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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