Inside Grand Seiko With the evolution of the spring drive movement. This is a short video from Hodinkee where they took a trip to the Seiko factory and see how the spring drive is made. The Grand Seiko range is the high end models of Seiko, ranging from £3,000 to £20,000, there is plenty of Grand Seiko lovers and more than likely they are great innovated watches just never got them unfortunately. I just always felt the Brand is lower end of the market but it seems not as the Seiko followings is huge! I will always be Rolex chap through and through was my first love.
Hands on With Tudor black bay Heritage S& G M79733N-0002, this piece was launched at Basel 2017 part of Tudor Divers range. Tudor are sister company to Rolex so its a Rolex but with Tudor Logo Branding etc… The Vintage Tudors have rocketing in polarity in last 10 years folk must have decided what a great looking watch they are, I especially love the 1970’s Tudor Monte Carlo it might cause the older models are Rolex signed!
The Tudor black bay is a great selling diving watch for the price over half off compared to Rolex diver models, this one is new to the range and brought back the 18k gold and stainless steel look for Tudor fans. The case size is 41mm with a 18k Gold bezel and crown with a Matt dial, gold hands that houses a Calibre MT5612, water resistant to 200m with a full matt finish on the riveted style bracelet.
The Tudor has a lot of old and new designs that came together and this is the end product which I think works really well. The gold on the bracelet is 18k rolled Gold a process where gold is rolled around steel links so it is not solid gold centre links like Rolex Submariners. I do believe the Bezel is solid gold as well as the crown.
The watch wears really great wrist presence you can feel the Rolex quality. I found it very difficult to bond with, as I have had Bi-metal Rolex Submariners, Gmts, daytonas etc… But great watch for the money if you want a nice big divers gold and steel watch with Rolex Heritage. A great first watch if looking to buy a piece and Rolex is just out of your reach.
Hands on with the Breitling Superocean 44mm A17391, sticking with the Breitling theme this was a watch I had a short while back nice chunky lump of metal, automatic movement Breitling Calibre 17 power reserve of 42 hours. The Superocean is water resistant to 2000 metres which is great if you need a divers watch to dive to them depths not sure how many people actually use watches for the intended purposes. Breitling’s tend to have a lot of pilots watches, seem to do a fair few dive watches too but they do all have AR coated glass for Anti-reflection in the sun.
The superocean case is polished and brushed bracelet and the case size is 44mm featuring a black baton 1-6th Arabic numeral dial housing a date aperture at 3 O’clock surrounded by a black aperture square and a black rubber uni-directional divers bezel. The bracelet is the pro 2 version which the pro 1 was awful hated that version Breitling must have realized that and brought a new version out hence the Pro 2 which is far nicer finish etc.
The current model diver Breitling’s all have a Pro 3 version bracelet which is even nicer again. The watch overall wears really well and is great value for money especially pre-owned secondhand market would say a great edition for a first nice watch.
Hands on with Breitling Avenger 2 Seawolf Ref A17331 this a big chuck of dive watch courtesy of Breitling a current model you can buy in the shops. The Avenger 2 Seawolf is a true divers , watch is water resistant to 3000 metres / 10,000Feet which is a long way down for any watch to go. But not like Rolex deepsea Challenge standards 12000 metres but still very good as a third of the price of the Rolex Deepsea 116660.
The avenger is mainly brushed steel and small areas polished, the bezel is nice brushed satin with luminova top 60 marker, the dial is very nice shade of black called Volcano Black. The size of the case is 45mm on the pro3 bracelet which is Breitling’s latest version of double locking bracelet. The movement is in-house Calibre 17 Automatic, a great piece for the money big, thick, tool watch for everyday use always love Breitling’s for the money.
Breitling always be good value watches for pre-owned market as not every one has big bucks to buy Rolex’s, Patek Philippe, AP etc…. Omega have a lot of similar priced watches too.
Some of the 2017 Watches That Created a Buzz, 2017 had some great new arrivals at Basel that collectors went out to get collecting watches is becoming a more popular hobby in recent times. The first one I feel created a storm was The Rolex Sea Dweller Red Writing unfortunately still waiting for mine and hoping to see mine early in 2018. So here is a video from Hodinkee.
1. Rolex Sea Dweller 126600
2. Rolex Sky Dweller 326934 Stainless Steel stunning Blue Dial comes in six variants, three in 18k Gold & Steel plus three in stainless still with 18k white gold bezel. These are becoming very hard to get at Rrp waiting lists running in to years already, you can see why the blue steel one is gorgeous another one still waiting to get a phone call from Rolex AD!
3. Omega 1957 Trilogy Editions a blast from the past three re-editions of vintage classics to suit all tastes. Omega never been short of producing Limited Editions pieces over the years. They consist of Speedmaster, Seamaster, Railmaster made in numbers of 557 for the set of 3 at Rrp around £16000.00 and 3557 produced in individual pieces totally over 10,000 which i felt is too many. Great editions for Omega Lovers.
4. Tag Heuer Autavia Re-edition came from the classic vintage version which was a greatly loved piece, I do love the vintage Autavia really have some great pieces.
5. Tudor Black Bay Heritage S&G was new edition to Heritage range, 18K Rolled gold and steel a lot of watch for Rrp of £3580 which are not easy to find in Tudor dealers was very lucky to get one.
All in all some great watches in 2017 lets see what Basel 2018 brings!! Happy New Year 2018
Watch Spotting: Richard Hammond receives his treasured Rolex Sea Dweller back after the fire ball crash in the Rimac concept one on series two of The Grand Tour. The second series kicked off a few weeks ago with the 3 stooges Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May with some watch spotting which part of the show all 3 handed each other a holiday gift, Jeremy hands Richard is Sea Dweller in glass case saying made in Switzerland pictured below that had survived the crash.
The car Richard was driving in the up hill climb in Switzerland was a Rimac Concept One 220mph full electric powered made in Croatia. The back end of the course Richard lost control and flipped the electric super car which in turn burst in to flames. The watch as you can see survived as Richard did, which I am sure Richard will always rememeber the crash when looking at the time on his Rolex Sea Dweller 16600. I think the Rolex may need to go off the Rolex for a full service and health check all thou it was noted was working when handed to Richard shows how strong and robust the sea dweller is that model was discontinued around 2008 /9 a great watch to have in any collection. The Sea Dweller was never loved by Rolex fans as much as the Submariner but in recent years folk are starting to really to take to them.
Hands On With Omega Speedmaster Chronograph Co-Axial 3126.96.36.199.01.002 44.25mm, this is one of the nicest watches I have owned in the Speedmaster range it unfortunately does not come under the standard Moonwatch as its a automatic not manual wind. But this model came out a few years ago they first introduced a 42mm version around 6 / 7 years ago, and this speedmaster came from the latest version of the Planet Ocean 45mm. The watch in a nut shell is a Planet ocean movement 9300 put in a speedmaster 44mm case both chronograph watches around 45mm with a see through caseback so its cater for the speedy lovers with size of a Plant Ocean!!
The Speedmaster 44.25mm in stainless steel with sapphire glass and sapphire caseback with a matt black dial with date function at the bottom, the infamous Omega tachymetre bezel and comes on the newer style Speedmaster bracelet. The watch is a stunning piece great size and great presence on the wrist due to size, I have always been a sucker for Moonwatch but this one took me by surprise and bonus of automatic movement which the Moonwatch does not have.
The Moonwatch is thee watch of all the speedmasters cousins of cousins DNA, I would not like to say how many where produced and still being produced in the Speedmaster range that’s with without the special editions and limited editions. But prices of Omega are getting ridiculous these days they used to be very well priced and value for the money pieces. This Speedmaster is a eye watering £5840 and the secondhand re-sale is good but not as good as the king “Rolex” which dominates every market for re-sale value and is number one brand to own and want. I love Omega but love Rolex more!!
Rolex Gmtmaster II 16710 Coke Bezel “Stick Dial” as the title says this a classic from Rolex designed for pilots back in the 50’s and still go strong today probably much more loved than ever!!
The Gmtmaster has a long standing history which I will briefly make a few pointers on. Gmtmaster always aspired to pilots, cause of the functionality of the watch, 2 time zones for flying to countries and keeping track of local time. The Gmtmaster in-brief history all started with model 6542 which was a modified Rolex Turn-o-Graph (Ref 6202) with mods to the movement and bakelite Glowing bezel which rotated and that model is very rare and collectible today and was first seen in the James Bond Film GoldFinger on the character Pussy galore.
The Gmtmaster has had plenty of changes over the years since the 1950’s the firsts ones had gilt dials and used radium on the hour plots that glowed in the dark which still glow today 60 years on, as Radium is radioactive material but was used in small amounts of course. Then in the 60’s Rolex moved on to matt dials with Tritium on the hour plots instead of radium which they used all the way up to 1999 and then moved on to Luminova which is used to present day.
The Gmtmaster charm is still there thou prices souring especially the really old vintage pieces after the 6542 came the 1675 which production run from 1959 to 1980 which was Matt dial with Tritium hour plots. The hacking feature started around 1971 hacking feature is the second stops on pulling the crown out as previous models the seconds hand run continuously when changing the time, after the 1675 came the 16750 model came with Matt dial also tritium plots with hacking feature which Rolex rolled out also the quickset date change. The older models never had this feature so date changing was a pain to correct the date. But this model was transitional model where the rare early ones where matt dial then later ones glossy dial with tritium hour markers with white gold surrounds.
The next model was 16760 Gmtmaster II and was the first Gmtmaster II sapphire crystal, quickset date change, but with a fatter case and know as “fat lady” due to the fat case, The next model was 16700 Gmtmaster which launched same time as the 16710 Gmtmaster II around 1988 but was cheaper version supposedly!
The 16710 Gmtmaster II which run for around 20 years and was the modern classic in every way Coke Bezel, Pepsi Bezel, Black Bezel etc… This particular one has a error on the dial which makes it special, the II on the dial after Gmtmaster has the top lines of the I missing and is seen on some dials between 2002 and 2007 upto when Rolex introduced 116710 Gmtmaster II Ceramic. Some of the later stick dials have the new 116710 movement which are thought to be rare to have hold of.