Category Archives: Vintage Watch Update

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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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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