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.
Nigel Band is a professional diver with over 30 years’ worth of commercial and teaching experience. He also owns two rather unusual Rolex watches: a 1986 “triple-six” Rolex Sea-Dweller Reference 16660 and a Himalayan mountain climbing 1952 Rolex Oyster Perpetual. Put on your breathing apparatus as the fascinating stories of these two watches are told by Colin Alexander Smith here.
The Breguet Tradition collection, as exemplified here by the Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097, does just what it says on the label: provide tradition. And it does that very well as Ian Skellern illustrates in a comparison with an original 200-year-old Abraham-Louis Breguet Souscription pocket watch.
Our friends at The Watches TV entertained a visit from Peter Speake, The Naked Watchmaker, as he took apart a Vacheron Constantin world time pocket watch from 1949 – a feat firmly categorized in the “don’t do this at home” rubric. This World Timer is 71 years old, displays the time in 41 reference cities, is housed in a yellow gold case, and is completely original with all of its original parts and even the dial.
To the extent that new enthusiasts represent the future of the watch market, is it possible that their enthusiasm for the past will prove highly damaging, or even lethal, to the industry’s future? GaryG shares his thoughts on the subject here.
This is the story of GaryG’s pursuit, and eventual capture, of a classic vintage watch: a Type 20 “big eye” flyback chronograph manufactured by Mathey-Tissot.