made from a single piece of stainless steel, with a satin finished bezel and polished sides. The dial of this example has a vertical, silvery grey, satin finish whist the outer edge is chamfered and has a higher sheen surface. The long rectangular aperture displays the days of the week and date. Ref. 166.036 incorporates the excellent Omega calibre 752 automatically wound movement with 24 jewels and precision regulation.

Also dating to 1969 is the Omega Genève Dynamic Ref. 135.033 shown here. This model has a deep black dial and contrasting applied indexes with white inserts. The unusual elliptical shape of the case and orange centre seconds hand enhance the model’s sporty design. The dial is in excellent condition and the upper case retains good definition, the back of the case has scratches to the surface where the bezel ring has been unscrewed to replace the strap in the past. The watch is fitted with an Omega Dynamic leather strap and steel pin buckle.

Continuing with Omega and photographed next is a lady’s Genève model 531.5001 which was made in 1962. This watch has a silvered dial with cross-hair to the centre, a feature rarely seen on ladies’ models. The applied gold triangular numerals are bold in style with multi-faceted surfaces. Unusually for a lady’s model, this watch has a centre seconds hand, the majority of similar references were manufactured without seconds. Cased in solid 9ct yellow gold, we have fitted the watch with a new Hirsch strap and the original gilt-metal Omega pin buckle.

And rounding of this week’s newsletter is an Alpina ‘Tropic Proof’ wristwatch which dates to c. 1965. This wristwatch has a smart, glossy dial with a stainless steel case made by one of the finest Swiss case makers. The dial is in excellent original condition and the silvered tracks and signature perfectly compliment the high sheen, black surface. For the construction of the case, Alpina 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 the company were specialists in the manufacture of high quality dirt and moisture-resistant cases. The company’s case stamp was F.B. within a cartouche. Borgel cases are of exceptional quality and were used by some of the finest makers, including Patek Philippe, for whom Taubert famously supplied the superb screw-back case for the chronograph reference, 1463.

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Vintage Watch Newsletter No. 107

First on this week’s newsletter is a fabulous Record Datofix triple calendar watch with moon-phases, made in c. 1950. This watch has an amazing dial with strong two-toning and crisply engine-turned subsidiary dials. The mix of colours for the calibrations, hands and moon-phases make this a pretty special piece that looks absolutely great on the wrist. There are convenient calendar adjusters in the band and whilst not a large watch, it packs a big punch. One of my all time favourites.

Next is a very smart steel and yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 1002. Made in 1965, this is a relatively unusual variant of the 1002 automatic model which is more usually found in an all steel version. The stainless steel case is in lovely condition with a sharp chamfered gold bezel and matching screw-down gold Oyster crown. The champagne dial has applied multi-faceted gold indexes and dauphine hands.

Above is an International Watch Co. Ref. 810 from 1969 with a rich, satin finished, champagne dial. Made in 14ct yellow gold, the upper case is in fantastic condition with clean facets to the lugs and bezel. The watch retains its original winding crown, IWC leather strap and pin buckle and nestling inside is one of IWC’s all time great movements, the coveted calibre 89 – a beautifully finished movement with damascened bridges.

By sheer co-incidence, following on from our last newsletter’s oversized Tissot Ref. 6740..here’s another, again with a massive 37.5mm diameter case and this time with a creamy silvered dial and raised gilded Arabic and triangular numerals. An impressive looking watch, this example dates to 1956 and we’ve fitted it with a Chris Clarke for Black Bough pig skin leather watch strap which enhances the golden tone of the hands and numerals.

Shown above is a classic Longines model from 1964. This watch, made in 9ct yellow gold, retains its original blue Longines fitted presentation case. The silvered dial is in great condition with raised gilded Arabic and triangular numerals and a pronounced, engine-turned, subsidiary seconds dial. This watch has been fitted with a CC for BB brown lizard strap which has a wonderful grain and rich colouring.

Back to Omega and pictured here is an Omega Seamaster 30, Ref. 135.003 from 1963. The silvered dial has a rich creamy appearance with excellent lustre and raised gilded indexes. The stainless steel case has stylish, faceted lugs and a screw-down back centred with the Seamaster logo.

An immaculate lady’s 9ct yellow gold Omega Ref. 511.5002 is next. Originally sold in 1979, this watch retains its original presentation case, guarantee booklet, further Omega booklet and Omega pin buckle. The silvered dial has applied gold indexes which, like the hands, have blackened surfaces to increase legibility.

Dating to the mid 1930s, this stylish Longines pocket watch reflects the Art Deco period’s preference for slim ‘dress’ watches. At the time this watch was made, Swiss exports of wristwatches had only just exceeded those of pocket watches and despite the popularity of the wristlet, the market for the traditional pocket timepiece continued. Showing signs of light use only, this watch is in excellent original condition. The silvered dial has black Arabic numerals surrounded by a black ring with minute track above and there are traditional blued steel ‘moon’ hands. Cased in steel with combinations of polished and satin finishes, the bezels are stepped and faceted to both the front and back of the case.

This Seamaster model by Omega has also just been added to the website. A Ref. 166.001, this watch dates to c. 1964 and incorporates Omega’s excellent calibre 562 which has provision for semi-quick date change. Cased in steel, the back is centred with Omega’s embossed Seamaster logo.

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This week’s headline act is a rare 18ct yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Ref. 1514 wristwatch. Made in 1972, this watch has a very attractive and unusual, satin finished, caramel coloured dial. The signature and tracking is also in a complimentary creamy/caramel tone. Rolex used a uniquely textured bezel for its Ref. 1514, known as decor moiré, this is a decorative styling that produces a shifting, wavy optical effect that is specific to this Date series model. In excellent condition, this watch is accompanied by its original number punched Rolex chronometer guarantee paper and green Rolex box.

Next is a wonderfully crisp 18ct gold wristwatch by the International Watch Company. This 35mm diameter model is a Ref. 818A which was made in 1970 and has a beautiful satin finished champagne dial with applied gold indexes and a finely detailed, pearled, outer minute track. This watch was originally sold by the famous Zurich based watch retailer, Beyer, whose name can be found beneath that of IWC to the watch’s dial. To the underside of the top left hand lug, the Beyer stock number has been discreetly hand engraved. The 18ct yellow gold case remains crisp, retaining great definition to its angles, edges and the original crown.  Powered by the excellent IWC calibre 854B, the 25 jewel movement incorporates a hack feature – when the crown is pulled out to adjust the hands, the seconds hand will stop, thereby allowing accurate synchronisation to a time signal. This watch is accompanied by an IWC presentation box and is also fitted with its original IWC leather strap which shows only light use and retains its IWC gilt-metal pin buckle.

Next up is a fabulous, oversized, Tissot Ref. 6740 which was made in 1957 with a 37.5mm diameter steel and chromed case. The silvered dial has a fantastic lustre with strong two-toning and a combination of silver foiled Arabic numerals at the quarters and raised dagger indexes at the intervening hours. Chromed cases have a bright finish and can display, as in this instance, interesting yet subtle tonal variations as the light changes, from pure silvery tones to hues that have a hint of metallic blue. The case retains clean definition to its angles and edges, with a classically chamfered bezel and lugs which have a downward facet to their outer edges, there are light scuffs to the surface. A really great looking vintage wristwatch, this model is powered by Tissot’s 16 jewel calibre 27B-21.

Made by Omega just over 2 years before its presentation for bravery in 1949, this Ref.2394 wristwatch is typically 1940s in design with a rounded bezel and gently down-turned lugs to the case. The silvered dial has an elegant combination of silver foiled Arabic numerals and raised dot indexes. This wristwatch was presented by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) to W. C. Roberts for ‘very brave action’ at the Abadan refinery on 27th January 1949 and is engraved accordingly to the outside of the case back.

Pictured above is a Gilde wristwatch made in circa 1935. The Alpina Gruen Gilde brand was launched in Biel, Switzerland, in 1929 and was a co-operative of watch companies formed to pool resources to maximise their productivity throughout Europe. Created during the period of economic uncertainties following the Wall Street Crash, the Alpina Gruen Gilde collective was disbanded in 1939. This pretty watch has a three-tone dial that is composed of a silk matte silvered centre, white matte rings for minutes and outermost edge with a high sheen silvered chapter ring between. The dial is signed Gilde to the centre and below the 6 o’clock position, the full brand is given: Alpina Gruen Gilde. The circular case has a flat polished bezel and satin finished down-turned lugs.

Acquired directly from the original owners, this 9ct yellow gold lady’s Longines wristwatch was made in 1973 and has a silvered dial that is fully set with raised Arabic numerals. The numerals and hands have blackened surfaces which provide a contrast to the dial’s surface and increase their visibility. The 17 jewel, manually wound Longines movement is typical of the company’s high quality vintage production.

Above is an Omega Genève Ref. 136.0102 which was made in circa 1974. Measuring 36mm in diameter, this is a relatively large sized vintage wristwatch. The stainless steel case has a satin finish and the contrasting smooth chamfered bezel is slightly recessed below the tops of the substantial down-turned lugs. There is some very light and minor minor spotting to the dial. The manually wound movement is a fast beat Omega calibre 1030 with the balance oscillating at 28,800 BPH. The winding crown is equipped with two settings – when the crown is pulled out to its first setting, the date can be moved either forwards or backwards by rolling the crown in either direction; by pulling the crown out to its second setting, the hack feature engages, thereby stopping the seconds hand to allow accurate synchronisation to a time signal. Pushing the crown back towards the case re-activates the seconds hand.

Don’t forget we have a great range of watch accessories, including our popular leather watch wraps and pouches, as well as straps, loupes, books and tools which you can find on our website here: https://www.blackbough.co.uk/found-in/watch-accessories/

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Headlining this week’s newsletter is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Ref. 16014 which was made in c. 1983. The 16014 incorporates Rolex’s fast beat calibre 3035 which has provision for quick date change via a second crown setting. The model was launched in 1977 and was in production until 1988. It was the first Datejust model to feature quick date change – the crown has an additional setting allowing the user to quickly advance the date when required. The watch has a silvered, satin finished dial that is in excellent original

condition. Cased in stainless steel, the 16014’s bezel is made in white gold and has a fluted finish. As part of the watch’s service it has been pressure tested for water-resistance for depths up to 100 metres and is accompanied by inner and outer Rolex presentation cases, Datejust instruction booklet and Rolex plastic folder with further booklet.

Next is a Tudor Oyster Prince Ref. 7965 which has a silvered dial with unusual, circular, satin finish. There are applied arrow head indexes at the quarters and baton numerals at the intervening hours. The robust stainless steel Rolex Oyster case has a polished chamfered bezel and typical screw-down crown and case back. Dating to 1960, this is one of the first Tudor models to feature the engraved detailing to the outside case back reading: “Original Oyster Case by Rolex Geneva,” prior to this period, the outside case backs were plain. This watch is automatically wound and as part of its service it has been pressure tested for water-resistance up to 100 metres. We have fitted the watch with a handmade Christopher Clarke for Black Bough traditional wild boar leather watch strap in chocolate brown.

Shown above is a large sized Titus vintage chronograph wristwatch, made in c. 1950 with a case diameter of 37mm. The bezel is slim and therefore the dial is given the maximum surface area. With a very attractive black, silk matt finish, the dial has finely engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30-minute register. All tracks and numerals have a pink metallic finish which provide a great contrast to the black surface, whilst complimenting the tone of the 18ct pink gold case. In 1951 Titus was listed together with Sovil as Solvil & Titus SA, based in Geneva. The company was part of the famous firm of Paul Ditisheim – it’s founder and namesake was a highly talented watchmaker who was especially interested in the effects of magnetism on watchmaking. Paul Ditisheim left the Board of Solvil in 1929 and died in 1945. Solvil and Titus continued to make watches and in the 1950s, Titus was imported to the UK by F. Allen of London. Like many watch companies during this period, Titus bought in their chronograph ebauches and the movement of this watch was made by the chronograph manufacturer, Landeron.

The handsome Omega Seamaster shown above is a Ref. 2846 and was made in c. 1958. This watch has an excellent lustre to the silvered dial which is handsomely detailed with a cross-hair design to the centre. The applied, multi-faceted tapered indexes have recessed luminescent tips.  Cased in stainless steel, the watch has broad lugs with chamfered edges and the case back is centred with the Omega Seamaster logo. We have fitted this watch with a handmade Christopher Clarke for Black Bough traditional stirrup hide leather strap in chocolate brown.

Pictured here is an Omega Constellation Ref. 168.017 which dates to circa 1967. In 1964, Omega launched their first Constellation with the so-called “C” case, which earned its name from the case’s resemblance to two Cs. The “C” case was a departure from the more traditionally shaped Constellations of the 1950s and this model, the Ref. 168.017, continued this trend with its relatively slim case and combinations of satin and polished finishes. The silvered dial has a small surface mark at the minute track between the numerals at 11 and 12 o’clock but is otherwise in excellent original condition. The stainless steel case retains good definition to its angles and edges and the Constellation emblem to the centre of the case back is in crisp condition. Automatically wound, the watch is powered by an Omega calibre 564 which, when new, was chronometer rated. The movement also has provision for quick date change via a second crown setting. This watch is fitted with an Omega strap and steel Omega pin buckle.

Continuing with Omega and shown above is an Omega Dynamic Ref. 135.033 from c. 1969. This model has a deep black dial and applied faceted indexes. The unusual elliptical shape of the case and orange centre seconds hand enhance the model’s sporty design. The dial is in excellent condition and the upper case retains good definition, there are a couple of light scratches to the case back. The watch is fitted with a Dynamic leather strap and steel Omega pin buckle.

In lovely original condition and made in 1967, the 9ct yellow gold Tudor wristwatch shown above was presented to W. H. Thomas by the Directors of J & G Meakin for 50 years service and the case back is engraved accordingly. Meakin, founded in 1851, was one of the most famous names in English pottery production. In 1970, just two years after this watch was made, the firm was taken over by Wedgwood, however, production under the Meakin name continued until 2000. Interestingly, Meakin was based in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent where the well-known retailer Henry Pidduck & Sons was selling watches by, amongst others, Rolex, Tudor and Omega, so it is very possible that Meakin had an arrangement with Pidduck for the supply of their long service watches.

This 1980s wristwatch is a Longines model commissioned by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD). The watch has an unusual grey textured dial which is detailed with the Turkish Railways’ logo above the 6 o’clock position. To the edge of the dial below 6 o’clock, the model’s reference number, 1659, is displayed together with Longines’ calibre number, 629. The watch is fitted with its original bracelet which has a finely ribbed clasp detailed with the TCDD abbreviation for the Turkish Railways. Automatically wound, the watch is powered by an ETA calibre 2892-2 which Longines named the L 629. This movement has a provision for quick date change via the crown’s first setting, there is also a hack feature which stops the seconds hand when the crown is put into the hand-set position, this allows the watch to be easily synchronised to a time signal.

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This week we’ve a plethora of coloured dials to suit every occasion, including blue, black, grey, brown and silver. Kicking things off is the smart Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King-Date Ref. 5700 shown above. The Air-King Ref. 5500 and Air-King-Date Ref. 5700 wristwatches have become iconic vintage models with their classic styling and unique script-form signatures. The 5700 is the larger of two models and has the addition of a date aperture. Although available with a variety of different dial colours, most examples of the Air-King-Date were produced with a standard silver coloured dial. Blue dialled examples of the model were already manufactured by Rolex in the 1970s, and if you head over to the watch’s listing on our website, you’ll find an extract from a 1970s Rolex catalogue which shows an Air-King-Date with the same dial colour and configuration as this watch. The serial number of the present watch dates it to 1983 and so the watch was actually 5 years old when it was sold at Zales jewellers in 1988 – this may explain the hefty discount shown on the original receipt.

The Air-King-Date retains its original steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, leather and wood presentation case, card outer box, original receipt and Rolex Oyster booklet. The precision movement is an automatically wound Rolex calibre 1520 with 26 jewels and hack feature; the hack feature allows the seconds hand to be stopped when the crown is pulled out to the hand-setting position, thereby allowing easy synchronisation to a time signal.

Next is an unusual variant of the Omega Chronostop series – this, a Ref. 146.010 made in circa 1969, is the so-called Driver’s model where the dial is specially configured with the 12 o’clock position shifted 90° to appear where one would usually expect to see the 3 o’clock numeral. This meant that the watch could be more easily read whilst the wearer’s hands were holding the steering wheel. Omega recommended that the watch be worn ‘under’ the wrist and marketed this model as a safer way to wear a wristwatch, especially for sportsmen, technicians, engineers and doctors and it was given the tag lines “Greater Visibility”, “Out of Harms Way” and “Stop-Watch Timing”. Omega launched the Driver’s Chronostop model in 1968 as a variant of the standard version of the model which had been introduced a couple of years before.

Back to blue and shown next is a stylish International Watch Co., Ref. 1828 wristwatch with a rather captivating, deep blue, satin finished dial and matching blue date ring. Dating to 1972, in the contemporary IWC dealer’s catalogue listing for the Ref. 1828, this dial was described as “blue sunray“. The applied indexes have black inserts to their centres which enhance their legibility and are matched in style to the baton hands, to the outer edge of the dial, the minute/seconds track is precision drilled in the perlé manner. Cased in a satin finished, tonneau form case, the watch reflects design elements that were popular in the late 1960s and 1970s, yet this is a classically styled model with clean lines and an emphasis on visual clarity. The watch is powered by the beautifully finished IWC calibre 8541B with hack feature and semi-quick date change.

Vintage wristwatches with black glossy dials are increasingly difficult to find and above is an especially attractive example. This is a Ref. 14700 Omega Seamaster from 1961. Black and gold is a winning combination and the glossy finish of the dial’s surface works brilliantly with the rich yellow tone of the applied, faceted, gold numerals. The dial is in lovely original condition with only minor areas of light oxidation, the hands have evenly oxidised across their surfaces. The stainless steel case has a chamfered bezel and the lugs retain good definition to their faceted edges. Production of reference 14700 began in 1960 and the serial number of the present watch indicates that this example was made in c.1961. The model incorporates the excellent Omega calibre 552 with 24 jewels and precision regulation.

Continuing with Omega and up next is a handsome 9ct yellow gold Ref. 920 which is hallmarked for 1948. The silvered dial is fully calibrated with black Arabic numerals and, unusually this model is fitted with vibrant, contrasting, blued steel hands. There is light and even oxidation spotting to the dial’s surface. The gold case has great proportions with a chamfered bezel and gently downturned lugs. Manually wound, the movement is the highly regarded Omega calibre 30T2 PC.

Following on from the Ref. 920 is its cousin, made in steel and given the reference no. 720. The 720 shown here dates to 1954 and has a silvered dial with an attractive combination of applied Arabic and faceted dagger numerals, together with a large and finely engine turned subsidiary seconds dial. The dial has marks from oxidation and there is tonal variation to the aged lacquer. The manually wound movement is an Omega calibre 266 which forms part of the famous and highly successful ’30’ series as found in the Ref. 920 above.

Vintage watches by Record are popular for their classic designs and are recognised for the good quality of their movements. Founded in Tramelan, Switzerland, in 1903, The Record Watch Company moved its headquarters to Geneva in 1924. In 1961, a majority interest in the Record Watch Company was purchased by Longines. The gold wristwatch shown above was made in 1960 and is in great original condition, the silvered dial has an excellent lustre and is handsomely arranged with raised, gilded, Arabic numerals and an engine-turned subsidiary seconds. The 9ct gold case has slim but substantial down-turned lugs and a smooth chamfered bezel.

This week’s final watch is an 18ct yellow gold Baume and Mercier wristwatch which dates to the mid 1970s and retains its original inner and outer boxes, branded strap and buckle and numbered swing tag. The watch has a chocolate brown, satin finished dial and the gold case is curved to fit comfortably to the wrist. Manually wound, the watch is powered by a Baume & Mercier calibre 777.

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