Colin Alexander Smith is reunited with his first watch and discovers an intriguing watch manufacturer that has been producing mechanical watches in Switzerland continuously since 1886.
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.
A common question in watch servicing/restoration is, “Who does the ‘best’ work?” In a word (or three), what is meant here is superficial case refinishing. And in other words: huge chamfers on Rolex cases, perfectly flat surfaces, and well executed sunburst patterns. And that’s got Ashton Tracy ranting. Find out why here!
The Patek Philippe 5101 ten-day tourbillon isn’t perfect: it’s not notably shock tolerant, there’s no lume, and one could fault its 25-meter water resistance. But most important of all for Tim Mosso, is that he can’t afford it! However, since its supernova 2003 debut, the 5101 has established a towering reputation that is, if anything, insufficient to convey the eye-watering beauty and milestone status of this sinuously shaped machine.
Deciding whether or not to restore a vintage watch is a tough decision to make. The internet is awash with tales of watches butchered by an incompetent independent watchmaker or, worse still, the brand itself. Even more confusing is deciding which options offered should be accepted. Refinish the case? Change the hands? Replace the crystal? Here is some help for you.
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.
As most folks who follow Patek Philippe are aware, the brand has long been in the habit of making unique watches for special customers, including in recent times entertainment luminaries such as Eric Clapton and Michael Ovitz. It was not until 2015, however, that Patek Philippe publicly issued a number of small editions of previously discontinued references, each in previously unmade metal/dial combinations. This Patek Philippe Reference 5070J-013 is one of those ultra-rare birds. And GaryG wonders if it might bring yellow gold back into fashion single-handedly, as for him the combination of the yellow gold case and sunburst-brushed brown dial is as gorgeous as it is unexpected.
Many think that Louis Vuitton’s first watch was the Tambour, which was launched in 2002. However the brand actually began with a watch collection called Monterey in the 1980s. The Monterey I, an unusual worldtime watch designed by Gae Aulenti with alarm function, date, and moon phase, was soon followed by the ceramic-encased Monterey II.
The clous de Paris engravings of Piaget Reference 908 4C give it a masculine appearance, yet at the same time a generous dash of elegance. That is the true power of clous de Paris and the reason why it played an indispensable role in the Piaget collection of the early 1950s up until the 1980s. And you just might fall in love with it too.