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The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Brei

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.

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  1. DerangedGoose

    DerangedGoose Senior member

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    Thanks guys! It was the rocket ship hands that made me curious about figuring out how to calculate what time the hands on a watch would line up (its a fun little math teaser). I tend to go for a little bit more obscure stuff, its nice to be able to take the time and explain why. Honestly, I think the 60s and 70s were some of the best times for watch design. Manufacturers were not afraid to push the boundaries, and while some of the designs may have failed, even the more unique ones retain a certain timeless elegance of proportion that reminds me of Art Deco, in a way. I love the idea of a novel shape executed in a sparse, purposeful way. Very clean

    Thanks for the kind words! It took me FOREVER to find it, scouring hundreds and hundreds of auctions, emailing sellers repeatedly to ask what size the case was (this is a NO BRAINER! Why dont people post this in their auction? Do they think they are going to fool someone when a 34mm watch shows up and disappoints them?) and sometimes pass up otherwise attractive watches when I couldnt get a straight idea on their size.

    South America (where my Longines came from) has an interesting history with Swiss manufacturers. Oftentimes, movements and dials were repurposed into domestically produced cases as a way to avoid having to pay swiss markup and domestic import charges on gold watches/jewelry. Or, retailers would order chromed brass models and then either right away put them into stainless cases, or eventually recase them when the plating wore off. It may be that my Longines is not in its original case, my expertise is not nearly broad enough but most WUS forum amateurs agreed that if it is recased, it is one that is in very close proportion to what would have been original.

    Here is another interesting vintage find. "Aguila Suizo" (Swiss Eagle) was a South American label of the Record Watch Company, likely incorporated under some kind of law that requires foreign companies to work with domestic firms. It too is large for its age, almost 37mm without the crown and a 20mm lug width. The hands and dial have a wonderful even patina, and the 022-18 movement is well regarded as a solid performer. Interestingly enough, it came in two versions (both with Breguet balances), one shock protected and one unprotected. This one is an unprotected model. The case is still good condition, albeit with some brassing through the gold plate. I am debating whether to keep it or replate it (or perhaps have it stripped), as I really dont have much use for a gold dress watch, and it would be nice to have one I can wear on a black band (having a tough time finding another large vintage dress watch). Of course, if its brass under there than stripping the plating wont do anything for my purposes. It is a fantastic size and condition, however:

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    The earlist service date engraved is 1968, so this is likely an early 60s model, judging by the dial design:

    [​IMG]

    As for the Russian watches, my entire family is Russian/Eastern European and emigrated out of the Soviet Union into Israel the second they were allowed, during the first wave of "Aaliyah" in the early 1970s. I grew up with Russian and Hebrew as my first languages, since having forgotten Hebrew completely (one day Ill get it back). I grew up exposed to Russian language, culture, and music, and while I would hesitate to call myself culturally "Russian", I have grown to have a healthy respect for the people, whom I find especially interesting considering their brutal history and melancholy nature. They are truly an intelligent lot, very clever and resourceful. While consumer goods in the USSR were in short supply, those that were available for consumption were simple, perhaps even spartan, but of extremely robust build. To this day in Russia cars and appliances from the 40s through the 60s work fine and well with minimal intervention.

    As an example of their effective engineering, consider the Vostok Amphibia, a classic 200m diver that has attained cult status with its various cases and dials. When engineers set out to create a watch for navy/military use, they needed something strong and simple to produce. The Swiss approach of grease and gaskets everywhere, a thick crystal and a case torqued down would not facilitate ease of maintenance and cost of manufacture. The design had three notable features:

    1) Instead of a thick domed glass, they used a thinner domed acrylic of a special polymer whose strength and mechanical characteristics were carefully chosen. The crystal is machined precisely and sits in the case with very certain tolerances. As the water pressure bears down on the face, the crystal flattens to predetermined dimensions and actually becomes more water resistant with depth!

    2) Instead of a one piece screw caseback with a thin gasket that has to be replaced every time it is opened and closed, the Amphibia uses a two piece system. The case contains a wide gasket made of sintered rubber upon which a flat caseback plate sits. Around this caseback plate is screwed a bayonet ring. Therefore, as water pressure increases against the caseback, it is again shoved deeper into the wide rubber gasket, again increasing the water resistance with depth!

    3) the Amphibia crown and stem assembly incorporates a clutch between the two pieces, hidden inside the crown: they are coupled only when the crown is pulled slightly away from the stem, otherwise they are decoupled and the crown wobbles somewhat in relation to the stem. During winding - and time setting - the crown needs to be manually pulled away slightly as it does not incorporate an internal spring, eliminating the pressures imparted on the keyless works with standard mechanisms, and the inherent "wobble" prevents the stem from getting bent. When the crown is screwed in, the clutch de-couples, which means the crown and case become one unit, and the movement and stem become another. In the unlikely event of serious shock, where the movement moves within the case, this decoupling means that the stem would never bear any load, and the wide clearance between the stem and stem tube facilitates that. The conventional designs do not offer this built-in protection.

    For further information on the engineering of the Amphibia, this is a good start:

    http://forums.watchuseek.com/f54/vostok-amphibia-analysis-design-methodology-491757.html

    This is my personal Amphibia, modified with a sterile bezel that I will sandblast to match the matte tonneau case (so 70s!) and on a mesh strap (so 70s!):

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    The Shturmanskie chronograph was acquired because it is, IMO the best mechanical chronograph (vintage or new) you can get for that price range (under $500). When you factor in its history, military issue, reliability, and quality of engineering (mine has a power reserve of about 60 hours), along with the unique styling, it becomes a staple in a vintage collection. It doesnt hurt that they are gaining value quickly. The naval version, known as the OKEAH (ocean), is much more expensive as the exposure to marine environments makes quality examples very difficult to find.

    I highly recommend anyone looking to expand their collections to examine Russian watches. Their current and vintage offerings allow you to get a variety of high quality, functional watches for pennies compared to Swiss or German counterparts, especially if you are looking for a fun summer watch to wear on a NATO or a diver you wont be afraid to knock around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
    5 people like this.
  2. jbarwick

    jbarwick Senior member

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    DG, I love you watch collection and hearing more about why you chose specific pieces. The military chronograph is my favorite of the bunch for the pop of color.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. bkotsko

    bkotsko Senior member

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    Pennsylvania
    15300 today and my curious pup.
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    His nose is almost as big as my fist.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
    4 people like this.
  4. Keith T

    Keith T Senior member

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    Dog pics are always welcome! (Cats too, I guess?!)


    I wore this one pretty much all of last week while on vacation... Seamaster 2254.50... I recently switched it from the Omega rubber to an "admiralty gray" NATO.

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    6 people like this.
  5. tifosi

    tifosi Senior member

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    He is probably thinking "Great...as if pictures of his shoes wasn't enough...".
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. suaviter

    suaviter Senior member

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    As one who gallivants with like-minded idiots, I want to see the PAM! Reverso is lovely, btw.
     
  7. alpyigit

    alpyigit Well-Known Member

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    Too many mention of Coke recently, so I felt obliged to post the pics of mine, circa 1999-2000. The watch I bought as a graduation gift to myself after the grad school!

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    And while there, here is another one for the JLC fans

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    3 people like this.
  8. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    Pepsi for me


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    2 people like this.
  9. CMT1

    CMT1 Senior member

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    CA.
    

    Heh. Thanks. OK, here's my stunningly classy July 4th evening carousing combo :fistbump::

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    I proceeded to wear this for the rest of the weekend:

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    I hope everyone's Independence Day Weekend went well.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    said it before, ill say it again. i love this watch and i love this pic.
     
  11. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

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    Thank you sir, it's definitely one of my favorites.
     
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  12. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    Back again to get help on deciding what to buy. For reference I just bought an oyster bracelet smooth bezel silver dial stick marker 36mm Datejust. Looking for something more sporty/casual to alternate it with. My requirements are:

    • It's on bracelet and versatile for dressing up and down
    • Can be found under 4k relatively easily
    • Not too thick as I wear long sleeve dress shirts for work
    • Doesn't exceed 40-42mm, as I don't like big watches and have relatively small wrists (6 3/4")

    1) Rolex Explorer 114270- I probably would have pulled the trigger already on this, but I cannot find one locally to confirm I love it in person. On the web I am a huge fan- beautiful, uncluttered dial, sporty looking but can be dressed up, a real classic in my mind. I do like the case/bracelet/size of the 39mm but it exceeds my budget and I hate the white gold 3/6/9. My concern is that it would wear too similar to the DJ and isn't as much contrast as you'd want with a 2 watch collection. Again, it's also impossible to find locally so I am having to rely on comparison pics with the newer DJ to have a feel for how it wears. No date is a small but notable pain point.

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    2) Omega Planet Ocean 2500- the 8500 version is out as it's too thick and I don't like the ceramic bezel. It's been a couple of years since I have seen one in person but I remember loving it, it's one of the very few divers that 'bring it all together' for me. My qualm is that I don't love it as much as the Explorer and I think I really would prefer something that disappears on the wrist, this would be a stark contrast in weight.

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    Two very different watches, yes, but I am torn...
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  13. jbarwick

    jbarwick Senior member

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    BBB - What about a Tudor Ranger on a bracelet? It is similar to the Explorer I
     
  14. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    The 114270 wears the same as a 36mm DJ. They are the same dimensions and roughly the same thickness, although the Ex1 might be a tad slimmer if one counts the fact that it does not have a cyclops magnifier on the crystal. I really liked my 114270. Its a very clean looking watch, it flies under the radar and can be worn with casual clothes or a suit if necessary.

    The dials are very different - silver with sticks and a date v. black dial with Arabic numerals and no date. Also not sure how old your DJ is, but if its NOT a modern one, then it has the old clam shell end links, hollow center link bracelet and a standard clasp. The 114270 will have solid end links, hollow center links, and an Oysterlock clasp. I prefer the 114270 bracelet to the older DJ bracelets. That being said, I'm not sure that you will feel the 2 watches are different enough, although I've met people that have more than one DJ.

    If you don't love the Seamaster, don't buy it. Save up and get something you truly want, be it a 39mm Explorer or something else.
     
  15. Cant kill da Rooster

    Cant kill da Rooster Senior member

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  16. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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    Daylight today.

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  17. stafa

    stafa Senior member

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    Go with the Explorer 114270. I'm in love with mine. It's just about perfect if you are looking for a versatile and understated higher end watch.
     
  18. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    @bigbadbuff

    Automatic/manual steel watches on bracelets, priced $3-4k used with box and papers, 38-40mm, possibly sporty but mainly that don't look like a DateJust at all:

    Chronographs:

    Omega Speedmaster (and Speedmaster Professional)
    Tudor Prince (various)
    Zenith El Primero (Rainbow etc., various)
    Girard Perregaux chronos (Ferrari, F1 etc., various)
    Breitling Navitmer, Chronomat, Blackbird


    Not (necessarily) chronographs:

    Omega Aqua Terra
    Omega DeVille GMT
    IWC GST
    Cartier Pasha (various), Cartier Roadster
    Vulcain Cricket Classic
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
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  19. bings

    bings Senior member

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    how you like it?

    i just bought one last night, should have it next week.
     
  20. Keith T

    Keith T Senior member

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    Would you consider a Speedy, bbb? Always a great idea, and a classic chrono.

    Not as versatile obviously....more of a true sports watch, but I believe it would be a better complement to a silver-dialed Datejust.

    I think it would fit your other criteria in terms of price and case thickness, and shouldn't overwhelm a 6 3/4" wrist.

    That 3227 recommendation is also solid, if you can find one pre-loved for the right $$$.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
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