Thursday, 28 November 2013

things that make you go hmm.... the bulova accutron spaceview tuning fork watch

or things that hmm(and hum)... an interesting watch came in the mail recently thanks to eBay, a great platform to hunt for vintage finds although condition and price may range alot. anyways, i prize true innovation in watches... new radical(and nice to me) designs, new escapements(hopefully with some real chronometric/accuracy or reliability improvements), new complications that introduce wonder, new and interesting & cool ways of presenting time etc etc. and this timepiece is right up there in terms of innovation... 50+ years ago ;)
before it there was nothing... NOTHING like it. this was before quartz which came in '69 through Seiko yuh... a US watch company Bulova and a Swiss inventor Max Hetzel, gave birth to a watch that dumped the balance wheel for a 360Hz tuning fork and boasted an accuracy better than mechanical watches of the time at +/- 2 secs a day.
the world's first tuning fork watch, the bulova accutron spaceview

i sometimes tire of seeing folks post on the latest and greatest[well is the latest and supposed greatest that great to begin with? it's mostly heavy marketing fuelled bs] and the in your face 'i'm rich b**yatch' watches with little real significance. has horology become just about flaunting lux timepieces? it largely seems to be heading down that path in a hurry with the aid of social media and photo sharing services. i don't hold a strong disdain for it, having a kind of fine to live with it or without it mindset but i interestingly have taken a step towards being sucked into the quagmire of it all and succumbed to instagram. so if u r on that as well, you're most welcome to follow timetapestry :) i won't photobomb u i assure u as i look to do more photo or two a day kind of posts there.

i digress and i suspect i do it on purpose. kind of using(abusing) this space just a little to just say what i want to, however i want to... it's nice :) but a final photo of my new 'project' watch as it needs a bit of tlc and new bits to make it shine a bit more... i'm really liking it a lot as it is though :)
'i know it's not the right thing and I know it's not the good thing... but kinda i want to' kinda i want to ~ nine inch nails... lyrics popped into my head looking at this dirty machine ;)

a bulova ad from way back will explain things better...
resting as it hums and hums away...
 the time setting is interesting as it's set from the smaller circular thing on the back. when you lift the lever to turn it you can feel a good vibration...
so retrolicious and loverly
and that's it. will share more in future hopefully after it's been prettified a bit more :) cheers, raph

Monday, 11 November 2013

One Million Dollars(plus a lil bit more) For A Steel Chronograph Sports Watch... Rolex Daytona Paul Newman Sets a New Record at Christies 11 Nov 2013

No prizes for guessing what was on my wrist today(wristshot below :) but I had to use 2 hands to lift my jaw off the ground when I heard about the hammer for Lot 23 at the Christie's auction I posted about yesterday... 1million dollars(in my best Dr Evil impersonation) for a steel chronograph watch leaves me dumbfounded. so the terms tossed around a bit are 'irrational' 'over exuberance' 'crazy' and rightly so because a million for 1 steel chrono watch is simply amazing...

Lot 23: 6263/6239 Steel (Estimate: CHF200-400) Realised CHF989K model. The dial reads "Rolex Cosmograph Oyster" instead of the normal "Rolex Oyster Cosmograph"

Another noteworthy feature is the different font used for the Rolex designation on this dial. Compared to all other Paul Newman dials, except for a few rare dials made for ref. 6262 and 6264, the R is bigger and the serifs more accentuated. Beyond its graphical appeal, this feature enhances the value and desirability of this timepiece
Lot 8: 6239 18K YG (Estimate: CHF80-160) Realised CHF497K

Lot 14: 6262 Steel (Estimate: CHF60-120) Realised CHF395K

Lot 36: 16520 (Estimate: CHF10-20) Realised CHF56,250 - the piece that looks the most like what I have... pretty strong realised price but nowhere close to the self winding Daytonas... but may be in time... we'll see :)
Check out the rest of the auction results here... LINK

and my wristshot for today :)

From Christie's: Surpassing all expectations, ROLEX DAYTONA "LESSON ONE" –a prestigious single-themed evening auction featuring 50 exceptional examples of the world's most celebrated chronograph wristwatch, totalled SFr.12,032,850 /$13,248,167, selling 100% by lot and by value, at Christie's Geneva.

Created by Aurel Bacs to mark the 50thanniversary of Rolex most iconic model, this unique sale presented only the best and most mythical Daytona wristwatches ever produced.

The top lot of the evening was an extremely important stainless steel chronograph wristwatch, ref. 6263/6239, Paul Newman model, manufactured in 1969, which sold for $1,088,889
Aurel Bacs, International Head of Christie's Watch Department, commented: “Christie's first ever evening auction dedicated to wristwatches proved an unprecedented success. With four hundred people in the saleroom and plenty more queuing outside, I rarely experienced a similar rock concert atmosphere from the rostrum. Possibly the most rigorously curated watch auction ever staged, each lot was selected by Christie's watch department in partnership with Mr. Pucci Papaleo according to a disciplined approach to originality, condition and provenance. Setting 50 world records for 50 watches as well as achieving an absolute record price for any Rolex Daytona ever sold at auction, Rolex Daytona "Lesson One" will be remembered as an historical event”.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Hunt and Acquisition of The Rolex Daytona :) Quickie Review of the 16520

The Rolex Daytona is an iconic timepiece... nay a legen-wait for it-dary timepiece. From the earlier manual winding Valjoux powered chronos, to the first automatic chrono in their stable, reworking the zenith el primero. It has adorned the wrists of men and women with exceptional taste ;)


1963 - 623x, 624x & 626xs Newman Daytonas, Exotic Dials and some models not crazy popular watches in their day becoming hot vintage buys now
- Cosmograph. No Daytona on the dial initially. That came in 1964 onwards to denote Rolex's sponsorship of the 24hrs Daytona race in Daytona Beach, Florida.
- Valjoux 72 based calibre(there's a movement shot of this below). Diameter 36.5mm
- In the 80s because of the quartz invasion, Rolex just had to come out with a self winding chrono and so...

1988 - 16520 series launched: The 16520 was a highly popular series at launch and throughout its life with long wait lists(up to 5 years even) and people willingly paying premiums to jump the queue to own it. it wasn't surprising to hear some folks paying twice the retail price for them and it was(and still is) selling higher than the two tone(gold and steel) 16500 models.
- 4030 movement based off Zenith El Primero - hertz down from 36,000 to 28,800. Rolex said it was so that the movement could last longer between servicings. Escapement was changed to have a larger balance and has a Breguet overcoil balance spring and microstella fine adjustment screws (all for better accuracy)
- Mark I and II dials that are in the first series of the range have floating cosmograph i.e. there is a space between the cosmograph word and the 4/3 lines above
- late U series(1998) onwards started having the superluminova for the luminous bits. earlier dials also had more hash marks in the 30min register
- Dimensions: Lug width 20mm, Diameter 40mm. Bezel width 38.75mm, left side of the case to right end of crown 43mm. Thickness ~12.7 mm including crystal. Weight: 120g

2001 - 116520 series. no wait lists for these I would think and should be readily available at your nearby authorised or pre-owned dealer
- 4130 Rolex Manufacture movement. lesser parts than 4030, more part standardisation and easier serviceability (I wonder if it costs less to service based on this?)
- Parachrom hair spring: nice blue color(not that this matters yuh ;) and more anti-magnetic(this matters :)
- vertical clutch chrono reduces start stop jumps
- more solid bracelet and clasp
- running seconds at 6o'clock (vs 9 o'clock)

First some pics followed by my personal take on this piece

Mark IV dial which I believe is the most common. The sub-dials for some series have changed color over time and are referred to as patrizzi dials (after Osvaldo Patrizzi's mark IV sold at auction with this change. Mr Patrizzi was the previous head and founder of Antiquorum)

Applied white gold indices with Tritium for luminosity and white gold baton hands

hello beautiful... lovely silver subsidiary dial rings

3 dots under the crown signify triplock [has four o-ring seals(2 on the winding stem, 1 on the crown and 1 on the case tube) and are rated to 100m]

first thing you do when dealing with pre-owned Rolex is verify authenticity either at Rolex Service Centre or with trusted watch technicians... iphone shots of my watch movement as it underwent inspection

& it's legit! :) Cal. 4030, rhodium-plated, oeil-de-perdrix(read perlage) decoration, 31 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, monometallic balance adjusted to temperatures and 5 positions, shock absorber, self-compensating free-sprung Breguet balance spring, Microstella regulating screws

- Dial: Great placing of the sub-dials for the 4030 Daytonas. Nice matte-ish sub-dial rings and lovely white gold bacon... I mean baton markers ;) i personally find the 116520 black and white dial a bit too flashy and shiny in comparison with the 16520
- Case and bracelet: the case and bracelet is finished well with a mix of brushed and polished finishings. my version is the 78390 bracelet(polished centre links) with the 503B end links so it's non solid end links(SEL) which means it may rattle a bit when shaken
- Movement: COSC(Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) certified and for my piece of ~15 years still keeping excellent time. COSC standards - standard deviation rate of -4 to +6 seconds within 24 hours. COSC certification is given for watch movements tested for several consecutive days, in 5 positions and at 3 temperatures. Rolex is the manufacture with typically the most COSC certified movements annually 
- i would recommend folks to get a Rolex Daytona because many of the models are timepieces that can be with you for your entire life and passed on to the next generation similar to that other brand ;) for the all white metal ones, you will look good wearing them now, 10 years from now, 30 years from now and so on. note the same goes for other classic watches that are out there and is the reason they are called classic but some folks may argue about which are truly classic watches(hmm I feel another post coming on)
wristshot... the first of many to come :)

MkII no officially certified line on the dial went for S$20k at the 26 Oct 2013 Antiquorum auction. it was the one piece I had considered bidding on in my hunt for the 16520


Per Christies: What do Porsche’s iconic 911, Quentin Tarantino, the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong, the epic movie “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the MetLife Building in New York, the unforgettable “She loves you” from the Beatles and Roy Lichtenstein’s “Drowning Girl” have in common? They all celebrate their 50th birthday this year, in 2013. And so does Rolex’s most mythical chronograph, the “Cosmograph Daytona”.

“Rolex Daytona: Lesson One” is a sale created to celebrate this anniversary. Its purpose is to illustrate the history and evolution of the celebrated chronograph through some of the purest, most original and best preserved examples one could possibly find in collections around the world. Multiples of each model have been inspected, in order to determine which is the most beautiful and perfect to be retained. Some have actually, in their constellation and dial version, never appeared on the auction market before.

So what caught my eye? Sooo many Newman Daytonas... I think the first 30 lots are Newman Daytonas in some form or metal. and then 31 you have the 16520 floating cosmograph followed by other 16500 and 116500 Daytonas. Some pics of Daytonas I have taken from the past below some that will feature in this auction


sporty and classic looking

 6241 Gold Daytona (so called Paul Newman)... love love love the exotic dials...
the lovely Cal 722... a classic & beautiful column wheel chronograph movement...
one of the nicer 116500 models to me.. the YG 116528

paul newman, take a bow

 Cosmograph no Daytona on dial

the modern everose is lovely too... 

one day maybe? ;)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Antiquorum Auction Results 26 Oct 2013 HK Auction

so since my last post the question would be what did these watches go for? coming out from the only watch auction, where the unique titanium patek 5o04T from there did really well [sold for ~US$4mn], the rarer or more unique pateks from this last auction did well too. the view then is if you are buying these, which may likely be for investment purposes, is that there is a global market out there for 'em. not sure about during downturns though, but there are folks out there who are never poor even when the markets tank.

For some of the smaller and independent brands not so much love at the only watch auction. From the HK auction, I was eyeing some Rolexs but they went for a bit higher than i was hoping and I have a sense that those that are getting rarer(eg. moving further away from the year they were discontinued or not many popping up for sale) will see their prices steadily going up.

From Antiquorum:

The top lot of the auction was undoubtedly the Patek Philippe Ref. 5104P Platinum Minute Repeater Perpetual Retrograde Calendar Skeletonized (Lot 245). The very fine and rare wristwatch provoked an intense bidding war among telephone, online and room bidders and ultimately sold for a world record price of HKD6,210,000 including buyer's premium.

Sold for ~ US$801k [Estimate: USD 600,000 - 800,000]

Another outstanding timepiece presented in the sale was the Patek Philippe Ref. 3939 Tourbillon Minute Repeater with Special Dial in Pink Gold (Lot 246). The very fine and rare complicated wristwatch was highly sought-after by collectors. After intense competition, the exceptional timepiece sold for HKD5,550,000 including buyer's premium, a world record for the reference. 

Sold for ~ US$716k [Estimate: USD 600,000 - 800,000]
Attracting considerable attention prior to the auction, the Jaeger-LeCoultre 18K white gold wristwatch with flying tourbillon and sky chart (Lot 195) stirred an intense bidding war and eventually sold to an Asian collector at HKD2,310,000 including buyer's premium.

Sold for ~ US$298k [Estimate: USD 168,000 - 232,000]

"We are proud to continue to offer timepieces that are highly coveted by watch enthusiasts around the world," said Julien Schaerer, Auctioneer and Horological Director at Antiquorum. "We are especially thrilled by the world record results attained by the Patek Philippe Ref. 5104 and the Ref. 3939 in today's sale," he continued.

Other Patek Philippe timepieces also realized spectacular prices in the sale. A number of wristwatches inspired fierce competition, which demonstrated global collectors' passion for the brand. Among the collection of notable Patek Philippe wristwatches, the very fine Patek Philippe Ref. 6104G Celestial Diamond in 18K White Gold (Lot 237), a perfect combination of precision and magnificent dial design, sparked collectors' interest and sold for HKD$3,270,000 including buyer's premium. Another exceptional wristwatch with sky chart, a Patek Philippe Ref. 5102PR Celestial in Platinum and Pink Gold (Lot102), also did very well and achieved HKD$1,470,000 including buyer's premium

Sold for ~ US$422k [Estimate: USD 258,000 - 387,000]

for the full auction result news, check it here LINK

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