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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
And now the Russians...


The first one is dear to my heart, 'cos it's a ca. 1962 vintage Strela 3017. And when researching "which Strela to buy" I read a bit too much history, and what I read struck a chord.

Whatever Omega might have to say on the matter, *this* was the first chronograph in space. And it was on the wrist of a personal hero of mine, Vladimir Komarov, when he boarded Soyuz One knowing well it was a death trap. *His* death trap. And why did he do that? Because if he hadn't he knew fine well Yuri Gagarin would have taken his place, and he couldn't be having *his* hero die on that trip. Ironically, Gagarin died less than a year later in a training jet accident.

This example is looking a bit faded after sitting for god know's how many decades in someone's bedroom drawer, but at least it's all original; a hell of a lot of 3017s that come up for sale are woefully unoriginal, so beware if you ever delve into those waters.







Vostok Amfibia 1967 (special edition), bought after contemplating a more modest Scuba Dude. But the simplicity of the dial and the 1960s vibe of the bracelet called out to me. The watch is built like a tank, and very well built too. The usual Vostok fare is, erm, built down to a price. But it seems that Vostok wanted to show the world what it could do at a higher price point.

But one or two of the Vostok hallmarks remain, such as the wobbly crown and the workhorse 2416 movement.







And the other Russians? Well, I struggled with the Sturmanskie Sputnik for months before giving up on its bulk. And the Raketa 24hrs were so flimsy that I didn't dare wear them on rainy or snowy or dusty days. Or sunny. Or during daylight hours. And I might knock 'em against something at night.

For now, the Russian watch book is closed.

Ric
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
The Germans...


Stowa Flieger Auto COSC, my wife bought this for me back in 2009 as a birthday present, but not before I'd spent plenty of internet hours deciding which "flieger-style" watch I wanted, having discounted the IWC Pilot Mark XVI due to its ridiculous cost.

This acquisition was the opposite of out of the frying pan and into the fire as I now believe the Stowa to be far more authentic to its Beobachter Uhr heritage than the IWC. I asked for the COSC version naively thinking (those were my pre-WIS days) that I'd notice a difference in accuracy. Yeah, right.

Anyways, this watch is a sterile, functional, no-nonsense time keeping instrument that does it's job day or night due to the clarity of the dial and hands and the powerful lume at night. It's... cool.





Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope, bought from a dealer in Ulm, Germany. Which is apt as Ulm is the city where Max Bill set up his Bauhaus design school.

What can I say? This is easily my most photogenic watch. All the pickies below were taken the day after I bought it using my iPhone 4S, and the bloody watch is so very pretty that I've never seen the need to refresh the photos (using Frau Capucho's Leica C, which has a dynamite macro function) as I like to do from time to time. Look at the font used for the numbers; as designed by Max Bill himself. Now look at the date window. See? It's the same font. Such attention to detail...

Why the Chronoscope? Well, the 38mm Max Bill Auto would have been more authentic, I know. But by the time I bought this I knew that duplicated watches don't get worn. So while there maybe a black dialled Max Bill Automatic in the future, this one will have to do for now. I'll suffer...











Stowa Landeron 248, bought off Ebay last year on a drunken whim. Why? 'Cos it's a Stowa and a Chronograph and vintage, and I already had a modern era Stowa, so why not. Hic.

The Ebay photos were terrible, so I had little idea what I'd bought until it arrived. And wow, what *had* I bought? The goldplating was tarnished, but polished up nicely, and 30 minutes with Polywatch (watching Top Gear, I remember) cleaned up the domed acrylic crystal, and that's when I properly saw the dial and hands for the first time. Either tortoise shell, or tortoise shell-effect, I think.

Draw your own conclusions, but I thought it was stunning. Still do.





That's it for Germany, but there'll be more to come as money becomes available (and the years pass). Nomos? Glashütte Original? There're "Watches of Germany" type stores in Frankfurt and Munich airports that keep me occupied during transfers. Plenty to drool about.

Ric
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 · (Edited)
The Brits are coming!


1959 vintage Smiths De Luxe. Bought cheaply on a whim because I liked the dial on the Ebay auction. The watch is in *great* physical condition, but turned out to be running ten minutes fast per day... so off it went to my tame watchmender... and it's been there for months, so should do something about asking for a progress report.



1953 vintage Smiths De Luxe. A nice little thing, a more importantly still a De Luxe, as it was a Smiths De Luxe that Edmund Hillary wore on his wrist when he ascended Mount Everest that year. And a Rolex Explorer on his other wrist. And maybe yer another brand on his ankle, I don't know.







1977 vintage Timex GB Sprite. The original was lost in a sandpit or whatever decades ago, but this is the same model as my dear old mum bought me for a childhood birthday. A tiny lickle 30mm thing, it is, but big enough for a junior's wrist. The date complication is a horror as there's no shortcut... yer just have to wind wind wind it forward until the right date appears. Lord help yer if you wind it a day too far, because it'll then need another trip around the block.



There were a couple more Timex Sprites bought while trying to pin down exactly *which* version was my childhood watch (sniff, sob). I gave one to my middle son, who promptly lost it at school. And t'other is lost somewhere in my oldest boy's bedroom.

Ric
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
The Americans...


I watched Chris Vail mobilise his Lew & Huey watch brand dream from the sidelines, and even put myself down for his Riccardo, but when I saw the renders and then the prototype for the Acionna I switched in a heartbeat. I pestered Chris to sell me the prototype of the white dial, and a while later got the black dial.

I live these watches, love how they wear, love how they look, and love how strong they are. Vintage diver looks without the vintage diver fragility.

Highly recommended.





Ric
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
And finally, we have the Swiss...


Ca. 1969-70 vintage Omega Seamaster 120 (model reference 166.088), my most recent acquisition and according to Frau Capucho, "my most recent acquisition" for the foreseeable future.

The watch is a beauty, its looks hailing back from the heyday of 1960s design that established their reputation that fuels today's zillion dollar Swiss mechanical watch industry. This example was bought off a Geneva dealer, and is in remarkable shape. Not NOS, but definitely unworn for decades.

The watch dazzles me (yeah, I'm a lost cause) with its combination of ministry case, full-sized bezel, the deep dial, and of course that little blue second hand. I *love* this watch. The downsides are few and easily ignored: the bezel is bidirectional, so inappropriate for diving, and the screwdown crown unscrews alright, but it's a bit of a fiddle to click it between its date and time setting positions. Other than that, it's good to go.









I sold on the Baume et Mercier 18k because I hadn't worn it since the Stowa Flieger arrived in 2009 aand watches are to be *worn*. Right?

And that's it for the Swiss. For now. Because I really do believe that Swiss design had something very special going for it during its 1960-70s golden age, and the likes of Rolex, Omega and Heuer (there are many more) created iconic designs that remain in production (or replicated in the designs of their modern models) to this day. But why should I pay $5,000+ for a modern Swiss watch of an "iconic design" when I can spend more or less the same money on the original icon itself? So expect to see me acquire a number of 1960-70s vintage Swiss icons as time, opportunity and *funds* allow (Frau Capucho says they won't allow).

Ric
 

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The Germans...


Stowa Flieger Auto COSC, my wife bought this for me back in 2009 as a birthday present, but not before I'd spent plenty of internet hours deciding which "flieger-style" watch I wanted, having discounted the IWC Pilot Mark XVI due to its ridiculous cost.

This acquisition was the opposite of out of the frying pan and into the fire as I now believe the Stowa to be far more authentic to its Beobachter Uhr heritage than the IWC. I asked for the COSC version naively thinking (those were my pre-WIS days) that I'd notice a difference in accuracy. Yeah, right.

Anyways, this watch is a sterile, functional, no-nonsense time keeping instrument that does it's job day or night due to the clarity of the dial and hands and the powerful lume at night. It's... cool.





Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope, bought from a dealer in Ulm, Germany. Which is apt as Ulm is the city where Max Bill set up his Bauhaus design school.

What can I say? This is easily my most photogenic watch. All the pickies below were taken the day after I bought it using my iPhone 4S, and the bloody watch is so very pretty that I've never seen the need to refresh the photos (using Frau Capucho's Leica C, which has a dynamite macro function) as I like to do from time to time. Look at the font used for the numbers; as designed by Max Bill himself. Now look at the date window. See? It's the same font. Such attention to detail...

Why the Chronoscope? Well, the 38mm Max Bill Auto would have been more authentic, I know. But by the time I bought this I knew that duplicated watches don't get worn. So while there maybe a black dialled Max Bill Automatic in the future, this one will have to do for now. I'll suffer...











Stowa Landeron 248, bought off Ebay last year on a drunken whim. Why? 'Cos it's a Stowa and a Chronograph and vintage, and I already had a modern era Stowa, so why not. Hic.

The Ebay photos were terrible, so I had little idea what I'd bought until it arrived. And wow, what had I bought? The goldplating was tarnished, but polished up nicely, and 30 minutes with Polywatch (watching Top Gear, I remember) cleaned up the domed acrylic crystal, and that's when I properly saw the dial and hands for the first time. Either tortoise shell, or tortoise shell-effect, I think.

Draw your own conclusions, but I thought it was stunning. Still do.





That's it for Germany, but there'll be more to come as money becomes available (and the years pass). Nomos? Glashütte Original? There're "Watches of Germany" type stores in Frankfurt and Munich airports that keep me occupied during transfers. Plenty to drool about.

Ric
Lovely Milanese strap on the max bill. May I ask where you purchased the replacement strap? I’d love to give it a try on my max bill.
 

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you do know the last post is from 2014?

still, Ric’s 166.088 is the best thing that ever happened around here.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Oh lordy, who dug up this thread?
I can tell you who it wasn't. It wasn't that poor bastard you crippled on the train.

By now he's no doubt shuffled this mortal coil for the great ski chalet in the sky...
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 · (Edited)
Dunno why, but for some reason I switched from avid poster to avid lurker around the end of 2014.

It may be that as my collection went a bit up market I started to feel a bit fraudulent ‘ere in the Affordables forum. Pickie below shows that most of me stuff is far from affordable in any real sense.

The Max Bill and Omega Seamaster 120 were the first warning signs that my wife would have done well to heed. Soon after yer faithless correspondent from the alps sold off a bunch of chinese watches (and gifted the rare vintage ones to a museum in Canada) and crunched my collection to the bare minimum.

Well, bare minimum for a WIS but far from minimal for anyone rational. Nevertheless, one considered this the blank canvas upon which my new direction would develop like a phoenix from the wastes. Hmm, that sentence is a triumph of mixed metaphors.

And what was that new direction? Well thanks for asking. I’d decided that instead of going to one of the understandably plentiful watch dealers in these parts to pay a tonne of money for a modern recreation of whatever classic watch design that made a particular brand famous in the first place, I might as well pay more or less the same amount for the vintage original.

So I was up for a vintage Rolex Sub, and decided not to spend a penny on nowt until (a) I’d gathered the necessary welly together and (b) I’d done any online research necessary to ensure I’d not be one of the many first time Rolex buyers who end up with a re-dial. Took about two years, all in all, and I finally got myself a Sub 5513 from around 1966. How much? Don’t ask. Not even in private, ‘cos I can’t risk my wife finding out the truth. I love the watch, love how it wears on a nato, and especially love watching the values climb beyond any bounds of good sense.

Next came the Zenith El Primero A386, of around 1969, which I bought off a guy in Newfoundland. It had... issues, but came at a sensational price a few thousand shy of its theoretical value because I suspect the newfie chap had costed out with some newfie Zenith dealer what resolving those issues would require in terms of canadian dollars. Those few thousand, I’d guess. But upon receiving said watch, yours truly handed it over to my most trusted, valued and yea indeed, worshipped tame watchmender. A few weeks later, and keyless works, chrono function and time keeping were all spot on and I left the shop shy of a grand. So a most happy ending. The watch is fast becoming unobtainium, especially as Zenith are trying to go all “keep it scarce” Rolex on us using this very design as their corner stone.

Then a gap of years, until I saw the Longines on Youtube and wanna wanna wanna. The first new watch I’ve bought in many years.

The Omega Speedmaster Pro was the most recent arrival; a bit of lockdown therapy for yer man. Now if you ever wanna fall down a rabbit hole of vintage online research, then a hankering for a speedy is a great place to start. Yea gods, what was Omega smoking at the time? They switched and changed and detailed and redetailed their moonwatch smash hit countless times between around 1967 to 1970. And my word, we have speedy collectors that laugh and point at anyone who buys a watch with this or that dial or movement. And the bloke wot sold it to me (at a nice discount due to the covid panic early last year) told me, I kid you not, that this is the very watch that Mike Collins wore all alone while Armstrong and Buzz were walking down below on the moon.

Oooh, and at the time he was literally the loneliest bloke ever as he was 250 thousand miles from Earth and tens of thousands from the boys below.

So yeah, I’m now a speedy nerd. Mine’s a 145.012-67 which means a stepped dial, 321 movement, DON of course, hippocampus caseback, spear chrono hand and applied logo. And if you understand any of that then yer as lost as me.

Omega have just relaunched their modern speedy, and in many ways it’s now almost identical to mine, so ironically most of those post 1967 incremental changes have been undone. Of course that doesn’t stop some in the Omega forum from frothing at the mouth.

Next? Well, I do have a couple of nexts lined up but as usual they’re both in the ballpark of ten grand. Shall take a few years to get them, and that gives me time to rehearse the necessary misinformation to feed Frau Capucho.

Ric, innit.

 

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Your contributions have been missed, Ric.
 

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Good to see you're still around mate.
Any chance of picces and thoughts on the Longines sector please. Been on the radar for some time. Seems a bit on the big side from your group shot.
 

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I opened this tread just to say Ric used to be fairly famous around these parts but I have not seen him in a while ...

... and here he is ;) .
 

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The updated collection is superb! All very nice, but that Zenith looks great on a well chosen strap.
 

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The updated collection is superb! All very nice, but that Zenith looks great on a well chosen strap.
Godfrey

I was thinking about your last post. Your collection may have moved upscale, but some of the ones to the far right would still be accepted as your invitation to an F71 block party!

So exercise that invitation and feel free to post anytime. Always did provide great thoughts that were fun to read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 · (Edited)


Right, that Longines Legends Classic.

I saw a Youtube review by a quirky yet informative and informed youtuber Watchadvisor. The chap is Austrian, has a cracking accent, and as he’s been a watch magazine reviewer for decades, he can walk through doors and shake hands with people that others can only dream about. Maybe Hodinkee, but no one else I can think of.

Anyways, I highly recommend his channel.

This sector dial watch is formally known as the Longines Legend Classic, and is available to order at any AD. It’s not a limited edition, but you’ll have to wait, mind, as the watch is far too WIS for anyone to seriously holding it as stock.

So, it’s a modern yet faithful interpretation of a classic Longines sector dial watch wot they used to manufacture in the 1930s. That was a teeny weeny 33mm thing, but it did ooze with period chic; like some bauhaus bloke had an affair with an art deco lady, and, in between cigarettes and visits to the bedroom, they penned out this thing between them. The main difference between old and new is size, as it’s now 38.5mm.

How faithful is the rest of the design? Well if we ignore the caseback which is the usual messy etched affair, the dial is almost perversely identical. Lemme explain that; the original 1930s watch had a small seconds like every other watch of its day, but the arc of the small seconds overlapped the overall sector dial enough to even clip the upper half of the number six; which is one of those things you don’t notice until yer notice it, and then yer can’t unsee it again. Back in the day that was probably a design versus cost thing as moving the pinion of the small seconds to a different location was likely an expensive exercise at the time, even back in the day when watch brands seemingly cooked up a new movement over a wet and windy weekend. Resizing the arc would have compromised the balance of the dial, so they went for the lesser compromise. And then back to bed.

So there is was, compromised, Thus, there it is, compromised.

The rest is copy and paste: the numbers tilt with their orientation. The black painted sectors markers and sector lines area all present and correct. The dial itself is silver except for the white that isn’t white area within the central arc. Scaled up crown, nicely sized. Those hands are blued and, erm, that’s it.


Pickie nicked from the Omega Forums.

Oh yeah, the case. Hodinkee make much of the fact that it’s fully brushed, looking much like a puck of aluminium; seems the reviewer would have preferred partly or fully polished. But I think those aesthetics were established in the 1960s and 70s by the sport watch revolution, but this watch effectively harkens back to an era yonks before any of that. And anyways, bauhaus means industrial, so there.

The automatic movement? Dunno much, solid case back so no eye candy. Longines call it a Calibre L893.5, others call it an ETA A31.501, and I personally don’t give a stuff. It ticks at 25,200 bpm and has a 64 power reserve which ain’t bad at all.

Some reviewers moaned about the straps. I went for the black, others may prefer the blue to match those blued hands, but I warn you that blued hands only look blue from certain angles, and as black as midnight from others; which is how yer tell the difference between blued hands and blue hands.

One digresses, as one so often does.

Oh yes, the straps; they’re thin, so yet more moaning. But again, think back to the 1930s. Did they use thick leather straps in the so called “vintage style” back in the day? Nah, because we have a modern view of vintage that pretty much stops looking further back when we land on the original Submariners. The straps of the era looked like that, so I reckon the straps as supplied are period correct.

So, enough about the watch, what about me?

I’ve spent years umming and ahhing about a sector dial. I’ve been fixated on a certain out of production yet magically still twenty grand Patek Philippe Calatrava that I’ll never be able to afford; perfect perfect perfect, ouch ouch ouch. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I’ll arm myself with a machete to survive long enough to find one.



I occasionally flip flopped to the alternative Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control Date which is “only” a third of the price of the Patek but as so often with Jaegers, has a far too thick to be well balanced bezel. Pickie below, nicked from the web, see for yerself. Nice dial, shame about the case. And those syringe hands. Oh, and that bloody crass date window replacing the three that’s essential to balance that dial.

So basically, a not so poor man’s Calatrava.



So after years with the sector dial aethetic playing pong pong inside my head, I saw that Longines review, and knew immediately what I was looking at; a classic and authentic sector dial design with much of the balance of the Patek, but none of the heavy handed Jaeger bezel nonsense. Yes, it’s inherited the small seconds compromise from its forebear, but even that’s cheerfully authentic.

So around November 2019 (just a whisker before covid descended upon us) I took a couple of hours off work, sat on a tram down to Zürich’s Bahnhofstrasse, which is where every Swiss watch brand worth talking about has a brand-dedicated boutique, walked into Longines, and committed meself to a new CHF 2,000 watch. A week later I collected it.

A rare event when vintage watch addict Capucho actually buys himself a brand new watch with box and papers and price tags and a nice paper bag to put it all into, and a cheery smile and wave goodbye from the nice lady at Longines.

Ric, innit.
 
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