Category Archives: Vintage Watch Update

This week’s update opens with a fabulous 18ct pink gold square Patek Philippe wristwatch with pink dial. Patek Philippe first introduced reference 2433 in 1948 and the present example was made in 1952. The scarcity of examples would suggest that it is likely that production did not continue much beyond the date of the present watch. The superb pink dial is in excellent original condition with a wonderful lustre that perfectly compliments the rich tone of the pink gold case, lending the watch a striking monochrome appearance.

appearance. To match the dial, the hands and applied numerals are all made from pink gold and the enamel printed text and tracks are bold and clear. The 18ct pink gold case remains in great condition with crisp definition to its angles and edges – the Swiss hallmarking to the right hand case side is remarkably sharp, further demonstrating the case’s excellent state of preservation. Manually wound, the movement is Patek’s calibre 10”’-200 which is beautifully finished with damascened stripes to the backplate and decoratively machined pearling to the top-plate.

Next is an early example of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King Ref. 5500 which is complete with its original boxes and paperwork. Made in 1963, this watch has a silk matte finished silvered dial which is distinctly different in appearance to the satin, silvered dials of later versions of the model. In excellent original condition, 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. Each of the luminescent dots above the numerals have a lovely rich and warm tone. The original Alpha-shaped hands have some very light oxidation and the chroming to the centre seconds hand shows some of the brass tone beneath.

Accompanying the watch is the original Rolex guarantee booklet showing that this watch was originally sold by Watches of Switzerland in Birmingham in September 1964. This watch also retains 4 service receipts from Watches of Switzerland dating from the 1960s until the 1980s – the service information from the 1960s and 1970s is also filled out in the service schedule to the back of the Rolex guarantee booklet. The green Rolex presentation case retains its original green velvet stand and also its original outer Rolex branded card box.

Above is a handsome 9ct yellow gold Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch which is hallmarked for 1958. The case is relatively large for the period of production, measuring 35.5mm in diameter and featuring very attractive flared lugs. The slim bezel and large surface area provided for the dial means that this watch looks and wears even larger than the case diameter suggests. With a classic, vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre design, the silvered dial has combination Arabic and triangular numerals and an engine-turned subsidiary seconds dial. There are some light scuffs and oxidation spots to the dial’s surface.

Pictured here is a very attractive stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with moon-phases made in the 1950s by Accurist. This model has a stunning two-tone dial which is in excellent original condition with a wonderfully warm and even patina. The date ring is calibrated in blue against a high sheen, silvered surface which contrasts brilliantly with the main dial body. To achieve the secondary tone, the date ring is fractionally recessed into the dial plate and is therefore cleanly separated from the rest of the dial’s surface which is matte finished to its extreme edge in exactly the same fashion as the dial’s centre. Cased in stainless steel, the upper body has flared, horn-shaped lugs and a chamfered bezel. The case retains very good definition with light scuffs and scratches. Manually wound, the movement is ETA’s 17 jewel calibre 1100. This is one of the few calendar movements of the period to have separate pushers for the adjustment of all indications – whilst the calendar will advance each day around midnight, four recessed buttons to the case sides independently allow for the manual adjustment of the day, month, date and moon-phases.

Above is a classic vintage Longines wristwatch cased in stainless steel and made in c. 1955. The dial has a wonderful patina which has subtle golden and pinkish hues and light and even oxidation spots. The stainless steel case was made for Longines by the Dennison case company and is a model 13322 – interestingly this is the same case design that Dennison supplied to Omega for use in their Ref. 720. Manually wound, the movement is Longines’ calibre 12.68Z – one of the watchmaker’s most successful movements which was first launched in 1929.

Next is a Movado Ermeto ‘Baby’ steel travelling watch which dates to circa 1954. The smallest of Movado’s purse watch range, the Ermeto ‘Baby’ was originally made as a model to integrate into ladies’ handbags but was later added to the general Ermeto range. This example is in outstanding condition and appears to be almost unused. The original fitted presentation case is also in excellent original condition. This watch incorporates Movado’s calibre 575 – the movement was made in series for the Ermeto Baby for a relatively short period from 1947 until 1954; the present watch dates towards the end of this production run. The Ermeto was designed to be used with or without a chain and can simply be placed in a pocket or bag. When the covers are opened, a hinged stand to the back can be operated, thereby allowing the watch to be placed on a desk or bedside table, creating the perfect travelling timepiece. This model incorporates Movado’s ‘automatic’ case winding system that was patented in 1928.

And a momentary departure from the Swiss…above is an English made gold Smiths watch from their De Luxe range, made in 1958. Formed in the early 20th century, the English firm of S. Smith & Sons initially retailed both Swiss and English watches and clocks. During the Second World War, the company manufactured their own watches for the military but, from the mid 1940s, Smiths began to produce higher grade wristwatches which led to a transformation of their in-house production. In 1953, Smiths performed a marketing coup by supplying Edmund Hillary with a watch for his ascent of Everest. Seizing on the advertising opportunities, Smiths launched a campaign picturing a Smiths de Luxe watch on top of Everest with a quote from Hillary beneath stating: “I carried your watch to the summit. It worked perfectly.” The watch that Hillary wore bore the same Smiths calibre as found in the present watch, the calibre 12.15. Smiths designed the 12.15 calibre with a traditionally English inspired finish with gilded, frosted plates and the movements quickly gained a reputation for their reliability and quality. A very handsome example of the De Luxe model, this Smiths watch is complete with its original silk and velvet lined presentation case.

The Omega Genève Dynamic model shown here dates to c. 1969. The ‘star dust’ black dial has a finely speckled surface which catches the light and looks great against the bright, polished faceted indexes. Elliptically shaped, the steel case is in very good original condition and the watch is fitted with an Omega Dynamic leather strap and steel Omega buckle.

Rounding off this week’s update is an Omega Ref. 958 lady’s wristwatch made in 9ct gold. This watch has a stylish dial with crosshair to the centre and script font ‘Genève’ signature. Listed in Omega’s catalogues of the early 1960s with a retail price of £33, a copy of its entry is shown above right. A manually wound watch, this model is powered by Omega’s 17 jewel, calibre 344.

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Vintage Watch Update No. 120

Kicking things off this week is one of the iconic Omega Speedmaster Mark II’s. This watch has a matte black dial which is in excellent original condition with three engine-turned subsidiary dials for constant seconds and minute and hour recording whilst the chronograph is in use. The case on this model is a hefty block of tonneau-shaped steel which measures 42mm in width and 45.5mm in length. The movement serial number indicates a date of production of 1969 and the original receipt, which accompanies the watch, shows that it was sold in 1972. This watch is fitted with a steel Speedmaster bracelet – the links are stretched from wear – the bracelet can be detached if preferred and we are also supplying this watch with one of our new silicone rubber straps (more info on these below).

Next up is a Tudor Oyster Ref. 7934 from 1965 which has a handsome and unusual circular grained, satin finished dial. The applied baton indexes are faceted downwards towards their upper edges, naturally following the curve of the dial surface. During the 1950s, the so-called ‘Alpha-shaped’ hand design was already in use on Tudor watches, but the style remained popular on models such as this through to the second half of the 1960s.

Above is a stunning example of the Longines Flagship Ref. 3104 -4 which dates to 1960. This wristwatch has a silvered dial with applied, stylised, Arabic and baton indexes. To the outside of the stainless steel case back, the gold Longines medallion (detail shown above left) is decorated with the signature ‘Flagship’ in full sail against a blue enamel sky and with a green enamel sea beneath.  The steel case retains excellent definition to its angles and edges with minor scuffs and a small pin-head sized depression to the top right hand lug. This automatic model is powered by a beautifully crisp Longines’ calibre 340 movement. We have fitted this watch with one of our steel Milanese mesh bracelets but the watch can be fitted with a leather strap if preferred.

Next is an early example of the Omega Ref. 920 which dates to 1945 – one of the first examples of this model made. This wristwatch has a superb two-tone dial which is in outstanding original condition with fine black painted Arabic numerals and a ‘rail track’ style minute ring which has a distinctive, higher sheen finish that contrasts with the silk matte surface of the main dial body. The blued steel hands are rich in tone, giving an excellent contrast to the dial’s surface.

Continuing with Omega and heading further back in time is a silver wristwatch which dates to c. 1925. Early Omega wristwatches appear increasingly rarely to the market. This example, with silver hinged case, dates to the mid 1920s and its shape is one of the earliest wristwatch designs that appeared from the 1910s onwards. As with many watch models of this period, the strap is especially narrow and is attached to fixed bar lugs. The black exaggerated numerals are typical of the Art Deco period and the blued steel spade hands are of traditional form. Manually wound, the calibre 23.7S T2 Omega movement is beautifully finished with decoratively machine pearling to the backplate (detail photos can be seen on our website).

Shown here is a great example of the lady’s Omega Genève Dynamic model. Made in c.1969, this watch has a very attractive deep blue dial that is in excellent original condition and has contrasting white hands and a light blue centre seconds. The steel elliptically shaped case is made from a single block of stainless steel and has a satin finish and matching, detachable, stainless steel Omega link bracelet. The watch is fitted with a signed Omega crystal and crown. This watch is accompanied by a lady’s Omega Dynamic dark blue leather strap with steel Omega pin buckle and an Omega presentation case (the leather strap is in used condition).

Dating to c. 1966 the Tudor Princess Date wristwatch shown next is a smart and rarely seen lady’s model. This watch has a 21 jewel automatic movement with provision for semi-quick date change. The dial has a high sheen, satin silvered finish with applied baton indexes and the 9ct yellow gold case retains the original Rolex crown. There is a minor, small scratch to the dial below the 12 o’clock position and the watch is otherwise in excellent condition.

This stylish Lanco wristwatch was made in c. 1955. The watch has a handsome two-tone dial with a satin finished body and mirror finished silvered ring that separates the numerals from the outer track for minutes/seconds. The hour and minute hands are made from blued steel whilst the seconds hand is contrastingly painted red. The chromed upper case has flared and stepped lugs with solid bars and a steel snap-on back.

Just added to the site are our new silicone rubber wristwatch straps. Just £20 each, these straps have a contemporary yet classic design that works brilliantly with both new and vintage sports’ wristwatches – they look especially good on late 60s/70s chunky sports watches such as the Omega Speedmaster II listed in this week’s newsletter. The straps are reversible giving the choice of either a thin border or a wider, more pronounced edge, each with a matte finish. The main surface of the straps has a smart hobnail texture and there are three different buckles to choose from: steel, gold plated or black.

Amongst the new watch books added are a First Edition of George Daniels’ and Cecil Clutton’s seminal work titled “Watches.” Published in 1965, it was the first important work on the history and development of pocket watches since Baillie’s book Watches: Their History Decoration and Mechanism (published 1929) and Britten’s Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers (first published 1899). The book includes 600 black and white photographs illustrating the history of the watch, mechanical advances of the watch movement and the stylistic and decorative development of the watch. Also added is Terence Camerer Cuss’s brilliant 2008 book titled “The English Watch 1585-1970” which gives an extraordinarily in depth history and analysis of the English watch from its appearance at the end of the 16th century until the latter part of the 20th century. A large part of the watches illustrated in this book were offered at Sotheby’s series of sales “Celebration of the English Watch” which were held from 15th December 2015 until 6th July 2017, for which total sales reached in excess of £7.5 million – in my role as a consultant to Sotheby’s watch department, I was heavily involved in the four sales – researching, writing and working on the catalogue layouts – this book was my bible throughout.

Recently I was also involved in the research and writing of Sotheby’s catalogue: “George Daniels Masterpieces” – the highlight of which was George Daniels’ Space Travellers’ watch – an incredible watch and one of the most important made in the 20th century. The watch sold for £3.2 million last Tuesday, around 2.5 times more than it brought last time it appeared at Sotheby’s, just 5 years ago in 2012. I paid one final visit to the watch just before the auction to photograph and video it – you can see it and read about it on our journal here: 

Our next newsletter will be sent out on Friday 6th October. In the meantime, you’ll find much more information and further photographs of all of these pieces, together with pricing and the rest of our current watch stock, as well as our range of accessories, including straps, buckles, tools, loupes and books on our website.

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Vintage Watch Update No. 119

This week’s newsletter opens with an extremely stylish, stainless steel, Favre-Leuba chronograph which dates to c. 1960. The watch has a superb two-tone silvered dial with strong tonal contrasts and handsomely calibrated outer scales for telemeter and tachymeter in blue and red. With a case diameter of 36mm, this is a relatively large watch for the period of production, yet the chronograph pushers are unusually discreet being significantly smaller than those found on comparable models by other watchmakers.

Next is a very smart and relatively early version of the Zenith Sporto model which dates to c. 1953. During the 1950s, Zenith’s Sporto range was produced with an extremely good quality steel casing, featuring sharp angles and edges and combinations of satin and polished finished. The outside case back is solid steel but the movement is covered by an additional glazed cuvette which not only enhances the protection of the movement from dirt and moisture, but also also allows inspection of the movement without opening its casement – watch the video of this Zenith on our website and you’ll see a demonstration of the removal of the case back which reveals the glazed cuvette.

Above is a great looking Omega Seamaster Ref. 166.020 which dates to c. 1961. This watch has a lightly ‘machine’ textured dial with applied pointed faceted baton indexes and a framed date aperture at 3 o’clock. The watch has its original Omega crystal and crown. The stainless steel uni-shell case has Omega’s embossed seahorse medallion to the centre. This watch is accompanied by an Omega presentation case and can be supplied with one of our new Milanese mesh bracelets – see images below – which I think looks pretty fantastic.

More on these great new bracelets below….

Pictured here is a vibrant and sporty model by Tissot named the Carrousel Visodate. This watch, made in c. 1969, retains its original strap and buckle and features a bi-directional rotating plastic bezel. Designed to easily clip on and off, the plastic bezel was interchangeable with a variety of differently configured bezels, allowing a range of uses. The bezel options originally offered by Tissot included pulsation, tachymetric and world time calibrations. The present watch is fitted with a traditional time elapsed scale – if the bezel is rotated to line up with the minute hand, the bezel can then be used to record time elapsed by the minute hand. Watch the video of this watch on our website and you’ll see a demonstration of the removal and replacement of the interchangeable bezel

Shown above is a classic stainless steel Omega Ref. 121.001 from 1964. The watch has a classic silvered dial with raised, pointed baton indexes and a cross-hair subsidiary seconds dial. The stainless steel case has a chamfered bezel and faceted lugs and incorporates Omega’s calibre 269 movement which belongs to the highly regarded Omega ’30’ series.

Made in 1956 and in wonderful condition, this Elco wristwatch has a very attractive 9ct yellow gold case with sharply chamfered bezel and crisp, splayed lugs. The silvered dial has raised, gilded Arabic and lozenge-shaped numerals and an outer ‘pearled’ minute track. You’ll find more information about the Elco watch company on this watch’s listing on the website.

We’ve just started stocking a new range of woven metal watch bracelets. The so-called Milanese watch bracelet is one of the all time classics. Early forms of the Milanese bracelet were already in use by some wristwatch manufacturers in the 1920s, but their heyday was undoubtedly the 1960s and 1970s. A wonderfully flexible form of mesh weave, the Milanese style of watch bracelet is extremely comfortable to wear and suitable for almost any type of watch from sports to dress styles. In fact, see just how on trend they are in this article featured in GQ:

These bracelets are easy to fit and have convenient cut-out niches to the underside of the lug bars to enable easy removal and replacement of spring bars. Watch the video on the product’s listing on our website to see how to adjust and fit these bracelets. These bracelets are all made in stainless steel and are also available with yellow gold plating or pink gold plating – prices start at just £28. These are a brilliant and cost effective way to transform the look of a watch.

We have also just re-vamped our Hirsch strap offering on the website, adding several new styles and colour ways. You’ll also find examples of vintage watches fitted with the straps within most of our strap listings on the website. Our range of straps start at only £21.

Rounding off this week’s newsletter is a fantastic revised and expanded edition of Moonwatch Only
a book dedicated to the iconic Omega Speedmaster. This incredibly well researched and highly detailed study of the Omega Speedmaster examines the history and models produced from the Speemaster’s introduction in 1957, to the present day. The book includes an examination of individual references with photographs of dials, movements, inside and outside case backs, specifications and period of production. There are also details and photographs of different bracelet types, crystals, crowns, bezels, certificates, boxes, advertisements and just about anything else you could possibly think of. A massive tome, the book weighs 3348g, runs to 564 pages and is lavishly illustrated throughout. Beautifully produced, this is an absolutely invaluable resource for any lover of the Speedmaster. You’ll find our current range of Watch Book titles here:

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Vintage Watch Update No. 118

First up this week is an extremely crisp example of the manually wound Rolex Oysterdate Ref. 6694. The watch is complete with its original boxes, guarantee paperwork and Oyster booklet and the factory green Rolex sticker is still present to the outside of the case back.

One of Rolex’s most classic models, the Ref. 6694 was first introduced in 1959 and this example, which was purchased in 1991, was one of the last examples of the model to be made.

Photographed above is a superb mid-sized Audemars Piguet wristwatch which was produced in 1961. The unusual gold ribbed dial perfectly matches the design of the case to create a balanced and unified look. Audemars Piguet used the master case maker, Wenger, for the construction of the case. Wenger, whose key mark (number 1) is stamped to the inside of the case back, was one of Geneva’s finest case makers and was used by both Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe for unusually shaped and complex case designs. Incredibly, the signature is printed across the undulating surface of the ribbed dial, but is executed in such a manner that any expected distortion is imperceptible to the naked eye.

Next is an Omega Ref. 720 which was first purchased in 1955. This watch is accompanied by its original guarantee paper dated July 2nd 1955, issued by Winter’s of Stockport. The watch is also accompanied by its Omega Certificate of Guarantee booklet, although this was never filled out by the retailer and still retains the tear-off portions for the dealer and agent (presumably, the booklet was not completed at the time of sale because the retailer supplied their own guarantee paper with the watch which is duly completed.) Also sold with this watch are the original Omega presentation cases comprising the leather covered case which folds out into a display stand and the branded card outer box. There is oxidation to the dial and hands.

Pictured here is a handsome 9ct yellow gold Omega Ref. 121.5400 which is hallmarked for 1964. This model 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 gold Arabic and tapered faceted baton indexes – there is light and even oxidation to the surface. The watch is powered by Omega’s calibre 269 which is from the superb Omega ’30’ series.

This highly attractive Movado Ermeto Chronomètre travelling watch which was made in c. 1930, has a silver-gilt case with lovely green shagreen sliding covers. The watch is complete with its original bakelite presentation capsule which is lined with brown velvet. Over the years, the Ermeto was made with a variety of different case and dial designs and became one of the company’s most recognised and iconic pieces. Interestingly, Andy Warhol, who was a great fan of Movado, owned at least 6 different versions of the Ermeto from a wide range of periods. Movado’s Ermeto models were designed to be used with or without a chain and could simply be placed in a pocket or bag.

A great looking mid-sized wristwatch, this Girard-Perregaux wristwatch was made in c. 1950 and has a classic full Arabic numeral dial that is in excellent original condition. The steel case was made for Girard-Perregaux by the specialist makers Dennison and is a Dennison Ref. 12329. Dennison, an English based case maker, manufactured high quality watch cases and supplied many Swiss companies (including Omega and Rolex) with gold, silver and steel cases for a variety of models supplied to the UK market.

An exceptional example of the Tissot Seastar Ref. 44665-4, the wristwatch shown above was made in c. 1973 and is in almost unused condition. The cushion form case retains superb definition with its combination of satin and polished finishes and the silvered, satin finished dial is bright and blemish free. Fitted with its original Tissot leather strap and pin buckle, the watch is also accompanied by a Tissot presentation case. A relatively large model for the period of production, the case has a width of 37mm. Automatically wound, this watch is powered by Tissot’s calibre 2481 which has provision for quick date advancement. The date will change each day around midnight but can be manually advanced when required by simply pressing the crown towards the body of the case. The Tissot calibre 2481 was developed with Omega and is essentially identical to the Omega calibre 1481.

Above is a stylish new/old stock Precimax wristwatch with original strap which dates to circa 1965. The silvered satin finished dial has a handsome configuration with raised block Arabic and baton indexes. Precimax merged with the watchmakers Helios SA in 1951. In 1966, Precimax was listed with offices in Geneva, whilst their factory was based in Neuchâtel.

We’ve just introduced our latest addition to the Christopher Clarke for Black Bough handmade wristwatch strap range. Exclusive to Black Bough, two versions of the strap are available, both made from Kangaroo tail and using either the central or side part of the tail. The straps have a highly distinctive asymmetrical grained surface – the central tail leather being more pronounced in the grain finish than the side which has a lighter, subtler textured surface. The lengths of the strap, buckle and keeps are meticulously sewn by hand using linen thread coated with beeswax. The straps are reinforced at the case ends using carbon fibre. Kangaroo is very strong, due partly to the fibres being nearly parallel to the surface and partly caused by the harsh conditions the animals are exposed to, the skin being very low in fat which causes few voids during the tanning process, making the leather dense.

We now have 9 different handmade straps to choose from – you’ll find our full range of Christopher Clarke for Black Bough straps on our website here:

Also just added to the website is an excellent copy of the first English Language edition of The World of Vacheron Constantin” by Carole Lambelet and Lorette Coen. This important book was published in 1992 and my own copy has been one of my staple watch reference book throughout my career. The book begins by placing the establishment of Vacheron Constantin in its historical context, with details on the founders of this watchmaking dynasty. A representative range of pocket and wristwatches from 1755 to the 1990s held by the Vacheron Constantin museum are lavishly illustrated in colour.

However, for me, the most fascinating part of the book is the 128 pages devoted to original black and white archival photographs of Vacheron Constantin watches – these are individually dated by year and are for the most part from the 1910s to 1940s – these are individually annotated often with the original serial numbers. Every now and again the original watch will re-appear on the market, as happened a couple of years ago at Sotheby’s Geneva when an extremely rare world time pocket watch by Vacheron was included in the May 2014 auction – the archival image of the actual watch with the matching movement serial number is illustrated in this book on page 396, so provided a brilliant confirmation of the watch’s excellent state of preservation. You’ll find the Sotheby’s catlaogue entry here:

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Vintage Watch Update No. 117

This week’s newsletter opens with one of the icons of 20th century wristwatch design, the Memovox alarm wristwatch by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Over the decades the Memovox has been styled with a variety of different case and dial designs. The present example is a classic piece from c. 1967 with a relatively large case, measuring 37mm in diameter. The bold, linear dial has gently tapering indexes which are centrally set with black inserts; the straight baton hands are styled to match with centralised luminescent tips mirroring the luminescent panels set at each hour, within the track for minutes/seconds. To the dial centre, the alarm setting disc is finished with a circular satin grain which gives the dial a two-tone appearance – in fact, as the track for minutes/seconds is chamfered inwards, it creates the illusion of a 3-tone dial, the eye perceiving three different dial finishes as it catches the light.

Next is a lovely example of the Longines ‘Jamboree’ Ref. 6884 from c. 1958. This dial finish is one not often found on Longines watches of the period, being an off-white enamel painted dial. The stainless steel case retains good definition and the case back has the original fine concentric satin rings to the edge. Manually wound, the watch incorporates Longines’ 17 jewel calibre 280. The luminescent dots and panels to the hands have a very attractive and warm patina, the dot by 9 o’clock is worn; there is some crazing to the dial’s surface (as expected on enamel painted dials of this period).

Shown above is a rare and early wristwatch by Zenith which was retailed by T. S. Cuthbert’s of Glasgow in circa 1935. The steel case has a multi-faceted upper body with recessed winding crown placed between the lugs above 12 o’clock. Such positioning not only provides practical protection to the crown from knocks, but also ensures the sharp lines of the case sides remain uninterrupted. The silvered dial has strong two-toning and handsome patination to the surface. The Zenith signature is placed above the subsidiary seconds dial, allowing the upper part of the dial to be devoted to the retailer’s name – in this instance T. S. Cuthbert, Glasgow, whose signature is ghosted with age below the 12 o’clock position. Incidentally, Cuthbert’s retailed some pretty fabulous watches in the 1930s…we had a beautiful 1930s Longines at Black Bough some time back – you’ll find reference to it in the production description of this Zenith on our website.

Pictured here is a fantastic Omega Seamaster 600 originally sold in 1966 that is complete with its original paperwork and boxes. The silvered dial has extremely attractive Arabic numerals which have a sharp, linear design and are centrally faceted. The steel case has clean lines and a polished finish and the watch is fitted with a detachable Omega bracelet with adjustable folding clasp. Manually wound, the watch is powered by Omega’s calibre 600.

Continuing with Omega and photographed above is an Omega Chronostop Ref. 145.009 from c. 1968. A handsome example of this model, the dial is in good original condition with full luminescent dots that have some gentle ageing. There are scuffs and scratches to the stainless steel case.  This watch is accompanied by a red Omega presentation case with Omega leaflets (the guarantee booklet is lacking the detachable numbered certificate page.) A flyback chronograph model, the upper pusher starts and stops the orange seconds hand which can be kept continuously running, kept static at 12 o’clock, or used to record intervals up to 60 seconds in duration.

A classic Tudor Oyster Ref. 7934 from the mid 1960s is next. This watch has a smart silvered dial with applied baton indexes. Unusually for this model, the dial is of non-luminous type with special Alpha shaped, non-luminous hands and with no lume ‘accents’ above the numerals. The robust and classic stainless steel Rolex Oyster case has a smooth chamfered bezel and typical screw-down Rolex crown and case back. This watch is powered by the Tudor calibre 1156 with 17 jewels. As part of this watch’s service and overhaul it has been pressure tested for water-resistance for depths up to 30 metres.

This stylish lady’s Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch hallmarked for 1979 has a solid 18ct yellow gold case which is rich in tone, with elongated ‘stirrup’-form lugs and, unusually, a winding crown set to the case below the 6 o’clock position. The watch is fitted with its original Jaeger-LeCoultre branded leather strap and pin buckle. Manually wound, the movement is LeCoultre’s 17 jewel calibre 840.

Also from the 1970s is the 9ct yellow gold Omega Genève wristwatch pictured here. This gentleman’s dress watch, a Ref. 131.5016, has a vertically satin grained dial with applied gold indexes with blackened centres. The 9ct yellow gold case has slim lugs and a polished finish with satined centre to the case back. Manually wound, the watch is powered by an Omega calibre 613 which has provision for quick date adjustment via a second setting to the crown.

And rounding off this week’s newsletter is an excellent copy of the first edition of Patek Philippe ‘Wristwatches’ by Martin Huber and Alan Banbery, published in 1988. This book was a follow up volume to Huber and Banbery’s 1982 work which had concentrated on Patek Philippe’s pocket watch production (a copy of which featured on our Vintage Watch Newsletter No. 114 at the end of June). Such was the demand for a book on wristwatches that this book was published 6 years later.

The book begins with the origins and history of the company, biographies of the company’s founders, details of Patek Philippe’s inventions & patents relating to wristwatches, the history of the wristwatch and Patek’s development of the genre. There are summary tables with production numbers for some of the company’s most important wristwatches and movement serial number charts. The vast majority of the book, 167 pages in fact, are devoted to lavish illustrations in both colour and black and white showing the extraordinary variety and, of course, outstanding quality of this famous watchmaker. Many of the photos are original archive images and feature pieces are from the company’s museum, others are from private hands – some of which have, since publication in 1988, been purchased for the museum. Many of the most important wristwatches made by Patek Philippe are illustrated in detail, including, cases, dials and movements. An absolutely essential addition to the library of anyone with a passion for watches. This is a hardback book with blue cloth covers and original dust jacket (the top right corner of the dust jacket has been cut and repaired).

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Vintage Watch Update No. 116

This week’s newsletter opens with an extremely rare Omega Ref. V97 with asymmetric rectangular case and combination scroll and horn-shaped lugs. Hallmarked for 1940, this wristwatch has a wedge shaped case. The lower lugs are concealed beneath a hooded scroll which covers the strap fixture, the case gently slopes upwards from 6 to 12 o’clock before sharply turning down towards the horn shaped upper lugs.

Incredibly the watch still retains its unique case opening tool marked “Special Case Opener model Omega V87-V97″ together with the original Omega opening instructions. The case was manufactured for Omega by the Dennison case company and is one of the most original and unusual of the period. The silvered dial has a two-tone finish – the main body of the dial has a silvered surface whilst the edge of the dial from the minute track outwards is finished in a higher sheen. Manually wound, the watch incorporates Omega’s excellent tonneau shaped calibre T17 – one of the most coveted of Omega’s vintage output.

Next is a Longines pocket watch of similar vintage to the rectangular Omega, being hallmarked just one year earlier in 1939. In excellent original condition, this stylish dress watch has a wonderful frosted silvered dial with raised, italicised, so-called ‘Breguet’ numerals. All hands are blued steel with the hour and minute hands of traditional ‘moon’ form. The 9ct yellow gold case houses the Longines calibre 37.9 with decoratively damascened plates and 16 jewels. The dial is signed Longines above the subsidiary seconds, a design element often found on early Longines wrist and pocket watches which allowed space for the local jeweller’s/retailer’s name to appear prominently at the top of the dial.

Next up is a 36mm diameter Rolex Oyster Precision Ref. 6424 which dates to the mid 1960s. This is one of the largest time-only Rolex models of the period and is considerably rarer than the standard 30 to 35mm cased Oysters of the ’60s. This example has a great looking silvered dial with lozenge shaped indexes at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock which compliment the ‘Alpha’ shaped hands and are interspersed by tapered faceted indexes. Dating to c.1965, this is one of the last Rolex models to feature this type of numeral and hand configuration which had first been used in the 1950s.

Above is a large and unusual fibreglass, steel and rubber diver’s style watch by Tissot. A Sideral model, this watch dates to circa 1970. At the end of the 1960s, Tissot introduced a range of fibreglass models within their ‘Sideral’ range. Marketed as youthful and sporty models, contemporary Tissot advertising material explained that “The novelty and originality of the watch results from the ultramodern design of its case.” Tissot emphasised the attributes of fibreglass, explaining that the material was not susceptible to ageing, deforming or rusting and that it was impermeable and had excellent resistance against shocks. A trailblazing design, the use of fibreglass foreshadowed the use of plastics in watches that would, in tandem with the wider use of quartz movements, revolutionise watch design right into the 1980s, bringing down prices and increasing the watch’s mass market appeal. This is a 40mm wide, automatically wound watch, with semi-quick date change and hack feature. The steel bi-directional bezel is calibrated for 60 minutes and can be used to mark time elapsed – a practical and easy means of time recording…this is an especially useful feature when, for example, you want to keep track of time spent on a pay and display parking meter. In fantastic condition, this watch retains its original branded rubber strap and is accompanied by a Tissot presentation case and booklet.

Heading back to the 1950s and above is a 9ct yellow gold watch by Omega which is hallmarked for 1952. The watch has a handsome silvered dial with combination numerals and, most unusually, the outer track for minutes/seconds has each five second calibration marked with Arabic numerals. The solid 9ct yellow gold case was made for Omega by the Dennison case company and is classically designed with a smooth chamfered bezel and gently down-turned lugs.

Also by Omega is the Ref. 2800 show above. A model not often seen and, measuring 35mm in diameter, this is a relatively large watch for the period of production. The design of this watch is archetypally 1950s, with dauphine hands and linear, faceted, baton indexes. There is a perfect balance to the dial and a sharp sweep to the lugs which have crisp edges and polished surfaces. The manually wound calibre 266 movement is from Omega’s excellent 30 series.

From 1964 is a mid-sized Omega wristwatch Ref. 131.018 which measures 31mm in diameter. The minimalist design has a silvered dial with raised baton indexes and matching hands. In good original condition, the watch is powered by Omega’s 17 jewel, calibre 600.

Pictured above is a Bucherer Ref. 1530A chronometer wristwatch from c. 1970. This watch has a classic 1970s look with a satin finished silvered dial and faceted baton indexes. The quarter hour markers are tapered and centrally set with dark gilded panels. The ETA calibre 2620 movement was highly finished to achieve chronometer rated standards at the original time of sale. Bucherer, one of the world’s foremost retailers of luxury watches was founded in 1888. The firm has enjoyed a long and especially close relationship with Rolex and also offers a range of other luxury brands including Audemars Piguet, Breguet and A. Lange & Söhne. In addition to retailing other brands, Bucherer have traditionally produced a range of high quality watches, marketed under their own name.

Hot off the press is the best new Rolex book for quite some time. Written by Gisbert Brunner, a well-known watch journalist and author of over 15 books on watches. The book provides a history of Rolex from its early days right up to the present. Well illustrated throughout, Brunner focuses on the major milestones in the development of this behemoth of the watch world.

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Vintage Watch Update No. 115

This week’s newsletter opens with an excellent and early example of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 1500. Dated for 1964, the watch has inwardly tapering indexes with chamfered edges and the quarter markers at 6 and 9 o’clock have multi-faceted surfaces. The hands are of dauphine design rather than the straight baton design that became the standard configuration for later examples of the model. The stainless steel case retains good definition with steep chamfered bezel and typical satin finished down-turned lugs. This watch is from the family of the original owner and is sold with a green Rolex wood and leather presentation case.

Next is a smart Jaeger-LeCoultre wristwatch from 1947 which has a rare copper coloured dial, the outer chapter ring which carries the numerals is finished with a finely engine turned surface which produces a satin finish and contrasts with the higher sheen of the dial’s centre. The modestly sized 32mm case is super crisp and the flaring lugs are particularly beautiful. Although there are age related marks/oxidation to the dial, the watch is in otherwise excellent original condition showing little sign of use. Indeed, although we have fitted the watch with a new handmade brown lizard watch strap, the watch is also accompanied by what is almost certainly the original black leather watch strap which has a Montal buckle of a type often supplied with Jaeger-LeCoultre watches of this period….and yes I hear you…why have I changed the strap?…well frankly the original is brash and rather unattractive and in my opinion does nothing for the watch.

Above is an early and unusual version of the Ref. 720 which Omega made specifically for the UK market using their fantastic calibre 30T2 movement. Dating to 1945, what’s especially interesting about this watch – other than the fairly fabulous full Arabic numeral dial – is that the case is made from duralumin and steel. The serial number of the watch makes it the earliest example of the 720 style that we’ve offered for sale and it is contemporaneous with the Ref. 2292 models that Omega made in duralumin and steel for the Air Ministry. So far as I’m aware, all later version of the 720 model were made in purely steel cases, always by Dennison with the Dennison style number 13322 to the inside back. Like the 2292, this example of the 720 has fixed bar lugs and the duralumin mid case has a rugged appearance, being softer and more prone to nicks and scratches than its steel bezel and case back.

Above is a relatively large vintage model by Longines, this wristwatch has a diameter of 35.5mm and is hallmarked for 1973. The very handsome, satin finished, silvered dial is in excellent original condition with raised, gilded, Arabic and baton numerals. To the base of the dial is a cross-hair subsidiary seconds dial. The solid 9ct yellow gold case has a polished finish and the watch is powered by Longines’ calibre 6922.

In lovely condition, the Omega Genève Dynamic pictured here was made in 1969 with a handsome deep blue dial and contrasting light blue centre seconds hand. The large elliptical case is made from a single block of stainless steel and measures 41mm in width. The watch is fitted with a signed Omega crystal and crown and a dark blue Omega Dynamic leather strap with original steel Omega pin buckle. This watch is is accompanied by its original red Omega presentation case.

Next is another of Omega’s Genève models, this one a Ref. 136.041 made in 1970. The satin finished dial is in excellent original condition with a light grey tone and linear baton numerals which have black inserts to their centres. The stainless steel, tonneau form case has a satin finished bezel and screw-down case back. Manually wound, the watch is powered by the Omega calibre 613 which has provision for quick date change via a second setting to the crown.

Next up is an unusual Omega De Ville, Ref. 111.5084 which is made in 9ct yellow gold and hallmarked for 1970. The silvered dial has applied horizontal indexes with contrasting vertical indexes at 12 and 6 o’clock. The surface of the silvered dial has been restored.

And rounding of this week’s newsletter is a solid 9ct yellow gold wristwatch by Garrard. In lovely overall condition this watch is hallmarked for 1975. The watch is classically styled with a silk matte, satin finished dial with raised gilded Arabic numerals and a finely engine-turned subsidiary seconds dial. The gold case retains good definition and was made for Garrard by David Shackman & Sons whose other clients included Rolex and Longines. The movement is the highly regarded Unitas calibre 6325 with 17 jewels which is handsomely finished with gilded damascened bridges.

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Vintage Watch Update No. 114

This week’s newsletter opens with a Rolex Oyster Ref. 6426 which dates to 1972. An excellent example of the model, the silvered dial has applied indexes with broad batons at the quarter hours which have black strips to their edges, whilst the intervening numerals have central black inserts. The stainless steel case has a 35mm diameter with a smooth bezel and the watch is fitted with a heavy gauge, Rolex Oyster bracelet with adjustable clasp. As part of this watch’s service and overhaul, it has been pressure tested for water resistance for depths up to 100 metres.

Next is a great looking vintage Omega Ref. 2450 which has a very attractive silvered dial with combination numerals consisting of silver foil Arabic numerals and raised triangular indexes. Made in c. 1950, the watch is in lovely condition with very light and even oxidation to the dial’s surface. Made in stainless steel, the case is formed from two parts, with a solid upper body incorporating a moulded, chamfered bezel and separate screw-down case back. By moulding the bezel within the upper case, rather than using a separate detachable bezel, the dial and movement were better protected by limiting the points of entry to the case.

Shown above is an Omega Seamaster 600 with combination Arabic/baton numeral dial. This watch, was first sold in Shropshire in 1966 and is accompanied by its original Omega certificate and presentation case. The steel case has clean lines and a polished finish. Manually wound, the watch is powered by Omega’s calibre 600.

Pictured here is a Ref. 146.010 driver’s version of the Omega Chronostop. Made in 1969, this model is unusually calibrated with the 12 o’clock position shifted 90° from its usual position to appear where one would usually expect to see the 3 o’clock numeral. Such dial layouts were a traditional form adopted by watchmakers for drivers’ watches – allowing an easier reading of the time when the wearer’s hands were holding the steering wheel. However, Omega also 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”. This example is fitted with its original steel mesh bracelet and long adjustable folding clasp. Originally advertised for sale with either a leather strap or metal bracelet, the bracelet may be detached and replaced with a strap if preferred.

This is the first time we have offered an Omega Seamaster Cosmic 2000. The example pictured above dates to 1972 and is a large model with a case width of 39mm. Despite its size, the watch has a relatively slim profile with a pleasing downward curve to the corners of the upper case. Traditionally the addition of centre seconds, rotor for the automatic work and under-dial work required for the day and date would be expected to substantially increase the depth of a watch. In order to ensure a modest case depth, Omega have used one of their slimmest automatic calendar movements which has a height of just 4.8mm and the steep bezel allows for the additional space required for the centre seconds hand whilst the flat crystal ensures the depth between dial surface and crystal are kept to a minimum. The dial is in good original condition with a deep metallic blue tone. The winding crown is equipped with quick date adjustment settings for both the day and date, meaning that the watch can be quickly set up for use.

Another handsome blue dial, this time with red highlights, is found on the next watch, an automatic Bulova from 1970. The numerals at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock have a polished finish and are centrally set with red strips, whilst the intervening numerals are faceted with finely ribbed centres. The tonneau shaped case with satin finished bezel is a style made popular during the late 1960 and early 1970s. Powered by the Bulova automatic calibre 11anacd, the movement has 23 jewels and provision for semi-quick date change – whilst the date will change at midnight, it can also be advanced manually by moving the hands backwards and forwards between 8pm and midnight.

Photographed here is a classically styled Longines Ref. 7844 from 1967.  The smart silvered dial has raised indexes with black inserts to the quarter hour markers. The automatic calibre 345 movement has 17 jewels, with additional jeweling to the ball-bearing rotor and there  is provision for semi-quick date change; whilst the date will change each day at midnight the date can be manually advanced, when required, by repeatedly moving the hands between 9pm and midnight.

Dating to 1960 and pictured above is a lovely, automatic, Tudor Oyster Prince Ref. 7965which dates to 1960. The watch’s dial has an unusual circular satin finish and very stylish arrow-head quarter hour markers, this combination, together with the Alpha shaped hands, make for a really great looking watch. 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.

And rounding off this weeks’ newsletter is an almost unused copy of the first edition, English language version of Huber and Banbery’s important book on Patek Philippe which was published in 3000 copies in 1982. This example still retains its original plain card slip case. The book begins with the origins and history of the company, biographies of the company’s founders, details of Patek Philippe’s inventions & patents, and an in depth look at the watchmaker’s most important complicated pocket watches. The remaining 187 pages are devoted to lavish illustrations in both colour and black and white showing the extraordinary variety and, of course, outstanding quality of this famous watchmaker.

Many of the pieces are from the from the company’s museum, others are from private hands – some of which have, since publication in 1982, been purchased for the museum. This book concentrates on the company’s pocket watch production, however, there is a small wristwatch section at the back of the book. The book also includes the list of movement numbers used by the company between 1839 and 1971, with corresponding years of production and calibre numbers. Many of the most important pocket watches made by Patek Philippe are illustrated in detail including, cases, dials and movements – the highlight being the famous Henry Graves ‘Supercomplication’ that was sold at Sotheby’s in 2014 for US$ 24 million. An absolutely essential book for anyone with a passion for watches. Hardback book with red cloth covers and original dust jacket, together with plain card slip case.

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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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