Here we go, everyone; Market Watch(ing) is once again live and kicking! Sometimes we end up with a theme, each of us picking somewhat similar watches. However, this week, the theme is “no theme”. That’s right, we’re all over the map and it’s awesome. No more wasting time, let’s get to the watches.
1961 Zenith Pilot Cal. 40
Vintage pilot watches come in many forms. While I traditionally think of IWC, Smiths, Brietling or others, it’s this Zenith that made me take notice right when I saw it. Immediately striking is the salmon dial, a color not often seen in pilots watches – let alone in this condition. It’s extremely sharp all around with no corrosion around the markers or hands. The case is not large but at 34mm it’s the right size for a vintage pilot watch. In addition, the 19mm lugs that extend decently beyond the case will help this wear quite well on the wrist. A minimal sub dial at 6 helps to round out this beautifully executed piece. The manual wind Cal. 40 has a long history and often comes up in the same conversation as the venerable Cal 89. It’s rare to see a 55 year old watch that looks this good, and at this price. Justin over at WatchSteez does it yet again, bringing us a very unique piece at a great value.
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11
Vintage Heuers are classic, however the modern TAG Heuer counterparts just don’t seem to have soul of the originals. One modern piece that still manages to draw me in, however, is the Monaco. Obviously this is because it’s such a faithful homage to the original. TAG stepped up their game recently with this release of the Monaco Calibre 11, which is a near identical recreation of the original. Nearly every aspect is true to the vintage Monaco from the blue color of the dial, the horizontal markers, crown on the left side of the case, and they even had the foresight to remove TAG from the dial. It still has the timeless looks and is a fraction of the cost of an original. Throw this on a vintage rally strap and you have a winner. It shows almost no wear but nothing some serious racing can’t fix! It’s what Steve McQueen would want.
Helbros Skin Diver
Continuing last week’s vintage diver theme, my first pick this week is an “invincible” dive watch known as a Helbros Skin Diver, and it comes from eBay. This is an unbelievably cool piece, with stark arrow hands, and it’s in terrific shape, with sharp looking lugs, and what I assume is the original bracelet, given how old it looks to be. According to my research, these Skin Divers are apparently quite rare, so to find one that looks to have been preserved nicely over the years, let alone one on a vintage steel bracelet, is a unique opportunity.
Every week, I try to stick to just watches from my daily searches, but these pamphlets and original brochures have a nasty way of making it into the roundup. What we’ve got here is an owner’s manual that would’ve been included in the sale of an Omega chronograph, much like the 2998 and other stunning references we see gracing this original document’s pages. Again, things like this are admittedly useless to the average collector, but if you’re focused on Omega chronographs, or you’re currently on a Speedmaster kick, I’m sure this would make a lovely addition to any focused collection. Oh, and, the seller says it’s ultra rare. The rarest, in fact.
Patek Philippe 5040G
It might sound insane to talk about value propositions when it comes to wristwatches that cost more than most people’s cars. But then again, here we are. The Keystone has a watch that caught my eye. IMHO, the Patek 3940 in white metal might be the perfect watch. Its size and wearability are virtually unparalleled, especially in a complicated watch such as a perpetual calendar. If I had one complaint vis-á-vis the 3940, it’s that you can’t have it with a black dial (as far as I know, and as far as your name isn’t Clapton or Singer). White metal 3940s run in the $40k range, generally speaking. This watch at The Keystone is a Patek Perpetual Calendar powered by the same 240-Q moment, in white gold…with a black dial. Now, the tonneau shaped case isn’t for everyone but I think that adds to the allure. On a raw piece of black cordovan this thing would just sing. Now, if you’re buying ANY piece of modern *ahem* “haute horology”, you really should be looking at watches with boxes and papers and all the ephemera like the little pusher thingy, and I assume that this watch is naked which may explain the sub $40k price a little bit, but I for one would like to get a little more information on condition and accessories as these things make a big difference in value.
Tudor Day-Date Linen Dial
You ever lust after a Rolex Day-Date in steel, and then realize they don’t make one? Well, I’m sure someone has. Luckily, little brother Tudor came to the rescue. Here we have one of Tudor’s Day-Date references, the 94510, with a sweet blue linen dial. Often times, Tudor DDs are seen with boring silver dials, but the blue linen here really sets the watch off. Throw in a bracelet, engine-turned bezel, and original papers, and you’re looking at a winner.
Harvard Clamshell Chronograph
Week in and week out, we remind everyone about our love for vintage chronographs, and here’s yet another. This time it’s a Harvard Clamshell. Rocking a Venus 175, a minty dial, and a minty waterproof case, this is one you don’t see too often. I do think it’s a bit overpriced, but hey, what do I know? Well, I’ll tell you what I know; I know you don’t have to be Harvard-smart to know this is a killer piece.
Gallet Two-Register Chronograph
I’m feeling a bit saucy today, so I’m stretching my picks out to three this week. Here we have a clean Gallet chronograph for not too many doll-hairs — 2,000 doll-hairs to be exact. With nice Gallets getting more and more expensive (thanks, Vrakas!), this one seems to be a solid deal. I love the marine chronometer style dial, especially the “open 6”, as well as the sharp case. The seller mentions that he thinks the case is plated and not stainless steel, but I don’t necessarily agree. If it’s a ’50s or ’60s watch, there’s no way it would still be coated base metal. At any rate, this one is worth consideration.by