Through the keyhole
Yes, it is true! The more watches you see on IG from collector friends or dealers, the more difficult it becomes to get excited by watches offered by auction houses. Because most of the watches offered there are “mainstream”. OK, I know Omega Speedmasters have an interesting history and Rolex sports watches are super cool. But to be honest, watches like these have become rather boring for me. Are there really no interesting watches on auction that can surprise us?
Yes, they are still out there. That’s why I’m not give up and will continue to introduce special watches I get excited about. Subjectively, with a soft spot for aesthetics and watch history. After a creative break, tastitondi wakes up from a long (sorry) hibernation. As in the previous year, I will be presenting selected watches that are offered by the renowned auction houses.
The new season starts with “Watches of Knightsbridge” in London. WoK is known to offer watches with patina. Good for your bank account, but you should inform yourself about the technical condition of the watches.
Let´s start …
Universal Geneve “porthole”
No, this watch is not a “disco volante”, even if the author of the catalog text describes it that way. For me, there is no “disco volante” with visible lugs. The Italians have given these unusual watches from Universal Geneve the much nicer nick name “buco della serratura” (key hole). The case and lugs of the watch offered by WoK are made of 18k gold and are looking fantastic.
Of course, the black dial of the watch is very small, but with a diameter of 34.5 mm, the watch is very easy to wear with the right understatement. It is powered by UG inhouse Cal. 138 C (calendar) bumper movement. According to the serial number, the watch dates from the mid-1950s.
Omega “Marine” waterproof
The second watch is relatively small too. The Omega Marine is considered the first diving watch ever made. With its two-part case it is extremely interesting from a technical perspective and at least as important as the “Reverso”.
The waterproof double case was developed by Louis Alix’s. The watch movement, dial, and hands were contained in a rectangular section interior case. The interior case slid into a rectangular section outer case, the end of which contacted the gasket in the shoulder of the interior case, forming a water tight seal. A spring clip on the back of the outer case held the two parts of the case together. The clip was necessary to provide the initial seal between the inner case, the gasket, and the outer case, but as the watch was submerged, the air pressure inside the case would remain constant. The offered “Marine” is a second series watch, which was offered from 1935 with 19.4 T2 movement.
British Military”Dirty dozen”
Collecting watches without a risk? Without the hunt for the next hidden treasure, without the frustration of the lost opportunity and without the euphoria when you finally find a rare, long-awaited addition to your collection? Actually unthinkable for me! Because the search is, as for many watch lovers, an existential part of collecting.
One of the most demanding tasks a watch collector can face (in addition to my miserably failed attempt to collect all Valjoux movements) is the search for the “dirty dozen”. Twelve military watches from different manufacturers, all ordered by the Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) in the 40s, during World War II. WoK is offering the full set. So if you have the money and want to shorten the hunt, that might be your chance.
Otherwise you may need a long breath, a damn long breath. At least when you are looking for an all original Grana (only approx 1,500 watches were delivered) or Vertex …
Just if you promise to come back, follow this link to a well-written article at “Collected man” that give you more details about the “dirty dozen”.