Despite the virus restrictions, GaryG has managed to venture out from time to time for brief, top-secret rendezvous in parking lots and on park benches to receive and return the generous loans of friends’ watches to photograph. Recently, he had the chance to shoot a true classic: a second-series Reference 3450J perpetual calendar made by Patek Philippe, which he shares with us here.
Alexandre Ghotbi takes a rather in-depth look at the more than 100-year history behind the high-precision Vacheron Constantin Chronomètre Royal . . . which came up because of a conversation about “the Batman.” Find out what that means right here.
Ikepod launched in 1994 so co-founder and designer Marc Newson could create his own playground, which is exactly what he did. And there is no better example of his joyful design than the Ikepod Megapode launched in 1999. But to trade a Rolex for it?
To my longtime friends in the watch hobby, and perhaps to regular readers here as well, the mention of my name may conjure up a number of connotations: patron of the independents, fan of A. Lange & Söhne, admirer of Patek Philippe grand complications, and longtime customer of Jaeger-LeCoultre, among other characterizations more or less favorable. But vintage?
In early February, expert spotter Nick Gould noticed that Vanessa Redgrave was wearing a special watch during the filming of the movie ‘Blowup’: a very rare Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 with so-called Explorer dial. We felt that the topic deserved more discussion, though, so the team turned to the latest form of social media: Clubhouse. You can hear the recorded conversation about that and the general nicknaming of vintage watches here.
Increasing demand for timepieces, especially Rolexes, with the Omani emblem is understandable given the high quality, good condition, demonstrable provenance, and rarity of most of these watches, combined with the fact that they had often been presented to their first owners in the 1970s by Sultan Qaboos in person as a token of gratitude for services rendered. Colin Alexander Smith takes a very close look at the meaning behind these rare timepieces and in this updated version of the article debunks one theory behind the dial symbol.
Are there special vintage watch dial variations named after notable women in a vein similar to that of the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona? Nick Gould was wondering just that and researched. Finding a photo of Vanessa Redgrave wearing a Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 with “Explorer” dial in 1966, he ruefully opines that this rare model would sound so much cooler as the Rolex “Vanessa Redgrave” Submariner rather than what collectors call it now: Rolex Reference 5513 Submariner with Explorer dial.
Type 20 is a specification by the French Ministry of Defense for the standard-equipment pilot’s watch chronographs. Unlike German pilot’s watch specifications, those for the French Type 20 are not clearly documented but are rather based on common characteristics shared by various manufacturers. Bhanu Chopra explains what makes these watches so sought after and goes through the main models and characteristics.
This Breguet souscription pocket watch number 1836 was created just after the French Revolution in 1796 and was sold in 1807 for £600. A testament to the quality of the movement’s design and the skill of its watchmaker, after more than 200 years it still runs perfectly today, which makes it the perfect role model for Breguet’s modern Tradition line. But what relationship does Ian have to it?
Most will agree that re-painting a dial is a big no-no. Vintage pieces with re-painted dials can be had for a steal as they are difficult to shift and mostly unwanted. But not all dial restorations are created equal, and we do encounter varying degrees of “upgrades.” Some of these upgrades are purposeful deception, while others are not. Here is what one watchmaker feels about the subject.