Non Rolex – James Dowling http://www.ukwatches.com Vintage Watches From James Dowling Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:48:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 040 WWII German Army Issue Record DH wristwatch http://www.ukwatches.com/product/040-wwii-german-army-issue-record-dh-wristwatch/ Mon, 15 Oct 2018 09:48:41 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=982 During the Second World War, the UK purchased around 200,000 WWW watches for the Army, these are the so called ‘Dirty Dozen’ made by such famed Swiss makers as JLC, IWC, Omega & Longines; they were also ordered from such minor players as Cyma and Buren, in a desperate attempt to make up the numbers. And this watch comes from another of those minor players, Record who made around 25,000 watches for the army. But this isn’t one of them, although it uses the same movement. This one was made for the German army (Dienstuhr Heer), which explains the DH markings on the case back. Although the Germans ordered many more watches than the British, it seems that fewer of them have survived and of those that have, seem to have suffered rather more abuse than the WWWs have experienced

The movement is Record’s classic 30mm cal 022K, with 15 jewels and is unnumbered, unlike the British watches it has Incabloc shock protection on the balance.

The case is numbered 436875 with the letters D & H bookending the number, the case back is also stamped with the word ‘Stahlboden’, meaning steel back; but as far as I can tell the entire case is stainless steel. The inside case back is completely blank. Like the British WWW watches, it also has fixed strap bars.

The original matt black dial has full Arabic numerals with luminous paint on all of them, although much of the luminous paint has now discoloured to black and it also has polished steel luminous pencil hands with needle tips. It has a small subsidiary seconds dial with a polished steel seconds hand. The dial is signed “Record Watch Co” in gilt print under the 12 and immediately below is the word “Genf” (German for Geneva).

The case is 90% and the movement and dial are both 90+%.

The watch measures 34mm Diam, 41mm lug to lug and is 11mm high; it takes an 18mm strap and a new NATO strap is fitted to the watch.

£1,750.00 (approx.$995.00 US)

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031 Oversized 1970 Royce Professional Marine Dive Watch http://www.ukwatches.com/product/031-oversized-1970-royce-professional-marine-dive-watch/ Sun, 14 Oct 2018 18:46:35 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=981 This 1970 Royce Professional Marine is probably the largest non Panerai watch in I have ever owned. Royce was a sister brand to Eska (the phonetic pronunciation of the owner’s initials), the brand was mostly sold in France and followed the strange French dive watch tradition of mounting the winding crown at 12, so that it was much less likely to be knocked and damaged whilst in use.

The dial is amazing, matt black with huge tritium plots, a date window at 3 surrounded by a white pained box; outside the dial and above it is a wide orange ring with the minute and seconds track interrupted only by the numbers 15/30/45/0. The hour hand looks like a Rolex Mercedes hand at first glance, but in fact lacks the three arms in the large luminous dot; the pencil minute hand is also heavily luminised and even the seconds hand has a large luminous rectangle near the tip. The luminous itself is  a strange green colour which might lead you to think that it is restored, however this colour was common on professional dive watches of the 1970s, look at the Breitling Super Ocean from the same period and also other Royce Marines, all have these huge green luminous plots.

The case is genuinely bizarre, it is principally matt chrome over brass with a stainless steel screw back; the ratcheted bezel is unidirectional, meaning this was one of the first dive watches to feature this safety feature. The curved hooded lugs are hinged where they join the case, which means that the watch fits a smaller wrist quite comfortably, despite its size. The top lug is cut out to allow access to the winding crown.

It is powered by the ubiquitous AS 2063, with 25 jewels, Incabloc shock protection and is unsigned.

The case is 90%, the dial and hands are 95% whilst the movement is 90%.

It measures 46mm in diameter and 63mm lug to flexible lug. On a brand new Tropic strap.

 

£1,750.00 (approx. $2,350.00 US)

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021 WWII German Army Issue Record Watch http://www.ukwatches.com/product/039-wwii-german-army-issue-record-watch/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 16:57:29 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=971 During the Second World War, the UK purchased around 200,000 WWW watches for the Army, these are the so called ‘Dirty Dozen’ made by such famed Swiss makers as JLC, IWC, Omega & Longines; they were also ordered from such minor players as Cyma and Buren, in a desperate attempt to make up the numbers. And this watch comes from another of those minor players, Record who made around 25,000 watches for the British army. But this isn’t one of them, although it uses the same movement. This one was made for the German army (Dienstuhr Heer), which explains the DH markings on the case back. Although the Germans ordered many more watches than the British, it seems that fewer of them have survived and those that have seem to have suffered rather more abuse than the WWWs have experienced

The movement is Record’s classic 30mm cal 022K, with 15 jewels and is unnumbered, but unlike the British watches it has Incabloc shock protection on the balance.

The case is numbered 436875 with the letters D & H bookending the number, the screwed case back is also stamped with the word ‘Stahlboden’, meaning steel back; but as far as I can tell the entire case is stainless steel. The inside case back is completely blank.

The original matt black dial has full Arabic numerals with luminous paint on all of them, although much of the luminous paint has now discoloured to black and the steel pencil hands with needle tips also have luminous infill. It has a small subsidiary seconds dial with a polished steel seconds hand. The dial is signed “Record Watch Co” in gilt print under the 12 and immediately below is the word “Genf” (German for Geneva).

The case is 90% and the movement and dial are both 90+%.

The watch measures 34mm Diam, 41mm lug to lug and is 11mm high; it takes an 18mm strap and a new NATO strap is fitted to the watch.

£750.00 (approx.$995.00 US)

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038 1962 Zodiac Sea Wolf, Vietnam era http://www.ukwatches.com/product/038-1962-zodiac-sea-wolf-vietnam-era/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 16:50:20 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=970 The Zodiac Sea Wolf was one of the more popular watches with servicemen during the Vietnam war. Originally launched in 1953, the Datographic version of the watch was launched in 1962; smaller and slimmer than other contemporary dive watches, it nevertheless claimed a 200 meter depth rating similar to the 5512 Submariner, despite the fact that the Zodiac had a snap back, not a screwed one.

The dial is high gloss black with large luminous triangles at the quarter hour marks with the Arabic hour numbers below the luminous, there is a date window at 3 surrounded by a silvered metal frame. There are applied hour baton indices, each with a stripe of luminous in their centre and an outer silver print minute track. The centre off the dial is very busy, with a Zodiac ‘sniperscope’ logo under the 12 and the brand name just underneath and beneath that the model name. Just above the 6 is the word ‘Automatic’ and at the very bottom of the dial is ‘Swiss T 25MC’. The triangular hands have large tritium inserts held in place by a ‘backbone’ running down the centre of each hand.

The case is of unusual construction, in that it has a snap back, which is very rare in a 200m rated dive watch but which certainly contributes to the slimness of the piece. The bidirectional ratcheted bezel is also unusual in that the Bakelite insert is a very light blue colour, with a large tritium triangle at 60, minute markers between it and 15 and just the single number 30 at the very bottom of the bezel insert. The actual bezel is of a similar material to contemporary Rolex ones, a rhodium finish over a brass metal, and like most Rolex ones, the rhodium has disappeared leaving a brassy appearance.

The movement is the Zodiac signed 722-916, based on a A. Schild manual movement with the addition of an automatic winding module, it beats at the unusual rate of 21,600 and has 17 jewels and is unadjusted. It has Incabloc shock protection and is stamped with the import code KXF near the balance, which was the US import code for Zenith.

The case is 90%, whilst the movement & dial are both 95%.

Diameter 35.5mm; Lug-to-Lug 42.7mm; Height 10.6mm. It takes a 17mm strap and a NATO strap is fitted.

£1,100.00 (approx. $1,450.00)

 

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001 Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox Polaris II http://www.ukwatches.com/product/001-jaeger-lecoultre-memovox-polaris-ii/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 16:36:33 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=969 The JLC Polaris II is actually more rare than the Mk I Polaris, and unlike its predecessor came in a choice of colour ways. The US got a fetching shade of turquoise blue for the dial and bezel, whilst the rest of the world got the more restrained choices of burgundy or grey. The US versions were signed ‘HPG’ on the alarm disc (standing for ‘High Precision Guaranteed), whilst the rest of the world got ‘GT” (standing for Grand Taille, meaning ‘BigCase’ but also referencing Gran Turismo cars). It was quite obviously a 1970s watch, being made between 1970 and 72, both the colours and the shape could have come from no other era, although for its time, it was quite a massive watch, the lugless case measures 43.5mm long.

The dial is split into 3 parts, an outer white minute/seconds track which sits above the actual grey dial, which has large tritium batons for each of the hours, apart from the 12 which has double tritium markers. There is a gold central alarm dial which bears the word ‘Memovox’ and the alarm pointer is formed from the stylised letters GT.

The Oval case is sandblasted over the surface, including the case back, the two winding & setting crowns are both original and signed with the double J logo; the ratcheted bezel rotates in both directions and is fitted with a clear Bakelite insert in grey with a white triangle at 12 full white Arabic numerals for the 10 second intervals and individual dashes for all the remaining minutes. The scalloped case back is unique in my experience and MAY be something to do with reinforcing the sound of the alarm.

It uses the Cal 916, which incorporated several new features for JLC, it beat at 28,800 making it the highest frequency Jaeger movement and the rotor wound the watch in both directions. The only downside of the movement is that it has just 17 jewels, enabling it to be imported into the US without the additional tariffs on higher jewelled watches. 17 jewel watches were taxed at a flat rate of $1.25, anything over than 17 jewels had to pay $3.00 PLUS 3% of the value. It wasn’t the additional $1.75, it was the 3% tax which made all the difference. Enough of a difference that many Swiss firms, including Omega and Rolex made ‘US only’ versions of their movements with only 17 jewels, when the rest of the world had movements with 25 jewels or more. It also meant that many firms started to design movements with only 17 jewels, even if they were high quality & the Cal. 916 is one of these.

Dial is 95%, case is also 95% whilst the movement is 95+%.
Width 44mm; Lug to Lug 49.6mm; Height 15.8mm., it takes a 19mm strap and a matching grey Perlon one is fitted.

£6,000.00 (approx. $8,000.00)

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011 1917 Sterling Silver Zenith ‘Land & Water’ Trench Watch http://www.ukwatches.com/product/011-unusual-oversized-royce-professional-marine/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 16:17:00 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=967 One of the more interesting watches to be introduced during the First World War, the Zenith Land and Water can claim to be one of the very first wristwatches designed to solve the problems of moisture and dust entering the case.

It uses a remarkable case construction where the case and back are one bowl shaped unit and the movement and dial sit inside this under a screwed bezel and glass. This model was exclusive to the firm’s main UK retailer, Birch & Gaydon and advertised as being especially designed for naval & military officers (which explains the Land & Water name). In fact Zenith’s name appears nowhere on the exterior of the watch, either on the dial or case. Only the retailer’s name & full address appear, as well as the model name above the seconds dial.

The dial is black enamel free of any visible cracks or chips, with very large white Arabic numbers which originally would have had radium paint upon them, this has been removed, although all three of the hands still have their radium inserts present. There is a small sunken seconds dial at the 6 position and the seconds hand, most unusually also has a radium insert.

The case is Swiss made, sterling silver and bears the Glasgow import marks for 1917. It has Zenith’s silver sponsor’s mark of ‘ZWC’ in a triangular cartouche near the winding stem and the case number 3049705 on the other side of the case interior.

The movement is gilt finished, jewelled to all the pivots, although in those days it wasn’t necessary to state the number of jewels or adjustments, it is obviously a very high quality movement with Zenith’s patented ‘snail shell’ micrometer regulator and highly polished steel winding wheels. It is numbered 2314493, stamped ‘Swiss Made’ and (like all watches of this period) does not have any form of shock protection for the balance.

The movement is 90+%, whilst the case & dial are also both 90%.

Width 35mm; Lug-to-Lug 38.8; Height 11mm. It takes a 12.5mm strap and an excellent brown leather replica of the original one is fitted.

£2,500.00 (approx. $3,300.00 US)

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010 Jaeger Le Coultre Sweep Seconds ‘Calatrava’ http://www.ukwatches.com/product/010-jaeger-le-coultre-sweep-seconds-calatrava/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:57:03 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=964 Dating from the late 1950s or the early 1960s, this simple snap back dress watch does a great job of hiding the treasure within; the amazing Jaeger leCoultre K478C; this is a classic Jaeger design with their usual 1930s two plate design with exposed flat click spring. It features an oversized balance wheel beating at a leisurely 18,000 bph, a Breguet hairspring and shock protection on the balance. This is recognisable as a later version of the movement as it has a rhodium finish, earlier versions were gilt plated, the movement is undecorated with Geneva stripes or Perlage,  but the brushed finish on the plates is exquisite and the anglage and countersinking are both perfect.

The case is as austere as the movement finish, a slim slightly sloped bezel, downturned lugs and a saucer shaped snap back, all of the original edges are present and perfect. The outer case back bears the case number 803125, whilst the inside is stamped ‘Acier Inoxydable’ and below that ‘LeCoultre Co’ and ‘Swiss’.

The dial is simple silvered with applied polished steel batons for the hour indices, whilst there are double batons at each of the quarters, the brand name is printed just below the 12 and ‘Swiss Made’ is printed in microscopic type at the very edge of the dial. There is an outer minute/seconds track and the hands are both polished steel baton style with pencil tips, whilst the seconds hand is a very slim, almost needle like polished steel one.

The movement is 95+%, whilst the case & dial are both 95%.

Diameter 33.5mm; Lug-to-Lug 40.5mm; Height 10.mm. It takes a 16mm strap and a brand new pigskin one is fitted.

 

£1,250.00 (approx. $1,700.00)

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006 Zenith Defy 28,800Turquoise Dial http://www.ukwatches.com/product/006-zenith-defy-28800turquoise-dial/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:49:16 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=963 Dating from the very end of the 1960s the Zenith Defy 28,800 is the very definition of “massive”; hewn from a solid block of stainless steel it was sold as “The Safe of Time” in the Italian market. Whilst it doesn’t have a revolving bezel it is as waterproof as any dive watch of the era, being safe down to 300m; 50% deeper than the Rolex Submariner 1680.

The case is a simple tonneau shape with a most unusual 14 sided screwed bezel; it’s not the shape of the case which makes it stand out, rather it’s the sheer heft of the piece and the feeling of solidity about it which make such an impression. Case number 288 E 845, model number A 7682.

The Defy was launched at the same time as the El Primero and has always been overshadowed by its sibling, although a few El Primero movements were fitted to Defy cases; the El Primero was distinguished by its high beat (36,000 bph) automatic movement, which also overshadowed the Defy’s new slightly lower beat (28,800 bph) 2563 PC movement. But the movement in the defy had one ‘trick’ up its sleeve which was unique; the movement was suspended in a synthetic rubber ring which isolated it from shocks applied to the case.

The dial is amazing, there were three colours available; burgundy, tobacco brown and this one, turquoise. But it isn’t just the colour, it is also the way it is applied, in a vignette style, where it gets darker the closer it gets to the edges of the dial. The huge square three-dimensional hour markers are also unique to the Defy, being fluted on their top surface. The hands are also oversized with heavy luminous inserts, even in the seconds hand, although there is no luminous on the dial. There is a date window at 4:30, but please note that the date is not quickset.

The case is 85%, whilst the movement & dial are both 90%.

Diameter 37.5mm; Lug-to-Lug 45.3mm; Height 13.6mm. It takes a 22mm strap and an aftermarket Oyster style bracelet is fitted.

£950.00 ($approx. $1,300.00 US)

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008 New Old Stock 1970s Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox GT http://www.ukwatches.com/product/08-new-old-stock-1970s-jaeger-lecoultre-memovox-gt/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:16:02 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=899 This is a new old stock Jaeger LeCoutre Memovox GT reference E873, dating from the early 1970s

Jaeger LeCoultre were not originally a watch company, rather they were a movement firm who sold their calibres to high end Swiss firms; prior to the 1930s almost all Pateks used JLC movements as did Cartier (who went into partnership with them) and Vacheron also used JLC movements until the 1960s. Which goes some way to explaining why JLC have always been about movements and not so much about case styling, it wasn’t until the 1970s that they began to be adventurous with their cases and this Memovox GT is a perfect example.

GT stands for Gran Turismo in motoring nomenclature, and defines a luxurious car built for long, high speed runs from Paris to the Riviera or Rome to the Amalfi Coast, as distinct from a car built solely for racing. Firms like Ferrari and Aston Martin built GT and race versions of their cars; the 250 SWB vs the 250 Lusso or the DB4 vs the BB4GT (although AM chose to make the GT the race version & the DB4 the tourer). The initials came into common use when Ford used them on the Mustang and from then on it was used on everything from vacuum cleaners to blenders, and as we can see, on watches. In this case, Jaeger say that GT in this case stands for ‘Grand Taille’, French for ‘BigCase’; I am still not sure!

The GT initials form the alarm pointer on the inner dial and are raised on the case back, also prominent on the case back is ‘Speed Beat’, JLC’s name for their new calibre 916 automatic movement which beat at 28,800 and, for the first time abandoned the bumper rotor in favour of a fully rotating one. The watch could not have come from any other time than the 1970s, the exaggerated egg shaped case, the funky outer minute marks, the touches of blue and the unusually coloured minute and hour hands all scream 1970s. Also worth noting, the watch is essentially new old stock, still on the original JLC strap and buckle.

The movement is 95+%, whilst the case & dial are also both 95+%.

Width 38.2mm; Lug-to-Lug 44.5mm; Height 12.3mm. It takes a 19mm strap and its original black reptile band and steel JLC buckle is still fitted.

£2,500.00 (approx. $3,300.00 US)

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017 Seiko ‘Grandfather Tuna’ 6159-7010 from April 1976 http://www.ukwatches.com/product/017-seiko-grandfather-tuna-6159-7010-from-april-1976/ Mon, 05 Feb 2018 19:04:23 +0000 http://www.ukwatches.com/?post_type=product&p=888 Made for only a short time between 1975/78, the 6159-7010 was Seiko’s answer to the problem of helium ingression into watches during saturation dive decompression. Although only produced for less than 3 years, the design has remained a major part of Seiko’s product line and versions of it are still made today over 40 years later, the popularity of these later versions has fuelled the collectability of the original. Rolex and other brands sought to alleviate the helium gas problem by building helium escape valves into their watches. Seiko took a much more difficult route and chose to build a watch which was completely impervious to helium, so if the gas couldn’t get in….it didn’t need to get out.

Seiko accomplished this by using a one piece titanium case and newly designed gaskets which protected the case/crystal interface. The bezel had quite definite clicks at each of the 60 minutes, it rotated in both directions but was protected from accidental rotation by the external ‘shroud’ which covered over 50% of the bezel. The shroud was also made of titanium but has a matt black ceramic coating, it is held in place by 4 steel allen screws, which add to the industrial/tool appearance of the watch.

The matt black dial is designed with legibility in mind above all else; the tritium indices are huge and surrounded by painted white circles to make them even more visible. There is a large inverted triangle at 12 and large tritium dots for the remainder, the 6 & 9 indices and the 12 have white lines radiating inwards from their edge, giving a sniper scope look & there is a date window at 3.

The movement is the 6159B, which is a high beat (36,000bph) automatic calibre with 25 jewels and is essentially a 61GS movement without the fine finishing and with stronger components needed to drive the larger hands. It has both hacking and quick set facilities and has proved to be an exceptionally robust movement.

Dial is 9+%, case is 95% whilst the movement is 95%.
Diameter 50.5mm; Lug to Lug 52.5mm; Height 18.8mm., it takes a 22mm strap and a new rubber strap is fitted.

 

£3.000.00 (approx $4,250.00 US)

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