Thursday, 24 April 2008

exploring something different ... chain and fusee & a quarter repeater

its not always about the getting the latest and greatest is it? so much hype and marketing baloney ramming all kinds of timekeeping monstrosities into our consciousness... of course there are nice watches too but have you seen what they are going for these days? prices have been on the up and up for the past couple of years with no signs of stopping...

fear not though, there are actually a lot of interesting watches out there with cool movements that won't cost you an arm and a leg... no they weren't on show at this years basel and sihh... i am talking about vintage pocket watches :) (these belong to the greater than 100 years variety)

before you zone out because like me you know how impractical pocket watches are in this day and age, thinking along the lines "if i cant wear it on my wrist what good is it?" fret not, i ain't hanging no pocket watch on me either, they just aren't practical (even the RM ones which look like a scorpion mated with an alien space ship)... but if recased in a wristwatch... hmmm things can get a little interesting... so i got on the hunt and found some nice acquisitions... exhibit a. got me one recased quarter repeater and exhibit b. a chain and fusee pocket watch movement sans case... and am loving having the 2 of em :)

the chain and fusee pocketwatch was from one of the frodshams...
english watchmakers

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looks like bicycle gears and chain?
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i like looking at it ticking aways :) still living and breathing after all this time...
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dial is in a reasonable condition...
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but its more of this that i like looking at... balance on hold...
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adjusting the time
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giving it more power... balance wheel in motion
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next one up... a little about the founder of the company... charles frodsham was a true independant watchmaker (not an engineer fiddling around with watches) the guy built a prize winning marine chronometer at 20!

my line here would be "if he was making marine chronometers for the british navy, he's probably a good enough watch maker for me" so i got me a recased quarter repeater with some real vintage value from charles' fine company :)

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After 1850, Charles Frodsham came out with a new ebauche and for the next 15 to 20 years all higher grade 3/4 plate watches bore the date code AD Fmsz. The code is formed by the sequence of the letters in Frodsham with a Z added to get the digit value 0... the other words on it are 'by appointment to the Queen', Cha Frodsham, 84 Strand and 07898... its about 120 years old and it still keeps great time and chimes fine (uh... ok, the chiming mechanism thinks its 6-7minutes faster than it is ie at 655hrs, it chimes the time for 700hrs... but i'm cool with it though..)

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the hammer is the thingy on the left side... it makes a pretty fine sound ;)
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simple and beautiful and pretty loud too ...
the repeater that is...

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oh and is the trend of watches of today ... ITS HUGE.
i mean its a pocket watch movement yuh :) not big for bigs sake
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one bad thing about pocket watches though is getting them serviced. finding someone good who won't kill you on the fees and for the repeater, the servicing charge for that may be something else altogether, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it...

Some history of the man and the company ;)

Charles Frodsham

Charles Frodsham (1810-1871) was a renowned watch and clockmaker. He took over Arnold & Co in 1843 at 84 Strand, London. The family business Charles Frodsham and Co. still hold the Royal Warrant as clock suppliers to the British Royal Family.

1810-1871

English clockmaker and chronometer maker.
Member of the Clockmaker Company.Free CC.1854. Master CC.1855. Son of William James Frodsham. Supplier to the British Royal Family (from 1854).

1830 (at the age of twenty)

Presentation of his first marine chronometer at the Greenwich Observatory competition where he won second prize.

1842

Establishment of Charles Frodsham & Co.

1851

Presentation of a ¾ platinum watch at the London Exhibition.
Construction of marine chronometers for the Admiralty.
Extensive research on the self-compensating balance wheel and spiral.

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Saturday, 19 April 2008

a underrated gorgeous watch ;) Two tone Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

got this last week and i must say that its GORGEOUS! bling it on :)

a watch legend
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hmm wonder if i should have gotten the s/s one...
naw, i like my two tone better :)

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my two Rolexes... no date no extra funky text submariner 14060m
and my cosmograph daytona 16523 18k and steel and absolutely bad ass ;)
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the actual zenith movement in my watch... cal 4030
pictures courtesy of the seller who popped the lid on this baby
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something so very wrong with this... harry winstons opus 8

its wrong on too many levels ... first off is the price. this watch is us$350k and it looks like a s$350 fossil / diesel watch or a vintage digital led style watch. the opus 3 done by the vianney was selling for $55k but hasn't been and will probably never be delivered but at least that price made sense. from an aesthetics standpoint, the opus 8 really won't do... in the looks dept the opus 5 is my fave of the series with urwerks satellite hands seen in the 201, 202 series urwerks... nuff said

to quote vizzini from the princess bride
"what on earth can that be?!"
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an amazing week ; )

stuff in the mail and some stuff i acquired... note all fp journes in the following photos are not mine :) jus some pics for now... full report over the weekend ... possibly

i love the journe resonance... it just resonates with me (sorry but i had to ;)
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curious pair... a zenith daytona two tone and a journe tourbillon remontoir?
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a daytona right after the revolution rolex antiquorum
auctions?
it cant be this lot can it?
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my first repeater :) my watches are singing to me now
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weak-kneed when i see this one... gorgeous
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my british "independent" :) with a royal warrant... watchmaker to the queen
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u guessed right if u're thinking pocket watches...
check out the balance wheel on that :)

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... and a nice chain and fusee mechanism
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more to come in time :) hope you enjoyed this quick post

Friday, 11 April 2008

not something one gets to see everyday... the origin... pre-vendome

the 5218-201A is the watch that started it all for panerai. it was the model that they came out with when they started to sell the watches to the general public, in the past only catering for the military. they originally sold for about S$3k when it was first launched and sold in 1993/4 ... it now goes for a lot a lot of money...to the tune of S$50k!! no unnecessary words on the bottom of the dial... nice logo on dial and caseback... tritium 3,6,9,12 and hands... the ultimate base... its panerai heaven

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yummy

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it has become a legend indeed ;)
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Tuesday, 8 April 2008

basel sihh 2008: i'll be nice... lets just say i was hoping for better...

another year and the basel sihh show rolls around again... what new fangled timekeeping art pieces will be on display? what new horological marvels will be coming out from switzerland (and other countries) over that few days when it seems all of watchdom hold its breath in anticipation for the next 'it' watch or the next 'wow i gotta get me one of those' pieces. well 2008 isn't looking good so far for this watch lover...

first off Rolex... many of Rolexes legion of fans were waiting for a supersized sub or sd and they got it... 42mm * 16mm is a big deal coming from the 40mm max in the past.

deep sea sea dweller ... with a lot of text all over (wassup wif dat?)
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this guy is thick too...
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and its.... crap... well at least in pics it is...
i'll reserve full judgment for when i see one in the metal but it isnt looking good
so far ..
ring lock system... right... why dont u fill up the whole ring with it...
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the new submariner with no increase in size...
i'll stick with the old one thank u very much. what a color...
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they did know how to make nice looking pieces in the past you know. evidence below even though i am more a fan of no date subs and sds...
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next Audemars Piguet... with a concept ceramic forged carbon monster watch...
i don't like it. the case and bezel are fine but whats with the stuff innit?
its just not for me. i expect most others to be oohing and aahing
over it but come on... look at it

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looks like 2 metallic kayaks/canoes on each side or something
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after this post saw the pics put up by anthony on the purists and ...
it looks much better in real life pics. mostly cause the kayaks arent so distinctive.

they're also coming out with a bunch of new ro chronos
which strangely remind me of daytonas
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speaking of which, rolex is coming out with a rose gold one... everose... whatever. something wrong somehow but i cant quite put my finger on it...
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i did see some interesting watches posted though and they were mostly from patek... one such piece below.
do check out the rest at the usual spots... purists tz etc.

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other dissapointments include grand lange 1 - why cant they get this right? panerais... sigh... tourby inhouse crappy fang power indicators... a lot of rubbishy looking independant watches and i must mention the gawdawful new opus by harry winston (another what were they smoking moment) and new companies on the scene that are selling design rip offs of more popular watches with trusty eta movements as a backbone to HUGE profit margins. a trick also learned from some of the bigger boys.

so thats all for now. hopefully better watches will be unveiled in time and if not, its ok, i will buy older or vintage pieces and I am not referring to the ones from iwc released this year... the jlc polaris 1968 reedition le though hmmm...


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