Sold – James Dowling Vintage Watches From James Dowling Mon, 28 Jan 2019 17:35:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SOLD 1969 Rolex 5513 Maxi Dial Mk II Submariner with box & papers Wed, 10 Oct 2018 17:38:26 +0000 Rolex Submariner; reference 5513, bears the case number 62515XX dating from 1979, although the Bucherer, Lucerne papers aren’t dated until February 1981. It’s one of the most pristine ones that I have ever seen

The 5513 were the first to introduce the ‘Crown guards’ or ‘shoulders’ and became the archetype for all diver’s watches. What makes this one particularly desirable is that it has the matt dial, the original heavy domed crystal and the hack seconds facility. This watch case is still as new with the lug edge polished bevels still perfect.

This is a penultimate model with the heavy case, rounded crown shoulders and the matt dial with the printing in white and the indices have discoloured to an even beige/cream tone. What is nice is that it has the rare & desirable ‘Maxi’ dial; this is the second version where the word ‘Submariner’ is above the depth reading. The dial is, of course, marked 660 ft = 200m and has the italic ft/m markings and the much sought after ‘open’ 6s.

The watch was originally sold outside North America as can be seen by the movement which is the hack seconds 25 jewel cal 1520 rather than the 17 jewel version sold in North America. The movement has Kif flector shock protection.

The 5513 has suddenly become desirable, as it is obviously a Rolex but now, after 20 years of sapphire glass models, has a “vintage” look whilst still being an everyday useable watch. Note the appearance of the 5513 on the wrists of models in all the high end advertisements and in their mail order catalogues.

The case & bezel are both 95% and the movement and dial are both 95+%.

The watch measures 40mm Diam, 48mm lug to lug and is 14mm high; it takes a 20mm strap and the correct heavy fliplock oyster bracelet is fitted to the watch.


SOLD Zenith Defy 28,800Turquoise Dial Wed, 10 Oct 2018 15:49:16 +0000 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.


SOLD Breitling Chronomatic, model number 2111 dating from the mid 1970s. Wed, 31 Jan 2018 16:27:58 +0000 Breitling Chronomatic, model 2111, case number 1329029

The dial is high gloss dark grey with applied faceted steel hour batons for the indices, which have tritium blocks at their periphery. Like all cal 12 versions it has a date window at the 6 position and does not have a continuous seconds hand. It has a 12 hour counter at the 9 position and a 30 minute counter at the 3 position. Both the sweep seconds hand and the 30 min counter hand are bright orange for immediate visibility, whilst the hour & minute hands are also large emergency orange batons with luminous inserts. The dial is most unusual in that it has both tachymeter and pulsations marks on the outer track.

The movement is the famed Breitling/Heuer-Leonidas/Hamilton-Buren calibre 12, the world’s first automatic chronograph. The movement has 17 jewels, Incabloc shock protection, and a fine regulation for the regulator. It is powered by a micro-rotor and was the first modular chronograph movement, where the chronograph mechanism was on a separate plate to the time module, which simplified servicing greatly. Like all calibre 12 powered watches this one has the winding crown at the 9 position.

About ten years after Breitling went bankrupt in the mid 1970s a large number of New Old Stock Breitlings appeared on the secondary market, my gut feeling is that this was one of them. The condition of the case, dial & movement is phenomenal for a 40 year old watch.

The dial is 95%+, whilst the case & movement are also both 95%+.
It measures 38mm diam, 41mm lug to lug and 14mm high it takes a 20 mm strap and a new black leather one with original Breitling steel buckle is fitted.


SOLD Stainless steel Rolex Bombé, reference 5018, case number 608XXX dating from 1949 Wed, 31 Jan 2018 16:20:32 +0000 These late Bubblebacks have been unfairly neglected for a very long time, and I aim to correct this oversight.

Using the 9.75’’’ NA movement, this is a very late non date bubbleback with twisted or “lyre’ lugs and heavily domed back & original crystal.

The silvered original dial has applied quarter hour arabics with the classic Rolex ‘open’ 6 & 9, and applied bars for the remainder of the numerals, all of them are gilt as are the leaf shaped hands, there is a long blued steel sweep seconds hand with pear shaped counterweight which lines up perfectly with the black printed outer seconds track which is divided into one fifth of a second. The dial has the later style long coronet surmounting the ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual” text whilst the “Officially certified chronometer” text is set much lower than normal, above the 6.

The movement is numbered 09660 on the rotor and, as expected, is also signed as a chronometer. The NA movement was one of the final models of the first generation of Rolex automatics

The case is the undoubted star feature of this watch; the twisted lugs, the original brushed finish on the case sides and a perfect original signed flat face crown.

I often see this model referred to as a “Rolex Bombay” and the twisted lugs called “Bombay lugs”. This is actually funny, in English these watches are known a “bubblebacks” and in Italian as “Ovetto” (which means egg shaped) both nicknames are derived from the dome shaped case backs. And the French nickname is “Bombé”, which also means domed. However it is pronounced “Bombay” in French, so native English speakers began calling the watch design after the Indian city, and even the lugs got the same misnomer. The actual term for the lug shape is “Lyre”; I hope that this hasn’t confused you even more.

The case & dial are both 95+% and the movement is 90%.

The watch measures 32.2mm Diam, 40.6mm lug to lug and is

15mm high; it takes an 18mm strap and the original US made expanding light folded oyster bracelet is still fitted to the watch.


SOLD Lemania military pilot’s chronograph Thu, 26 Oct 2017 20:10:43 +0000 In the mid 1970s, Lemania produced this watch for Flygvapnet (the  Swedish Air Force) and also the the South African Air Force, it has always been assumed that they did not make any for the civilian market, however this watch suggests that a few were produced. It differs from the military version in not having either fixed strap bars or any issue markings.

The watch uses the Lemania manual movement cal.1872, which to the best of my knowledge was used in no other watch. It has an Incabloc shock protection system and the movement is also marked with the Swiss Cross and LWC (for Lemania Watch Company) under the balance wheel. The movement is protected by an especially tight fitting cover which extends all the way around the sides of the movement, leading me to believe that it is highly anti-magnetic (although I have no proof of this).

The case is very heavy with straight faceted lugs and a screw back, the bezel rotates in both directions and has 60 minute graduations with Arabic numerals at the 15/30/45 points

The dial is a perfect matt black with perfect white printing and has white hands which stand out easily against the dial; which has full Arabic numbers in luminous tritium, which has faded to a creamy colour. The original hands have tritium inserts along almost all their length.

The case is 95%, the dial is also 95% and the movement is in 95+% condition.

It measures 42mm diam, 48mm lug to lug and 14mm high it takes a 20 mm strap and is on a new G10 (NATO) stap.

£2,500.00 (approx. $3,800.00 US)

SOLD Jaeger le Coultre Australian Issue WWW watch Thu, 26 Oct 2017 19:42:16 +0000 Without a doubt one of the rarest and most desirable of all the variety of watches supplied to the British & Commonwealth forces during WW II. The JLC calibre 479 WWW was supplied to soldiers in the Armies of the British Empire towards the end of WWII, it was NOT a pilot’s watch.

The nomenclature “WWW” stands for “Wrist Watch, Waterproof” and the Jaeger, like all the WWW watches (except the IWC) has a steel screw back

It uses the Jaeger cal 479 movement, which has 15 jewels (the majority of which are held in chatons), Geneva stripes, gilt finish and bears the number 322648, it has exposed winding wheels & click spring and no shock protection on the balance staff.

The heavy case has a slim bezel and a glass that screws in from the back to provide a dustproof seal. The caseback is numbered 294165 and like all the Australian issue WWW watches, does not have the WWW caseback markings.

The original dial is matt black with full Arabic numerals in white paint; there is an outer railway style minutes track, UK Govt. Arrowhead above the centre post and a huge subsidiary seconds dial at 6. The luminous dots have swollen and darkened due to the absorption of moisture from the atmosphere, as is normal for watches of this period. This is without a doubt the cleanest & nicest dial I have ever had on the dozen or more Jaeger WWW watches that I have owned over the years, as they have a tendency to lose their luminous dots over time.

The watch has just been cleaned, serviced & timed and is running perfectly.

The dial & movement are both 95+% and the case is 90%

The watch measures 35mm Diam, 45mm lug to lug, it is 10mm high and takes an 18mm strap and is on a period khaki coloured cloth strap.

£1,950.00 (approx $3,050.00 US)

SOLD Israeli issued, combat worn, Pointed Crown Guard Tudor Oyster-Prince, “Submariner”, 200m/660ft, Rotor Self-winding, Ref. 7928 Thu, 26 Oct 2017 19:38:44 +0000 Without a doubt, the rarest version of the Tudor Submariner, the Israeli issued S13 version with pointed crown guards and mixed gilt/silver dial print.
The perfect original dial is completely untouched, and the original gilt/silver print is unmarked and as it features both the curved “Self-Winding” text at the bottom of the dial and the early Tudor rose logo at the top, it is one of the most attractive dials ever seen on a Tudor Submariner.

The movement is the Tudor Cal. T 390, developed by Rolex around 1950 especially for the Tudor brand. It was a rugged and rather high automatic movement with a central rotor winding in both directions. Its components were markedly similar to those of the contemporary Rolex Caliber 1030, including the shape of the rotor, the Maltese spring to stop the rotor, and the sprung discs of the twin click. The movement has 17 jewels, flat Nivarox hairspring and Kif-Trior shock resistance.

The watch is in gorgeous original condition, with much of the original case beveling still present & the original bezel with the wide striations is still fitted..
The case is 95% whilst the movement is 95+% and the dial is also 95+%.

The watch measures 39.5mm diameter, 47.5mm lug to lug, 14 mm high and takes a 20mm strap and is fitted with a period correct folded oyster bracelet, which is loose & has one replaced link. This is NOT the original bracelet, as these were not worn on the wrist, but rather on dive boards, along with a compass & depth gauge.

Price on Application

SOLD COMEX Rare matt dial Submariner Thu, 26 Oct 2017 19:36:21 +0000 COMEX Rare matt dial Submariner 16800 with box & all papers

This is the rarest of all COMEX Submariners; the sapphire glass 16800 with the matt dial. Case number 72769XX, COMEX number 60XX, dating to 1982.

It is assumed that there were less than 25 of these made, the second batch was not made until 1987, by which time the gloss dial with white gold indices had arrived. Also many of the original batch of 25 will have had their dials replaced when they were serviced by Rolex; thereby making this 100% original example very rare & collectable. Adding to its collectability is the fact that this watch comes with both boxes & all the papers, even the original plastic document wallet, which has the sticker showing both the case & COMEX numbers.

The movement is the 26 jewel cal 3035, the first quick set date movement from Rolex.

The dial is gorgeous, unmarked and the luminous has faded to a perfect ivory colour.

The case is 90% and the dial and movement are both 95+%.

The watch measures 40mm Diam, 48mm lug to lug, it is 13mm high, it takes a 20mm band and the original heavy fliplock Oyster one, with 11 links is fitted.

Price on application

18k Yellow Gold Patek Philippe Reference 425 ‘Tegolino’ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 19:33:04 +0000 18k Yellow Gold Patek Philippe Reference 425, case number 639607, movement number 838012, dating from the mid 1930s

It is a sign of how much of a watchnut you are when you openly declare that you have favourite movements; and for me Patek’s 9-90 movement is one of mine. Produced from 1934 to the 1950s, this is one of the first series, and as such has 18 jewels, flat hairspring, micrometer regulator, Geneva stripes, but no Geneva Seal. The movement is also stamped with the letters PXP on the balance cock, showing that it was destined for the US, but from the period before Henri Stern became the agents in 1937, after which US bound Pateks bore the code HOX.

The extended rectangular case is known as the ‘Tegolino’ by Italian collectors (named after a rectangular cake, made by Barilla, in Italy) and is deceptively simple at first sight but is actually a very complex design. It has matt brushed straight case sides, a curved back, brushed ‘hoods’ above & below the dial and brightly polished faceted side surfaces, forming the bezel which then lead into the downturned lugs. The condition of the case is excellent, considering its age, as both the Swiss gold hallmarks, on the side of the case & on one lug are both still visible. The original specification faceted glass is still fitted, adding another geometric element to an already complex case.

The dial is silvered with applied diamond cut batons, whilst the outer ‘railway track’ minute track, the sunken subsidiary dial and the maker’s name are all in black enamel. The dial is in amazing condition, because of the way the enamel detailing is applied; firstly the dial is engraved with the required text and markers, then this engraving is filled with enamel & then fired in an oven. This results in the print being actually part of the dial, rather than just sitting on top of it. It is much more labour intensive & expensive than conventional printing but means that the dial remains pristine as long as the clear lacquer on top of the dial remains in one piece; as this one does.

The case is 95%, the dial is 95+% and the movement is in 95% condition.

It measures 34.5mm long, 42mm lug to lug, 20mm wide and 8.5mm high it takes a 17 mm strap and is on black crocodile effect strap.

£5,500.00 (approx $8,400.00 US)

SOLD Zenith Special original Pilot’s watch from the 1930s Thu, 26 Oct 2017 19:17:54 +0000 This watch is one of a number made in the decade prior to WWII, which are collectively known as “aviator’s watches”, but more correctly as Pilot’s or Navigator’s Watches. The IWC Mk IX is probably the best known of the bunch but Zenith, Movado, Omega, Helvetia & Avia and many others also made similar watches.

Large size cases, black dials with radium numerals & hands and a rotating bezel with a movable pointer below the glass are the distinguishing features. Most of them seem to have been designed for and used by the nascent German Luftwaffe pilots although they were never really issued; however the overall design lived on in the Hanhardt chronographs used by the Luftwaffe during WWII.

An identical watch is shown in K. Knirim’s “Military Timepieces” on page 373 and what is most interesting is that this watch also has the very large winding tube protruding from the case side to enable winding while wearing flying gloves in the unheated cockpits of those early days.

The watch uses the brushed gilt finish in house manufacture Zenith Cal. 13-2-1, numbered 3059418, it has Manual Winding, and ‘snail shell’ micrometer adjustment of the regulator. Like all watches from this era, it has no shock absorption for the balance staff. The movement is protected by a dust cover; which, unusually, is made from mineral glass, allowing the movement to be seen in all its glory.

The alloy case is in not so good condition, the rotating bezel moves freely, but the screwed back has experienced some corrosion over time.

The Original Black enamel Dial has a sunken subsidiary seconds dial at the six position the indices are luminous bars, with double bars at the 12 position. The ‘pencil’ hands are luminous, but as can be expected with an 80 year old watch, none of the luminous still functions.

The dial is 90%, whilst the movement is 95% and the case is 80%.

The watch measures 35.2mm Diam, 39.5mm lug to lug, it is 12mm high and takes a 20 mm strap and a black leather strap is fitted.