Very nice indeed
I'd love a heads up if you decide to flip it ;-)
Well Micro, if you're an ebayer here's a list of European offers, so no duty risks etc. A couple around the same price Homer paid and a few "I've had a few drinks *hic*" prices, but if you're also signed up to a snipe site you could get a bargain. TBH I'm surprised how reasonable they actually are on the 'bay. Though that's common enough. There are some marques that are undervalued on the bay that go for more in specialist auctions, sometimes a lot more and conversely you get mad prices on some marques and models that are very much overvalued elsewhere. I'd be jumping on those earlier Seikos myself it could be both a nice collection and future investment.
Aside/Rant/Informative/Complete arse *delete as applicable* :)Of the undervalued vintage marques? Longines and Zenith pre war(WW2*) vintage stuff is crazily undervalued IMH(with the exceptions of Lindbergh Weems and Chronos). I'd even add Jaegar Le Coultre to that list though undervalued at a higher level compared to the Rolex, Omega and IWC nerds. Very few movements of the latter three get within spitting distance of the average JLC. Ask any old watchmaker and 9 times outa 10 they'll namecheck JLC as the "watchmakers watch".
It's a trend I've noticed for a while and it makes little sense, though it's a trend I've been quite happy about . Both have movements, cases and innovations that blow houses like Rolex, IWC and Omega right out of the water. Breitlings etc of that vintage? Not even within an asses roar. Longines for example have written records of each assembled watch they made going back to the mid 1800's. They also matched case and movement numbers from the very start so it's real easy to spot a marriage(almost no other marque did this). To give ye an idea of their previous status... I read of a New York Times survey in the 1920's IIRC that asked if price was no object which maker would their readers buy and nearly 90% said Longines. Today I reckon 1% would be closer and that's unusual in luxury goods. They also had the very first registered trademark in the watch world and their list of firsts in aviation, sport and other timing makes Breitlings claims look a bit daft and "imaginative". The more forward of the newbs today make all sorts of claims.
IWC are a case in point. They barely registered on the radar before the late 80's/early 90's**, but on the back of their advertising copy and PR and to give credit where it's due a few lovely watches over their years they've become mad money in the vintage market. Hell one of the few definitive histories of the company in book form barely mentions any of their wristwatches until the 1930's. They were more considered a pocket watch maker(which may explain why the order for Portuguese mariners wanting a pocket watch in a wrist case fell to them, even then in tiny numbers). Their first foray into wristwatches was for the most part as a general supplier of movements, not fully assembled pieces. I've yet to see an early IWC where their name was fired into the dial, they're always overprinted unlike Zenith, Longines and Omega. They had consumer recognisability. IWC defo did not. They even have the neck to suggest/claim they were the first to offer pilots watches in the late 30's. Eh no lads. It wasn't an IWC that graced Lucky Lindy's wrist across the Atlantic, or Amelia Earhart's for that matter, or Bleriots. Cartier a bit of a bling/eurotrash/ponce name today were the first to offer a pilots watch, the Santos. IWC came to that party about 20 years too late and in tiny numbers. Zenith were well ahead of them too. They have historical prizes and awards for accuracy that 90% of other marques could only dream about(inc Patek). I'd put good money down that a 1920's Zenith properly maintained and restored by an expert would equal or even beat even a modern Rolex o the "superlative chronometer" front.
So my currently "cheap"pick for the future? Pre WW2 Longines and Zenith. Maybe throw a couple of in house Movados into the mix. On another level... these names were big deals in the far east back in the day. Indeed the modern Longines branding seems to be aimed more at the Asian market in general. If said market keeps climbing as many believe then watch those names climb in value for vintage pieces. A few months back I saw a 1920's Longines with a Shanghai retailers mark on the dial go for 100 quid on the bay. That in my humble is a bloody bargain and investment. I reckon if you stuck that same watch into a Hong Kong Christies or Sotheby's horology auction you could add at least a zero to that figure. Just keep this among yourselves right?
*for the younger viewers.
** I was offered a couple of IWC watches in around '88 for a hundred quid and I turned them down. DOH! I and the seller considered them a small kind of OK maker, but that was about it and hardly worth a hundred quid. Colour me stupid.
Much wanted addition to my collection as I would tend to frequent mountainous areas on a regular basis.
I took this bad boy out in Wicklow yesterday and I am very impressed at the accuracy of the altimeter. It was bang on at a spot height.
Pics below, was trying out a new lens on camera so allow me some artistic freedom if you please
And from Sparrowcar's beaut showing where the leading edge is in the wristwatch of the present to back where it all started or damn close anyway
Ye may a few pages back recall reading/being bored to tears with a potted history of early 20th century wristlets. This Omega ad from the late teens was an example of some current designs.
Mostly round, one square and one odd tonneau-esque third one down on the left.
Well here's my recently arrived Longines version of that;
I've been looking a looooong time for one of these. Never thought I'd see a 20's one within my reach and budget never mind an even earlier one. The serial numbers all match and give a date of either 1909 or 1913. Yea. A century old. I've never seen this design that early.
It's 30mm across and 41 long not including the fixed lugs. Nickel silver hinged from the back case. Gorgeous movement and unusually it's got Cotes de Geneve stripes rather than the much more usual gilded finish on the plates. It's got Longines 15 Jewels baked onto the dial along with 3 gold stars. Never saw that before. Maybe denotes the better finished movement? I can report that over the last 36hrs it's kept ridiculously accurate time. Seconds here or there.
Now it has a couple of issues. The dial has a couple of hairlines, though you can bleach them out with denture cleaner of all things The hands are wrong too. Should come with spade or Breguet type to match the Breguet numerals. And it's got the wrong crown. Luckily the bloke who replaced it didn't trim the crown tube like they nearly always do. I've got hands that should fit coming in a few days and I've amassed a collection of early crowns(inc Longines) and one should fit it.
Price/winning bid? H Samuel/Argos money. 160 quid. Yea.
Well the Ruskie has arrived. Its a beauty and at 42mm I think the perfect size for my wrist. Makes the wait for the Speedy even more exciting.
The attached picture is not showing up for me Wibbs. Anyone else having that problem? Tried in IE and Firefox and 2 different internet connections(Handy thing about working in IT).
Fixed the original I reckon..
Any significance in the stars on that Longines, Wibbs?
Dunno TBH. I expect it means something. I've *edit* googled since and have seen it on other longines of the period and the revived the stars on the dials on some of their 50's stuff. The only guess I have at the moment is that it might refer to a higher level movement or finishing on same? Certainly the movement on that one has had more work than a similar movement I have in another early one. The finish on the plates is of a higher order as is the smoothing of the edges(anglage), even the jewels are "redder". Only a guess mind you.
Lovely watch. What is it in english? Sturmanskie?
Edit: just saw your earlier post. Doh! Lovely watch.
A bit of trivia:
Shturmanskie means navigator, stemming from the Dutch word Stuurman (German Steuermann) ...the guy who stands at the wheel and steers the ship. (or more precisely ...the navigator who tells the sailor at the wheel where to steer to)
Is supposed to have found its way into Russian because the tzar hired some Dutch sailors to train his navy
Shes a beaut...
Do you have a Lume Shot?
I'll try and post a picture later DT.